Starting the Jesus House with the idea of hosting a weekly Christian concert was itself a leap of faith.
We did not have a list of potential artists to perform. We knew we couldn't have Randy Matthews perform every week. We assumed we would find people to play. And we did. Not always easily.
The first summer, when Randy left on a tour across the country, I took over booking artists.
We had a couple of artists scheduled but the first time I needed to find someone myself, I decided to go to the top.
At the time Nick Clooney had a daily television show in Cincinnati that featured a singer named Len Mink. A few months earlier we visited the set of the show and met Nick Clooney, Len Mink and others on the show. I decided we needed to have Len sing at the Jesus House so a couple of us drove down to the TV station, walked into the reception area and asked to see Len. Fortunately the receptionist, Cathy, remembered us and allowed us to see Len. Even though Len had a Methodist Church background, at the time he was not a Christian. He agreed to sing that weekend and had a great time with us. The next time Len sang at the House was a few months later, the very day he became a Christian! He was visiting Isabel Ricketts at her store, Christian Church Supplies which used to be on the corner of 9th and Vine right next door to a pornographic bookstore. Isabel was an amazing woman and a force for Jesus in those days. Isabel loved that her Christian bookstore was located in a rough part of town rather than out in the suburbs. Any time someone had a need, Isabel was ready to close the shop, take you in the storage room and pray for you. The storage room prayer meetings were famous. That was the place where Len prayed to receive Jesus. The following year, he left the Nick Clooney show to begin singing Christian music full time. He's spent years working with Kenneth Copeland. The last time I saw Len was in Spring, 1978. He was performing a concert at a friend's Methodist Church. After the concert Len took off his watch, gave it to me and said, "The Lord wants you to have this." It was a very expensive watch that was given to him by Copeland. Not sure why the Lord wanted me to have that watch, I don't think I had a habit of being late for things...
The First Two Weeks of September: The First Artist is week one, the second is week two
1971 - John Gould (This was John Gould's very first appearance at the House! It was also supposed to be my last night at the House. Well, that didn't happen...I stayed for 13 and a half more years. Was that too long? Probably, but cannot change history.)
1972 - Rick Markberry, Kent Odor
1973 - John Elliott, adamsfishyodor
1974 - Donnie Yazell, Terry Fisher
1975 - Kings Disciples, Stephens-Brigance with special guest Carolyn Randall
1976 - Kevin Boys, The Paul & Dave Band
1977 - Rick & Hodgie, second week is blank
1978 - Rich Mullins, Terry
1979 - Not sure who played the first week. I was in Oxford opening for Randy Matthews and Windfall. Many of the Jesus House people were also in Oxford for the concert. Rick & Hodgy played the second week.
1980 - Terry Fisher, Bill Williams
1981 - Geoff Thurmin, check the songs he has on Facebook. Good stuff, Bruce Kircher
1982 - Reaching Out, John Gould
1983 - Hodgie-Mapes, Dave Workman
So, What Gives?
So, what gives, Terry. I thought you were going to stop writing this blog in August. Not that you've been writing much lately, but who am I to complain???
I decided, since I started it last October, I would continue till the end of September so, for those of you who like things complete, you have access to every artist who ever played the Jesus House. At least...the ones who are listed on the official Jesus House calendar. As you have noticed, there are some gaps! So, there will be a few more entries then I will be done! Hopefully, I'll find time to print these off to place in my Jesus House Archives.
Two things to keep in mind. There is movement toward two additional reunion ideas. One is to have a smaller version of our reunion concerts featuring songwriters. The other is to have a Conglomerate Reunion. If these ideas materialize, you will find the info on the Blog as well as Facebook.
Happy Beatles Day!