Nashville News Oct. 2000


Kathryn E. Darden
Oct 28, 2000

Featuring: Featuring Bob Mackenzie, Jennifer Knapp, Luna Halo, Jars of Clay, Phil Keaggy, Wes King, Jaci Velasquez, Margaret Becker, Steven Curtis Chapman, Crystal Lewis, Russ Taff, Wayne Watson, Aaron Benward, Clay Crosse, Twila Paris, Russ Lee, Rachael Lampa, 4HIM, Avalon, Rebecca St. James, Amy Grant, Howard Hewitt, Richard Marx, David Pack, Vince Gill, Michael Crawford, Donna Summer, Danny Gans, Michael W. Smith, Gary Chapman, Steve Crawford, Anointed, Nashville Music Awards nominees and more!

Christian Music Legend BOB MACKENZIE 62, died OCT. 20 after an extended illness. The former Benson president produced many albums during the 1960s and 1970s and mentored scores of artists and music-industry professionals. Memorial contributions may be made to the following ministries of Nashville's Christ Presbyterian Church: the Hope Guthrie Memorial Scholarship Fund, Salama Urban Ministries, or Servant Group Intl.

Jars of Clay
in CNN interview

Multi-platinum selling Grammy and Dove Award winning band Jars of Clay recently taped a segment for an upcoming CNN World Beat special on Christian music, currently set to air nationwide and internationally in November. The band was asked to participate in the program due to their tremendous appeal in the Christian and mainstream market: Jars of Clay recently celebrated career sales of over 4 million units in less than 5 years. The interview took place in Atlanta, Ga., prior to the opening night of the Jars of Clay major-market "Three o'clock Parade" fall tour, which features music from the band's latest critically acclaimed and RIAA Certified Gold recording, If I Left the Zoo. Also featured on the tour are Jennifer Knapp and Luna Halo.

As reported in the August issue, Jars of Clay recently went to Asia to visit the persecuted church firsthand. Now the Essential Records band is featured in the new Prayer for the Persecuted Church (PPC) video, The Narrow Road - The Journey of the Persecuted Church, along with a special CD-ROM project called This Road. Through these projects, Jars of Clay members seek to help shatter the silence surrounding the persecution of some 200 million Christians around the world.

Dove Award-winner Wes King signed an exclusive recording deal with the new Word Artisan label created with artists like King and Phil Keaggy in mind which defines itself as "a specialty label created for the musician’s musician." No announcement has been made regarding when King will have a new project, but CA will let you know what we hear.

Sarah Masen is now with Word Records and working on a new project, The Dream Life of Angels. The project is already in production and scheduled to hit stores in February 2001. John Jennings (Mary Chapin Carpenter) is producing and Word’s Vice Mason first garnered attention in 1996 with her self-titled debut on Re:Think which produced "All Fall Down," a number 1 hit for her. Masen’s last project was Carry us Through, which she recorded for Sparrow Records in 1998.

Andrew Carlton &
Rebecca St. James

Audio X pop sensation Andrew Carlton hits the road next month on a major national tour with Grammy award-winning songstress Rebecca St. James. This will be the first major tour for Knoxville-based Carlton who previously toned his road legs doing his own headlining stints primarily in the South and Midwest. The Rebecca St. James tour will expose Carlton's impressive vocal chops to nearly a hundred thousand pop music fans by the year's end. Paving the way for the tour, Carlton's new special edition album titled "Hold Me Up," which was released this week to a massive retail buzz. The album features the lead single "Another Revolution" as well as a new version of his smash hit "Hold Me Up" (the original version became an undefeated "Hall of Fame" single for Nashville's WAY FM Buzz Cut competition).

Curb recording artist Nicol Smith is slated to perform on "The Hour Of Power" television program at the Crystal Cathedral on Sunday, November 12. Hosted by Dr. Robert H. Schuller, the show is seen each week by more than 10 million viewers around the world. On Wednesday, November 15, Smith will appear on "The 700 Club" television program, seen by 1 million viewers daily. The show is broadcast twice a day on the Fox Family Channel and daily on TBN. Smith will perform selections from her self-titled solo debut on Curb Records, which released in April. Also this fall, Smith will perform on the "Freedom Blast" Tour with 4Him, FFH and Wayne Watson, among others. For further information, contact Turning Point Media Relations at
615-298-5505. "God of Wonders," the first radio single released from the multi-artist community offering City on a Hill - Songs of Worship and Praise, has become a multi-format hit and was the number one song in the nation for three consecutive weeks on Adult Contemporary (AC) radio. In addition to this accomplishment, City On A Hill has become the first project in Essential Records’ history to simultaneously retain a slot on all three major radio formats.

