Sunday, April 24, 2011

Don Francisco: He's Alive

Happy Easter everyone! To celebrate the most important holiday in Christendom, I thought I would feature a song about the resurrection. In 1977, Don Francisco recorded his landmark LP “Forgiven” that featured his most popular song: “He’s Alive.” The album and single were released on NewPax Records, a label owned by record producer Gary Paxton.

When Contemporary Christian Music Magazine (now CCM Magazine) published its first issue in July 1978, the song “He’s Alive” debuted at the #1 slot and became the longest charting single on Christian radio. In 1980, Francisco won a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association for “Songwriter of the Year” and “He’s Alive” garnered 1980’s Dove Award for “Song of the Year.”

Francisco had intended to write the song from the Apostle Thomas’ perspective but could not accomplish his goal. He later switched to a view from the Apostle Peter and the rest is history. Francisco’s consummate style is that of a story-teller much like the songs of secular musicians Harry Chapin and Billy Joel. Because of this style, the song made a powerful connection among those who heard it.

Original Recording

Re-recorded Version

All weekend, I’ve been making ridiculous puns. So I feel obligated to add one here. If we would only speak of today’s artist by his first name, would we be referring to him as Don sans Francisco? Use this season of Easter to forgive me for that one. Happy Easter.

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