Christian Music Hall of Fame member Randy Stonehill will be in concert in Franklin at the Franklin House of Prayer on Sunday, May 26, at 10:45 a.m.
Stonehill is an American singer/songwriter from Stockton, Calif., best known as one of the so-called "fathers of contemporary Christian music." His music is primarily folk rock in the style of James Taylor, but he has performed other styles, with various albums focused on new wave, pop rock, roots rock, and children's music. His live concerts, more so than most of his albums, have a strong comedic element in the manic vein of Robin Williams.
Stonehill’s career spans more than 30 years. Stonehill's first album, “Born Twice” was released in 1971, with a little help from Pat Boone. The album, primarily a live performance, was recorded for a mere $800, and according to Stonehill, it "sounds like every penny of it!"
Stonehill did some acting in those early days appearing in “Son of Blob,” with Cindy Williams. He made a cameo appearance in the 1973 Billy Graham film “Time to Run,” performing his song “I Love You.” Eleven of his classic songs were used in the film “Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman.”
Stonehill continued to tour, and write and record his original songs with such artists as Phil Keaggy, Amy Grant, Mark Heard and Margaret Becker. His album “Welcome to Paradise” put Stonehill on the map as a Christian artist, and was named the third most importatnt contemporary Christian album in a mid-’80s poll of Christian music critics. Subsequent albums included “Between the Glory and the Flame” and “Equator” which introduced Stonehill fans to the concert favorites “Shut De Do” and “American Fast Food.” “Celebrate This Heartbeat” teamed Stonehill with longtime friend Phil Keaggy for the song “Who Will Save The Children?” He also released a live concert with Phil Keaggy on DVD and CD in support of Compassion International Christian relief agency.
In 1990, in honor of Stonehill's 20th anniversary in the music business, friends gathered for a special concert celebration. Musical performances included appearances by Daniel Amos, Tom Howard, The Swirling Eddies, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and Russ Taff. Stonehill’s performance was filmed and released on the VHS-only “One Night In 20 Years.” The video also featured appearances by Pat Boone, Jerry Houser, Michele Pillar, Gary Chapman, Bryan Duncan and others, all recounting some of their favorite memories of Stonehill.
Stonehill was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2009 along with Babbie Mason, Bruce Carrol, Newsboys, Third Day, Steve Green, Whiteheart, and Bloodgood.
Stonehill’s sterling sense of humour comes through in his live performances as it does in studio recordings. He will appear in concert at the Franklin House of Prayer, Sunday, May 26, at 10:45 a.m. The church is located at 432 Cheek Rd., off Addington Bridge Road near South Macon Elementary School. For more information, call Jim Byrd at (828)421-3009.