Nashville Music Awards Nomination

Nashville honored some of Christian music's finest when they announced this year's nominees for
the 6th annual Nashville Music Awards. With 165 nominees in 33 categories, these awards cover all types of music created in and around
Nashville. Steven Curtis Chapman snagged nominations in two categories including, Songwriter of the Year and Contemporary Christian
Album of the Year. Other nominees for Christian Album of the Year include Jars of Clay (If I Left The Zoo), Newsboys (Love Liberty
Disco), Sonicflood (Sonicflood), and Ginny Owens (Without Condition). Sixpence None the Richer was also nominated for
Group/Duo of the Year while CeCe Winans grabbed a nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year along with Martina McBride, Donna
Summer and more! This year the awards show will be replaced with seven nominee showcases at various Nashville venues starting October

Leigh Nash

Leigh Nash of Sixpence None The Richer recently recorded vocals for a song that will be featured in the movie "Bounce" starring Gweneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck (in theaters October 13th). The song is titled "I Need To Be Nice To You" and was written by legendary songwriter Dianne Warren.

Just days after the release of her latest Word Records album, Crystal Clear, Jaci Velasquez launches her 60-city "Crystal Clear Tour" featuring special guests, new Atlantic/143 recording artist Plus One. The tour will incorporate music from her three English recordings (Crystal Clear, Heavenly Place and Jaci Velasquez), as well as her critically acclaimed RIAA certified Latin-platinum Spanish-Language recording, Llegar A Ti. Beginning in York, PA on September 14, the tour will cover 22 states coast to coast and 60 markets including Miami, Dallas, Denver, Houston and Chicago before ending in Chattanooga, TN on December 10th.

Mitch McVicker was recently listed as the top spokesperson for Compassion International. Mitch's concerts have drawn in more sponsorships of children represented by Compassion than any other artist who works with the children's organization. Catch Mitch on the "1,000 Kids Tour," which will also feature Clear and Satellite Soul.

Margaret Becker took the summer to spend time with friends and family, and to continue work on her newest book, Life Is Not A Dress Rehearsal. Growing Up Together, is coming out in the fall and can be found in most any bookstore. Touring this fall will find Maggie at mixture of World Vision 50th Anniversary dates and regular band dates. At the World Vision dates, Margaret will be one of many artists performing, so each of the artists will probably
only do about 2 songs. The rest of the dates will feature Margaret with her band.

Lisa Bevill

Lisa Bevill recently filmed her new music video, "Ride" from her new self-titled album, in East Texas a few weeks ago at Squires Ranch just outside of Lufkin.

Also in Texas, First Call will reunite for an East Texas concert. In the mid-1980s, Bonnie Keen, Melodie Tunney and Marty McCall worked as vocalists for recording session. Melodie eventually suggested that the three of them form a group which led to "First Call." In August the original threesome reunited at Lufkin's First Baptist Church August Nights. As the talented trio does this from time to time, maybe we will find them locally in the not-too-distant future.

Building on his past successes with the "Young Messiah" and "Emmanuel" tours, artist manager Norman Miller is slated to launch the 20-city "Child of the Promise" tour this fall -- his largest undertaking to date. Written in the style of a Broadway musical by author Stormie Omartian and her husband, veteran producer Michael Omartian , the production will tell the Christmas story featuring the vocal and acting talents of 18 Christian artists dressed in Biblical-era costumes with elaborate scenery and stage lighting. The cast includes Steven Curtis Chapman (Joseph), Crystal Lewis (Mary) and Russ Taff (the angel, Gabriel), as well as Wayne Watson, Aaron Benward, Clay Crosse, Twila Paris, Russ Lee, Rachael Lampa, 4HIM and Avalon.

A companion CD will launch Sept. 26 on Sparrow Records, featuring many of the artists on the tour, and others who are not, including Amy Grant, Howard Hewitt, Richard Marx, David Pack, Vince Gill, Michael Crawford, Donna Summer, Danny Gans, Michael W. Smith, Gary Chapman, Steve Crawford and Anointed.

The recording will also feature some of the dialogue from the musical between songs. The tour will land in arenas between Nov. 25 and Dec. 16, but no dates are scheduled for Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia or Kentucky.

Venues include: Seattle,WA, Portland, OR, Boise, ID, Sacramento, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, Cincinnati, OH, Columbus, OH, State College, PA., Pittsburgh, PA, Fairfax, VA., Winston Salem, N.C., Cleveland, OH, Champaign, IL., Detroit, MI, St. Louis, MO and St. Paul, MO.