Music Part 6 – I’m Coming Home

The (Christian) Music that Shaped Me – Part 6

(In this series I’ve been sharing music that has been influential to me, personally. My hope is twofold: First, that some of my younger friends will be able to appreciate “from whence we’ve come” and to be encouraged to continue to seek fresh ways to communicate their faith through music. Second, that those of my generation will enjoy looking back a bit, but more than that, I pray that we will continue to recognize and encourage the creativity of today’s Christian musicians. Here’s where you can find the Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.)

I suppose I could be wrong about this, but it seems to me that Christian music evolved and grew more in the late 1960s and early 1970s than any other time period that I can remember. I think it’s primarily because there was no preconceived idea about what would be marketable and what would not. Musicians were making music that moved them and they didn’t worry about staying within the bounds of what was considered “sacred music.”

I’ve already written about some who took a Christian message and world view into folk and rock styles of music, but that wasn’t the only line that was being crossed. While Larry Norman and others were making music that crossed these lines, Andraé Crouch was combining the heart and message of traditional black gospel with the popular R&B sounds of Motown. It was a powerful mix that crossed more than just musical lines.

Andraé’s legacy is far reaching. His music has been covered by mainstream artists like Elvis Presley and even Paul Simon. His talent is also evident in some pop hits, like Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror and in the movie, The Color Purple.

His group, Andraé Crouch and the Disciples, was the launching pad for the vocal careers of Sherman Andrus (more about him in an upcoming post) and Daniebelle Hall. This group continued to evolve through the 1970s and included some outstanding instrumentalists like Fletch Wiley on trumpet, Harlan Rogers on keys and Hadley Hockensmith on guitar. In 1972 they appeared on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and in 1975 and 1979 they played to sold out crowds at Carnegie Hall.

My Tribute and The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power (which, incidentally, he wrote at age 14) are two of his songs that have become Christian standards, and are included in many popular hymnals.

I love both of those songs, but I wouldn’t say they are the ones that have shaped me. first heard his music on the 1971 album called Keep On Singin’. There were three songs on that album that have really stuck with me over the years and I’ve linked them below. But there is one that seemed to reach into my soul.

Like most adolescent and young adult Christians, my life of faith was marked with wild swings. One day my fervor for Christ and his kingdom would be unstoppable. The next day my selfishness and love for the things of this world would consume me. The next step would be to be overcome by guilt. I “rededicated my life” more times than I can count. I think this is why I’m Coming Home was such a powerful song to me.

The other two were, Take a Little Time, and It Won’t Be Long.

I’d say that each of these songs played a part in shaping my faith, and forming my ideas about what it means to be a Christian musician. Listen to them. They will remind you what Jesus did for you when you first came to him, how we are to live a life of thanksgiving for everything that comes our way, while each day brings us closer to the return of our Lord…which “won’t be long.”

Funny story:

Our group sang a concert at my parents’ church on Sunday evening, August 18, 1974…my wedding day. That’s right, we were married in the afternoon and we sang a concert that evening. I suppose that’s a funny story in and of itself, but it’s not what I was thinking of. What I was thinking of was something that Bill Holly (one of the other members of the group) said to me before the concert. See, we would typically close our concerts with a shortened version of the song It Won’t Be Long. Right after our pre-concert prayer, and just before we walked onstage, Bill said, “Well, I guess we know what Lloyd’s gonna be thinking about when we sing It Won’t Be Long.”

Yeah, I suppose that shaped me, too.


I’m Coming Home, Dear Lord

I’m Coming Home, Dear Lord
Andraé Crouch – 1971

I’ve drifted so far away from the Lord,
But now I’m coming home.
Lord, I have nothing but this old life to give.
Lord, I’m coming home.

I’m so tired of sin, I don’t have peace within,
So now I’m coming home.
My faith renewed and my strength, Lord, restored.
Lord, I’m coming home.

I’m coming home, dear Lord,
I’m coming home, dear Lord.
I’m sorry I stayed away so long.

Open wide your arms of love.
Oh, Lord,
Lord, I’m coming home.

Before music writing software. (Click image for a larger view.)

Ok, I have no idea who put this on the internet, or why, but I stumbled onto it somehow. If you’d like to compare, this is my arrangement and my group singing I’m Coming Home, Dear Lord in about 1975ish…

Take a Little Time

It Won’t Be Long

4 thoughts on “Music Part 6 – I’m Coming Home”

  1. I remember that handwritten score “handwriting.” Isn’t music notation software great? Like I would know!

    1. Finale has a significant learning curve but it is awesome! I’ve been using it for about 25 years and I still find new things it will do! But my handwritten music (like my handwriting) is virtually unreadable.

      Thanks for reading…from Africa, no less!

  2. Lloyd, is that singing lead on the verses? I have loved that recording for as long as I have known it. Except that the horns always sounded just a little out of tune to me.

    1. The solo on the verses is Tom Graham. He had such a smooth sound. Everything sounded easy!

      As to the horns: The trumpet is played by Karen Buckles, a trumpet player for Impact at the time, and the trombone is me. We overdubbed 3 trumpet parts and 4 bones. So yeah, it’s possible we slipped out of tune from time to time…

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