November 1, 1995
Here's a review from Gail (my ever-lovely wife and a great mother) of a recent concert in Fresno.
Brother's Keeper - Last month we were entertained by Rich Mullins when his 65-city Brother's Keeper Tour rolled into the Wilson Theater. I found the evening to be a positive and enjoyable event, as it included music of various styles, messages of God, and even a slide presentation from the International Bible Society Ministry to Native Americans.
Pop artist (and true-blue hippie) Rich Mullins has made teaching the Lord's music to Native American youth his personal commitment. His large band included three guitarists and a gifted bass player, and often crossed into a jazz sound. I was very moved when a Native American came on the stage and sang "Amazing Grace" in his native language, it was very beautiful.
Performing with Rich Mullins were accomplished artists Ashley Cleveland and Carolyn Arends. Ashley Cleveland is the more seasoned artist, and is promoting Lesson of Love, her third album on Reunion Records (a well-known Christian label based in Nashville). Lesson of Love contains classic hymns that Ashley expresses in a comfortable, contemporary R & B groove.
Ashley has a strong voice, and performed an acoustic/ foot-stomping folk set. Ashley sang several songs from her new album, including "Revive Us Again," "Power In The Blood," and "There's a Light", together with "Henry (Doesn't Care)," a personal favorite from her last disc (Bus Named Desire). During this song, Ashley was actually joined on stage by Henry, her talented 3-year-old son.
The opening act, Carolyn Arends, is a young Canadian singer\songwriter who has lent her talents to such Christian artists as Michael James, Susan Ashton, 4Him and Lisa Bevill. Carolyn recently moved behind the microphone to record I Can Hear You, her debut album on Reunion Records.
Carolyn blends a pop and folk sound with lyrics that affirm her faith in God, and performed such songs as "I Can Hear You," "Love Is Always There," and "Seize the Day." Carolyn has an easy-going, comfortable style along with a strong belief in God, which is projected in the sincerity of her voice.
I greatly enjoyed this evening of Christian music and messages. The theater was almost full, and many people in the audience knew the words to the songs (proving that there's a strong fan base for this music).
The various styles of "Christian religious" music are refreshing and exciting. Maybe all the words or messages won't be for you, but you will surely be touched by a word or message that's just for you. My belief is that we have a personal God. So why not give these artists a spin? There's something just for you -- Find it!
Arbitron Radio Ratings -- According to information released last week by Arbitron, the top ten radio stations in Fresno County for the summer survey from June 22 to September 13, 1995 are as follows:
1. KMJ (AM 580) 10.2%
As I predicated after the spring book, KMJ (talk & news) has returned to number 1. Talk radio is the king in many markets, and contender KBOS (CHR -- "contemporary hit radio") just couldn't hold the throne (proving that their owners sold at the right time).
After just three quarters, KJWL (easy listening stars of the 40s and 50s) has vaulted to number 3. Apparently there's a big market for this music. Holding at number 4 is KSKS ("the new KISS country"), although its share slipped slightly (down from 5.9%).
Tied at number 5 are KRZR (AOR -- "album oriented rock"), which slips from its impressive number 3 ranking in the last book, and steady performer KFSO (oldies). KRZR's decline is at least partly attributable to the success of KFRR ("modern rock"), which land at number 9 in its first full book.
Leaping to number 7 is KTHT (adult contemporary), which fades in and out and out of the top ten, while KNAX ("today's hot country") drops from number 7 to number 8. Finally, KOQO hold the number 10 spot, though its share has plummeted to 3.3% (it was 6.1 as recently as last summer).
Falling from the top ten are KEZL (more oldies), which was number 8 last quarter, and KJFX ("classic rock 'n roll"), which flirts with the top ten from survey to survey.
Required Legend -- These ratings are copyrighted by Arbitron, and are based on the percentage of listening audience ages 12 and over tuned in during any 15-minute period from 6 A.M. to midnight on Monday through Sunday.
-- Randy Krbechek
Copyright (c) Randy Krbechek
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