So I thank God for the mountains
And I thank him for the valleys
And I thank him for the storms he’s brought me through
‘Cause if I never had a problem
I ‘d never know that God could solve ’em
I wouldn’t know what faith in God can do.
I owe so much of who I am today to Contemporary Christian Music in general, and Andraé Crouch in particular. His passing this week leaves a huge gap in the music world, even if he had not recorded and toured so much in the last decade.
He had influence. His music was around at the birth of CCM and also prefigured today’s modern worship. That’s why you’re seeing such an outpouring on Twitter.
He was known both inside and outside the church at large, winning seven Grammy awards. The list of television and movie credits would be very, very long.
He mentored many Christian artists. I remember one telling me a long time ago how he sat down with Andraé and showed him a song that he’d composed. Andraé liked the song enough, but told him he had too many strong elements in it, that really he had three distinct songs and should take the time to run with each element separately.
He loved his sister. Because he and Sandra were twins, he never told anyone his age, since that would have revealed her age, too; and women don’t like that!
His songs are in your hymnbook, if your church still uses them. Songs like The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, My Tribute (To God Be the Glory) and Soon and Very Soon. And if your church hasn’t purged all the old choir anthems from that room at the back, I’ll bet you’ll find his name on a more than a few songs like Through It All and Bless His Holy Name.
He overcame stuttering through singing. He had great difficulty getting a sentence out in his younger days, but once he sat down at the piano, the words flowed.
His music transcended racial boundaries. The 1970s saw Andraé at Christian music festivals belting out youth anthems like Jesus is the Answer, with white kids singing at the top of their lungs. His band, The Disciples, was mixed race.
He wasn’t perfect. He found himself in a bad place in the early 1980s, but ten years later he was pastoring the COGIC church founded by his father.
He was planning a tour for this month. He wanted to keep going.
His music made you smile. Bob Darden wrote in CT, that he “combined Saturday night with Sunday morning.”
Bye for now, Andraé. Looking forward to that day when all of us will jam again at the great big gig in the sky.
Vintage video of the band at Explo 72, the event that put the Jesus People on the map:
Audio-only of Andraé ‘doin’ church’ with Jesus is the Answer. For a few hours, at his concerts, everybody was Pentecostal:
The greats of Contemporary Christian Music — each one a star in their own right — comes together to sing backup on My Tribute (To God Be The Glory):
The way I first heard his music: The crackle and pop of vinyl records. The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power:
This last one is a Gaither video, he’s singing with Jessy Dixon. Soon and Very Soon We are Going to See the King. A reality for Andraé today:
Related at Relevant: 7 Pop Hits You Didn’t Know Andraé Crouch Helped Create
Great Minds Think Alike: Long after I formatted this, I found a similar tribute at New Small Church.