Contemporary Christian Music Watch
By Jim Galipeau

He's in the Army now, or maybe it's the fried chicken business! O day night, September 15, it was official — Steven Curtis Chapman was named a Kentucky Colonel. Steven was presented with the certificate from the Governor's office following his concert stop in Louisville and he was also honored by the Mayor of Louisville with the proclamation of September 15 as Steven Curtis Chapman Day. Congrats to Kentucky's own Steven Curtis Chapman.

Meanwhile at Sparrow, Steven's label, Boss Billy Ray Hearn announced to employees that the label was not sold yet, but they are looking for the new owner that would allow Sparrow to fulfill its mission statement. Hearn also said they are looking at a new offer.

Three Sparrow releases have been chosen by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers for its Independent Best Seller Award. The three in the running: For the Sake of the CallBy Steven Curtis Chapman, Steve Green's We Believe and Consider the CostBy Steve Camp.

Speaking of honors, The Nashville [Tenn.] Chamber of Commerce recently selected Star Song as one of the Music City's Future 50 Companies. It's an honor reserved for privately owned companies that expect 10% annual growth for the next three years. Star Song executives hope for 50% or better.

Word artists Bruce Carroll, Mid South, First Call and Ricky Skaggs are involved in a video with other Nashville artists to help Hurricane Andrew victims. New country artist Tracy Lawrence co-wrote the song "Let's Give the Fans a Hand." All proceeds go to the Red Cross.

Word is working on a project to help those experiencing the famine in Mozambique. Operation Angel Wings includes some previously released songs as well as a remake of Babbie Mason's "A World of Difference." The song utilizes the talents of Al Green, Tim Miner, Cindy Cruse, Kenny Marks, Cindy Morgan, John Elefante, Ray Boltz, Bruce Carroll and Legend. Quite an all-star band!

Word continues to dominate the news as their country group Mid South brings their sound to mainstream country radio and video outlets. The song "At the End of Every Road" was shipped late last month.

Coming to Russian television, a star-studded concert featuring Ricky Skaggs, Phill Driscoll, Ray Boltz, Paul Overstreet and Bruce Carroll. The special, taped on Labor Day, will air this month in Russia and later this fall Skaggs and Driscoll will travel there to do some concerts and set up Christian fellowship groups.

Sandi Patti and Carman are seeing gold these days! Sandi's Another Time, Another Place was certified gold, making it her eighth gold album. Meanwhile, Carman's Addicted to Jesus video shipped gold. The video contains all your favorite Addicted to Jesus tunes from the album, featuring an animated Carman! You'll have to see it to believe it!

Thinking of cartoons reminds me that Randy Stonehill is working on a children's album with producer Terry Taylor called Uncle Randyland. According to Stonehill, he got the idea following strong response of children to the songs from his latest Wonderama.

Those with new children include Greg and Rebecca Sparks with a son, Eddan Greggory, born on July 30. Congrats also go to Derry and Marlei Daughtery of The Choir on the birth of Chance Joseph on August 22.

Another great concert comes to Louisville on October 29 at Highview Baptist Church: Wayne Watson and band with Bruce Carroll. An interesting note, Wayne's band is on loan from Margaret Becker while she takes a break from touring. So, will Margaret's band play her music while Wayne sings his songs, or will Wayne jam to Margaret's music, or will they meet somewhere in the middle, or. . . well, just be there and you'll see!

WJIE Music Pics

"I Will Be Here for You" Michael W. Smith

"Where We Belong" Steven Curtis Chapman

"Grace by Which I Stand" Steve Green

"The Basics of Life" 4 Him

"Grand Canyon" Susan Ashton

"Listen to Our Hearts "Geoff Moore

"Somewhere within the Heart" Carman & Cindy Morgan

"Deep is Our Hunger" Michael James

"Where I Am Going" Glen Campbell

"Took Me Out of Egypt" David Baroni