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Witnessing Suburbia: Conservatives and Christian Youth Culture Paperback – February 10, 2009
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Two chapters deal with CCM punk music, especially Lust Control and One Bad Pig, and the heavy metal (er, hair bands) CCM centered around Stryper's rise and about 30 other bands, of which maybe half have at least one album from (usually) CCM labels. The author does mention that getting sales numbers from the 1975-1994 albums is an accounting quest of Don Quixote proportions, and that Billboard had a boutique semi-reliable white gospel album chart for CCM releases. She gives a brief look into the creation of CCM, coming from late '60s Jesus Music origins; however, it only touches on the commercial history of the CCM recording genre'. In a nutshell, Word Records from Texas, including distributed and subsidiary labels, had about 60% of the white gospel market distributed via some 6000 accounts, and ABC Records bought an interest in Word in late 1974. Word had created a "pop" label, Myrrh, in 1972, getting some aging country and pop acts on the roster (Anita Bryant, Wanda Jackson, and Ray Price, among others), and signing Amy Grant in 1976-1977. CCM magazine started about July, 1978, created its own singles' (songs, not 45s) pop charts beginning July 11, 1978, and Billboard split out a white gospel Lp chart beginning about mid-March, 1980, a 40-position Lp chart featured every four weeks, TOP INSPIRATIONAL LPS, later updated to TOP CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN albums after 1987. Christian mom & pop bookstores sprouted like toadstools in strip malls in the early Reagan years. The record racks were full of albums that were completely isolated from regular (er, mainstream, er, secular) record shops. In 1980-81 Petra sold about 4,000 albums a month, roughly 50,000 on Lps with 50+ weeks on the Billboard ...INSPIRATIONAL chart. Evie's RING THEM BELLS Christmas album sold a purported 330,000 copies by 1981. Amy Grant's AGE TO AGE in 1982 sold 20,000 copies a month and really jacked the cost of making viable CCM albums to compete.
I found the hair bands' chapter particularly fascinating. Stryper copycat Stryken? I had to look them up. (Magazine references mention they sold 34,000 copies of that album, if true?) Although the chapter name drops something like 30+ bands, it's maddeningly lacking in specific discography references and I had to make a list of the bands and cross-reference them with my CCM encyclopedia for specific titles. Roughly 40% of mentioned bands don't have a listing in Mark Allan Powell's brick, Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (Recent Releases) . If you're into just plain weird outsider music, a la Irwin Chusid, song poems set to music, and Nixon-era rock alternative pop music (Up With People, Doodletown Pipers singing Bob Dylan and the Beatles, Mike Curb Congregation, etc...) as a substitute for the real stuff, CCM "hair bands" are bizarre recording gold.
The end of the book covers revivals going on in Orange County, CA, colloquially known as The Orange Curtain, which seems to have been a power base for Tipper Gore's PMRC alt-right anti-rock crusade.
In addition to Mark Allan Powell's discography beautiful CCM brick reference, I'd suggest looking up Jeffrey Lee Brothers' two CCM chart compilations, the A/C 1978-2001 title, and the CHR 1978-1997 title. The A/C book covers the "soft rock" pop hits (think alternate universe Carpenters and Anne Murray), while the CHR book (Contemporary or Christian Hit Radio) features the more "rock" acts on the Christian hit charts, weighed more towards Stryper and Petra.
Hot Hits: AC Charts 1978-2001
Hot hits: Christian hit radio : 20 years of charts, artist bios, and more (CCM ultimate reference series)
Joel Whitburn's Record Research supplements, Music Year Book, for years 1983 and 1984 compile appearances on the TOP INSPIRATIONAL ALBUMS charts for those years, although the chart runs are truncated on the bigger hits.