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Jesus Music

Jesus Music (aka gospel beat music in the UK) was the name given to American Christian Rock artists in the 1960s and early 1970s, before the Christian Music industry had even begun to take form.

"Jesus Music" artists were typically former hippies and street musicians that had converted to Christianity during the "Jesus Movement". They continued to play the same style of music they had played previously, but began to write their lyrics with a Christian message.

Early "Jesus Music" performers included Paul Clark[?], Agape[?], Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Phil Keaggy, Andrae Crouch[?], Nancy Honeytree[?], Mark Heard, Pat Terry[?], Jubal[?], Malcolm and Alwyn[?], Barry McGuire[?], Jubal's Last Band[?], Resurrection Band[?], The All Saved Freak Band[?], Randy Matthews[?], John Fischer[?], Love Song[?], The Way[?], Aslan[?], Mustard Seed Faith[?], The Road Home, Selah[?], Servant, and Erick Nelson[?].

The American Christian church largely rejected these artists at the time, unable to see the difference between their music and the music of mainstream 60's artists like Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin. Many within the church felt that the message was being lost because of the worldly music. "Jesus Music" artists responded by quoting 16th century reformer Martin Luther, "why should the devil have all the best tunes?"

By the early 1970s, "Jesus Music" was receiving enough attention inside the mainstream media that an entire industry began to emerge. By the mid 1970s, the phrase "Contemporary Christian music" had been coined, developing directly out of Jesus Music, and Christian music magazines, radio stations and record labels had begun to pop up around the country. Although, many of the early "Jesus Music" artists were quickly snatched up by large record labels, many of these artists also became very critical of the industry itself fearing that the focus was on making money and not on the message or making good music.

As of 2002, most of these artists are either retired, or completely independent from the larger industry. Only a handful remain active within the Contemporary Christian music market.

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