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God's Greatest Hits

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April 18, 2003

For the Easter weekend, music with Christian themes.

Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Heaven on Their Minds Jesus Christ Superstar (OC 1971) Ben Vereen While there had been a few Broadway musicals in the past based on "concept albums", Superstar was the first one to hit it big. Produced by rock heavyweight Robert Stigwood and directed by Tom O'Horgan (Hair), the show opened on October 12, 1971, and ran for 711 performances. This recording has not been available on CD until April of this year.
This set illustrates the two faces of Christianity: the stern, punishing, sin-oriented version vs. the loving, forgiving and grace-oriented one.
Stars Les Miserables (OC 1987) Terrence Mann The jailer Javert represents the stern God. He’s inflexible, fixated on sin, and sees himself doing God’s duty by punishing the wicked.
Bring Him Home Les Miserables (OC 1987) Colm Wilkinson Jean Valjean shows the forgiveness of God. He’s compassionate, unselfish, and understanding. He’s convinced God gave him a second chance to help others
Next, a couple of related songs. "The Blood Medley" strings together some traditional hymns ("Nothing But the Blood of Jesus", "Power in the Blood" and "Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?") while "Come to Jesus" uses the traditional Presbyterian hymn to comment on the deteriorating relationship between a man and a woman.
The Blood Medley Smoke on the Mountain City Players of St. Louis cast (Bradley Calise, Johanna Elkana, Chuck Lavazzi, Chris Limber, Teresa Doggett, Donna Weinsting) Recorded live on Fred Gumaer's Mid Day Jamboree show on KDHX on December 22nd, 2002. City Players of St. Louis presented the bluegrass Gospel musical Smoke on the Mountain through December 29th, 2002.
Come to Jesus Way Back to Paradise (1998) Audra McDonald, Adam Guettel, orchestra conducted by Eric Stern From Guettel's unproduced musical Saturn Returns (1996), on which he collaborated with McDonald. Guettel's musical Floyd Collins was produced by New Line Theatre here in St. Louis.
We Will All Go Together When We Go An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer (1959) Tom Lehrer An inspiring song for nervous times in the tradition of the old revival hymns. Lehrer says this might be more properly called a "survival hymn".

Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.

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 Back to Playlists  |   Previous Show— A French Toast (April 4, 2003)   |   Next Show—The Red Blues (May 2, 2003) 
 KDHX FM 88.1