What’s Up in Entertainment: June

Artist/producer/composer Bebo Norman sustained a broken leg while attempting to score the go-ahead run during at game of wiffle ball at the First Annual Memorial Day Invitational in Nashville, Tenn. Being on the disabled list won’t hinder the September 19th release of his latest album, Between the Dreaming and the Coming True, and dates for his summer and fall tour have the green light. Sporting crutches, Norman commented on the injury, “I was safe I tell ya, safe!”
Continuing to break ground with his first mainstream AC radio single, singer/songwriter Chris Rice’s latest single, “When Did You Fall (In Love With Me),” landed at No. 10 on the R&R AC chart this week, in between the dynamic duo of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw and multi-Platinum artist LeAnn Rimes. Most recently the song was added into rotation on the national syndicated radio programs (the Delilah, John Tesh Radio, and Jim Brickman shows) and is receiving airplay in major markets such as Los Angeles (KOST), Memphis (WRVR), Seattle (KRWM) and Orlando (WMGF).
Phoenix-based rock worship bands Re:zound and Ever Stays Red will team up this fall for an outreach mini-tour of cities in the South and Southwest. “We will be doing a ton of groundwork in each city ahead of time to get as many unsaved kids there as possible,” says Re:zound’s Jeff Zubeck. “We’ll also be doing two nights in each city so that buzz from the first night should draw even more people the second night.” The bands did a similar tour in conjunction with Effect Radio network, and in five nights saw over 1000 kids accept Christ. Re:zound readies to release their latest album, 35 Weeks, this summer.
INO recording artist Sara Groves, along with documentary-filmmakers from the Nomad Series, ready to release a reality-style film, “Just Showed Up For My Own Life.” The music-infused documentary captures Groves as she travels to Slidell, Louisiana to help in hurricane relief efforts and then to Rwanda on an emotional trip to learn about reconciliation and economic development. (Due to some sensitive footage from a genocide site, the documentary is rated PG-13.) I spoke with Groves in April during GMA week about how to take what she learned from those experiences and apply it to daily life. She told me she’s still trying to figure that out, because the experiences were so overwhelming. The film releases August 8th; you can view the trailer at www.nomadshow.com.
After 15-years of music, mission and service, GRAMMY winning band Audio Adrenaline adds a final chapter to its substantial career when ADIOS: The Greatest Hits, releases Aug. 1st. The album boasts 17 tracks, including twelve No. 1 radio hits, such as “Big House,” “Ocean Floor,” “Leaving 99,” “Hands and Feet,” and “Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus,” as well as two newly recorded songs. The band’s tour schedule includes performances at all the major summer festivals and a 35-city tour with MercyMe this fall.
Switchfoot has earned a spot on ASCAP’s Top 50 list of the Most Performed Songs of 2005 with “Dare You To Move,” the hit single from their double-platinum 2003 release, The Beautiful Letdown. The band was honored at the 23rd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards celebration on May 22, 2006 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Switchfoot performed at the event, along with Eurythmics and Papa Roach.
Gotee recording artist Out Of Eden has announced that they will be ending their 13- year run as one of the Christian marketplace’s marquee urban-pop singing groups. Their farewell album, The Hits, is a twelve-song collection that includes one brand new song. The album releases August 1st. With nearly one-and-a-half million albums sold, the group has merited numerous accolades such as the BMG Award for “Best Urban Album Of The Year” two years in a row, as well as two Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, with an additional 11 nominations. The siblings have toured extensively with icons such as Destiny’s Child, The Pointer Sisters, Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, and Kirk Franklin, and performed at various events, including the Billy Graham and Franklin Graham Crusades, as well as Girls Of Grace teen conferences with Point of Grace.
Word Recording artist David Phelps will be making a special appearance on the DIRECTV special Songs Of Praise For America. The patriotic show features some of America’s best church choirs and recording artists. Phelps will be performing an eclectic version of “The Star Spangled Banner”.
Following their incredible success at iTunes.com and Yahoo Music’s “Who’s Next” series, Fervent Records’ BarlowGirl has taped exclusive performances for two other major digital sites, Napster and Sony Connect Sets. The songs are available for download at www.musicstore.connect.com.
Multi-platinum and three time GRAMMY winning band Jars of Clay gears up for the release of its highly-anticipated seventh studio project, Good Monsters, on September 5. The album includes eleven original songs, a remake of the Julie Miller-penned anthem “All My Tears,” and guest appearances from singer/songwriter Kate York, Sixpence None The Richer’s Leigh Nash, and the African Children’s Choir. Good Monsters is completely self-produced by the band. The first single, “Work,” hits airwaves at the end of June.

Billboard magazine reports that Country Music Hall of Fame member Johnny Cash has posthumously earned his second Top 10 title on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums and his first Top 5 debut on that chart with “Personal File” (Legacy/Columbia). The album is a two-disc set; the first disc is comprised of unreleased songs found in Cash’s Hendersonville, Tenn. home following his death in Sept. 2003. The second disc is religious songs. Billboard explains, “The album is eligible for charting on Top Christian Albums due to a long standing Billboard policy which allows albums containing at least 50% religious songs to appear on that chart. This 50% rule also applies to all other specialty retail charts Billboard publishes.”

On September 19th, former Hollywood bad-boy Stephen Baldwin will release his semi-autobiography, The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith (Warner Faith). In the book, Baldwin recounts his journey from humble Long Island beginnings to the stories that earned him his “bad boy” party persona. He answers questions about why and how he converted to radical Christianity and how it has affected the rest of the Baldwin family. Baldwin has starred in over 65 films and is perhaps best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film, “The Usual Suspects.”

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