Randy Stonehill Pioneer

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The cover from Randy's children's album "Uncle Stonehill's Hat"Randy Stonehill is something of a self-proclaimed goof ball. At the same time he is a pioneer in contemporary Christian music. He worked closely with Larry Norman (who many consider to be the grandfather of CCM) during his early career. In fact, it was Norman who led Randy to the Lord back in 1970.

Randy released his first album, “Born Twice,” in 1971. Pat Boone reportedly helped with the financing, the whole project only cost $800, and Stonehill has said, “it sounds like every penny of it.”

"Between The Glory And The Flame" LP coverIn 1972 Randy and Larry appeared in “Beware! The Blob,” a motion picture sequel to “The Blob.” Randy played Randy Guitar and can be seen entering the scene at about 12 minutes and 20 seconds into the movie, which is available on You Tube here. If you stay with it long enough you’ll see Randy and Cindy Williams eaten by the blob.

His breakout album was the 1976 “Welcome To Paradise,” produced by Larry Norman. This album was named the 3rd best contemporary Christian album of all time by CCM magazine. Randy still writes and records, he’s up to 27 albums at last count. He also tours extensively.

"Celebrate This Heartbeat" LP coverRandy and Larry had something of a falling out in the late 1970s. I had the opportunity to interview Randy in the early 1990s and when I asked him about it all he would say about Larry was, “Jerry, he is a strange monkey.”

Though much of Randy’s music is critically acclaimed, some of his most iconic material was released before there were many radio stations playing contemporary Christians music. His most prolific period was the 1980s when he released an album every year except for 1982. His most recent full studio album, “Breath of God II,” was released in 2015.

From the 1994 album “The Lazarus Heart,” this is “I Turn To You,” which came in at #31 on Christian radio’s year end charts.

This is a very early concept video, it’s “Die Young” from Randy’s 1981 album “Between The Glory And The Flame.”

Here’s another concept video, this one is “Still Small Voice” from the 1984 “Celebrate This Hearbeat.”

And finally, from the 1988 “Can’t Buy A Miracle,” here’s “Coming Back Soon.”

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