Word Entertainment Celebrates 50th Anniversary




Word Entertainment announces the
release of Word Gold: Five Decades of Hits, as a fitting commemoration of
Word’s fiftieth anniversary as a company. With more than two hours of music
on two CDs, the project features an astounding collection of some of
Christian music’s legends including Amy Grant, “Thy Word,” Sandi Patty (with
Wayne Watson), “Another Time, Another Place,” Petra, “Beyond Belief,”
Sixpence None The Richer, “Breathe,” and thirty other popular artists and
songs. Scheduled for release April 17th, 2001, the album will be a key part
of Word Entertainment’s golden anniversary celebration.
Nineteen number one songs are among the 35 selections on Word Gold: Five
Decades of Hits, including the number one adult contemporary and
inspirational songs of 2000, “Redeemer” by Nicole C. Mullen and Fernando
Ortega’s “This Good Day.” Also featured are artists who have made history
in the Christian music genre, First Call “Undivided,” Jaci Velasquez “On My
Knees,” Russ Taff, “We Will Stand,” B.J. Thomas, “Home Where I Belong,” Phil
Keaggy “Everywhere I Look,” Cindy Morgan, “I Will Be Free,” The Imperials,
“Praise The Lord,” Point of Grace, “Circle of Friends,” Bryan Duncan, “Love
Takes Time,” Wayne Watson, “Home Free,” Randy Stonehill, “Shut De Do,” and
2nd Chapter of Acts, “Which Way the Wind Blows,” among others.
Word was originally founded by then college student Jarrell McCracken who
had been asked to give a talk at a youth rally comparing the Christian life
to a football game. McCracken wrote and recorded a sports-like broadcast
over the imaginary radio station bearing the call letters WORD, and called
it “The Game of Life.” It was meant to be a one-time performance, but due
to numerous requests, McCracken had 100 vinyl records of the performance
pressed. That marked the first title of thousands of recordings to bear the
label “Word” from 1950 until today. A portion of the historic recording,
“The Game of Life,” is featured on Word Gold: Five Decades of Hits.
For 50 years, Word has been a pioneer in the field of gospel music, covering
every aspect of the field, from the early broadcast of Jarrell McCracken,
through the soloists, church-oriented groups, then on to Southern gospel,
black gospel and contemporary Christian music.
“It’s great to be part of something so visionary and so far reaching,” said
Loren Balman, Word Label Group president. “The music and ministries of
Word’s artists helped pioneer Christian music and through the years have
reached multiple generations of listeners both inside and outside the doors
of the church.”
“This project now commemorates this vast and rich history of music entrusted
to Word,” continues Mark Funderburg, president of Word Distribution. “Word
Gold is a tangible representation of some of the most life-changing music
and genre shaping artists experienced in our time.”
Word Gold: Five Decades of Hits will be marketed with a far-reaching
advertising and publicity campaign designed to target both consumer and
trade media. There will also be significant product presence in all major
Christian market retail catalogs. A national radio push will include ad
buys and on-air product giveaways, as well as plans for a syndicated radio
special. A simultaneous Internet promotion will happen through
wordentertainment.com, while celebration plans are currently being put in
place for GMA Week 2001 in Nashville.

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