The purpose of these pages is to discuss the places on radio where I was able to find and listen to Jesus music during the past thirty years.
When I arrived at Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska in the fall of 1974, I became acquainted with some good people in the Christian fellowship group on campus. They had a coffeehouse in the basement of one of the men’s dorms, and this gradually became my hangout in the evenings. It was through these wonderful people that I was first exposed to recordings of what we called Jesus music. Ralph Carmichael, Evie Tournquist, Nancy Honeytree, the 2nd Chapter of Acts, and others were played in that coffeehouse, or in my new friends’ dorm rooms. It was not an earth-shaking moment, but the music attracted me. Here was a style to which I had become accustomed in my high-school days of listening to top 40 music on the radio, but with lyrics that not only were positive but clearly pointed me towards the God I had always worshipped in church at home all of my life. There was also somewhat of an “us versus them” mentality, knowing that many of the people I had known at church would very possibly not be very keen about using drums and guitars to give praise to the Lord. My home church was not so fundamentalist that anyone would have called it “the devil’s music”, but they would have been happier with an organ anthem than with “The Devil’s Lost Again“.
I continued my practice of listening to and taping music off the radio (being too poor to buy much music of my own). To take the place of the one I’d frequented in high school, I began to listen to 59 WOW, a fifty-thousand watt AM top 40 station from 30 miles away in Omaha. At sometime in that fall semester I discovered a program that WOW played on Sunday morning, from about 8:30 to 11:30 am. This program, The Scott Ross Show, gave me further exposure to this new phenomenon of Jesus music, and I found myself also beginning to record cassettes from WOW of this style of music.
Next: The Scott Ross Show