Category Archives: Features

The history of Christian music, compiled into one book

If you’ve ever wanted to understand where Christian music originated from, then this is the perfect book for you.

Let the People Rejoice: An Interactive history of Christian Music is a remarkable book that has been put together by Mike Spencer, a New Zealander who now resides in Australia.

“I always wanted to tell the story of Christian music, so I jumped at the opportunity to lecture on the subject in my local church in New Zealand,” stated Mike. “Five years and 24 lectures later, I was still going strong! At that stage, I moved to Australia and concentrated on promoting my landmark Australian history book, One People, One Destiny: A Christian History of Australia. However, I felt that I shouldn’t waste all the research that I had done, so I started collating it into book form. Several years later, Let the People Rejoice is the end product of my endeavours.

“Because music is such a vital expression of our Christian faith, it has proved very controversial over the ages. Churches and congregations have often found it difficult to accept new forms and expressions of worship. This has culminated in the so-called ‘worship wars’ of recent years.

In personally growing up singing hymns and Gospel choruses, Mike passionately believed that worship leaders should be able to choose from the whole heritage of Christian music, and not just part of it.

“The book’s title comes from the Fanny Crosby song ‘To God Be the Glory,’ he continued. I use the word ‘Interactive’ in the title because I want readers to actually experience the music they are reading about. Music is by nature participative, so for that reason, I encourage readers to either access video clips of songs and musicians, or sing the songs for themselves.

“In this book, I delve into the history of music in the church, from Bible times right through to the present day. I look at the relationship between music and some of the great events in church history and examine the lives of some of the men and women of God who have contributed to our rich musical heritage.”

An extraordinary read for music lovers everywhere, Let the People Rejoice is now available globally.

Hillsong Young and Free top TCM National Charts

Australian contemporary worship ensemble, Hillsong Young & Free has nabbed top honors for Song Of Year from Australia’s national Christian music airplay chart, TCM. And American singer tobyMac has landed the honor for Artist Of The Year.

Chart researcher Wes Jay says Young & Free’s song Let Go has secured the most airplay of any Christian song on Australian Christian radio in the past year, while tobyMac has generated the most high rotation airplay of any Christian act across multiple tunes.

Let Go this year spent a total of 30 weeks in the survey,” Mr Jay says.

“It owned the top spot for four weeks and dominated the Top 5 for 20 weeks.

“This is the first time Young & Free has nabbed Song Of The Year while it’s tobyMac’s third win for Artist Of The Year,” Wes says.

tobyMac secured Artist honors with the songs I Just Need U and Everything, plus Bleed The Same (Mandisa) and Right On Time (Aaron Cole) on which he’s the featured act.

Previous honors for TCM Song Of the Year include Hills and Valleys – Tauren Wells (2017), Shinny Roads – Emma Mullings (2016), Touch The Sky – UNITED (2016), Fix My Eyes – For King & Country (2014), and Words – Hawk Nelson (2013).

Acts previously honored for Artist of the Year include Young & Free (2017), For King & Country (2016, 2014, and 2013), and tobyMac (2015, 2012).

Jay says the annual airplay report shows “strong” support for Australian Christian artists from the sector.

“A total of 21 songs by Australians secured positions in the Top 100; four scored places in the Top 10, and seven in the Top 50,” Wes says.

“In addition to Young & Free, label mates UNITED and Hillsong Worship, as well as Finding Faith, For King & Country, Emma Mullings, Bel Thomson and Mel Crothers have scored the strongest airplay for Aussie acts this year,” he adds.

2018 marks the 20th year that TCM (or TRAA as it was initially known) has published its annual Top 100 survey of the most played Christian songs, and most played Christian artists on Christian radio throughout Australia.

Rapper and artist Propaganda: Love wins

South Central LA rapper Propaganda has seen it all. It’s a fight for survival.

Featured in I Am Second’s video, he explains that it’s all about love.

“What a world we would live in if all they could say about Christians is those fools don’t care they just take care of folks.”

“Be willing to risk name and reputation for the sake of pursuing with reckless abandon, love. Because that’s what we saw Jesus do.”

WMG sells stake in Word Entertainment to Curb Records

Warner Music Group (WMG) sold its stake in Word Entertainment to Curb Records, making Word a wholly owned division of Curb. Word President and CEO, Rod Riley, will continue to run the business and the company’s publishing catalog will continue to be administered by Warner/Chappell.

Warner Music Group will also continue to distribute Word releases to the general market, and Word will continue to distribute WMG releases to the Christian market.

Matt Maher announces tour

Eight time GRAMMY-nominee Matt Maher has announced tour dates for his “Saints And Sinners” tour with special guest John Tibbs beginning April 6t- May 7. The spring leg of the tour will feature returning ministry partners Save The Storks and newcomers to the tour, Museum of the Bible. Save the Storks is a nonprofit that joins with local women’s pregnancy resource centers around the country to provide them with a mobile ultrasound unit.