September 30, 2011

September 4, 2011

Featured Profile: Phil Keaggy

Phil Keaggy (born Philip Tyler Keaggy, in Youngstown, Ohio on March 23, 1951) is an American acoustic and electric guitarist and vocalist who has released more than 50 albums and contributed to many more recordings in both the contemporary Christian music and mainstream markets. He is a seven-time recipient of the GMA Dove Award for Instrumental Album of the Year, and was twice nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album. He has frequently been listed as one of the world's top-three "finger-style," as well as "finger-picking," guitarists by Guitar Player Magazine readers' polls.

In 1973 Keaggy released What A Day, his first solo album. The songs were written while Keaggy was still with Glass Harp Keaggy performed all the instruments on the album. The title track remains a staple of Keaggy's concerts up to the present day.

Keaggy married his wife Bernadette in the summer of 1973. He then took a brief hiatus from recording on his own and only toured in support of other artists like Love Song, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Paul Clark, and Nancy Honeytree. Years later, Amboy Dukes guitarist Ted Nugent was quoted as saying "I don't know what happened to that Phil Keaggy. He could have saved the world with his guitar."

Keaggy returned to the studio in 1976 with Love Broke Thru, an album which included his version of a song that would eventually be considered a classic in Christian Music: "Your Love Broke Through." Written by Keith Green, Todd Fishkind and Randy Stonehill, the song would later be closely identified with Green, yet it was at Green's insistence that Keaggy's rendition be the first released recording.[8] A longtime fan of C.S. Lewis, Keaggy also included an arranged version of the author's poem "As the Ruin Falls." Keaggy's album was listed as #64 in the 2001 book, CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music.

During the summer of 1977 Keaggy went on an eighteen-city tour of the western United States with 2nd Chapter of Acts and "a Band called David." This tour was captured in the subsequent live triple album How the West Was One, a collection that featured concert renditions of "What a Day" and "Your Love Broke Through." That same year also saw the formation of the Phil Keaggy Band. Comprising Keaggy, guitarist Lynn Nichols, keyboardist Phil Madeira, bassist Dan Cunningham and drummer Terry Andersen, the Phil Keaggy Band released their lone album in 1977, Emerging. 1977 also marked the release of the Glass Harp compilation album, Song in the Air.

In 1978, Keaggy released his first critically acclaimed instrumental album entitled The Master and the Musician. It would go on to become the best-selling album of his career. A 1989 reissue of the album included a new track, "Epilogue: Amazing Grace."


Phil Keaggy – Time

Phil Keaggy - The Wind and the Wheat

September 1, 2011

Profile: Al Hartley (1921-2003)

Henry Allan Hartley (October 25, 1921, Kearny, New Jersey, United States – May 27, 2003, Fort Myers, Florida), known professionally as Al Hartley, was an American comic book writer-artist known for his work on Archie Comics, Atlas Comics (the 1950s precursor of Marvel Comics), and many Christian comics. He received an Inkpot Award at the 1980 San Diego Comic-Con.

Hartley was the son of Congressman Frederick Allan Hartley, Jr. (Republican from New Jersey), co-author of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.

In 1967, feeling "sterile, numb, and filled with fear", Hartley became a born again Christian, as did his wife, Hermine, and, years later, their children, Alana and Fred. At the time, he was among several artists who drew the black-and-white, "nudie cutie" secret-agent feature, "The Adventures of Pussycat", that ran in some of Marvel publisher Martin Goodman's men's magazines; Hartley told the publisher he couldn't continue.

He began writing and drawing for Archie Comics, infusing some of the stories with his Christian beliefs. At one point he was directed to cut back. "I knew God was in control, so I respected my publisher's position and naturally complied". He later received a call from publisher Fleming H. Revell, for whom he then freelanced a comic-book adaptation of David Wilkerson The Cross and the Switchblade in 1972, quickly followed by adaptations of God's Smuggler by the pseudonymous Brother Andrew and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Inspired, Hartley helped launch the Spire Christian Comics line, and pitched Archie president John L. Goldwater to let him license the Archie guys 'n' gals. The Jewish Goldwater, himself religious, agreed, and Spire went on to release 59 comics — at least 19 of them Archie titles — as well as six Bible stories, 12 biography adaptations, four other book or movie adaptations (including Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika), and nine children's comics.

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