Sunday, November 13, 2011

Michael Omartian: Take Me Down

It’s been a several weeks since I had a spiritual Sunday selection and today’s song takes me back to my first radio gig at WKCC in Grayson, KY in 1974. It was the training ground for a career that lasted 20 years from Grayson to Huntington, WV/Ashland, KY (WEMM, WMUL-FM, & WAMX) to finally Beckley/Oak Hill, WV (WCIR, WOAY, & WWNR). In my current employ, I had the opportunity to host a couple of radio shows for the University on WJLS-AM from 1995-1997 and 2003-2005.

It was an interesting career and small market radio was very, very good to me. Do I miss it, not really – but I frequently dream about it – nightmares of “dead air” actually. In 1974, session musician and producer Michael Omartian released his debut contemporary Christian album “White Horse.”

The album was originally released on ABC-Dunhill; however, when ABC bought out the controlling interest in Word Records in Waco, TX. Omartian’s LP was rereleased on Word’s contemporary label – Myrrh Records. The album we received at the station was on ABC-Dunhill and the single they were pushing was on Myrrh. I don’t remember which cut they were pushing – I think it was either “White Horse” or “Jeremiah,” but “Take Me Down” was the album cut I remember playing.

It is a great album and the production is great, but it does sound like the music of the period – which is not a bad thing. I think that was the main attraction for this particular album – as it fit well with everything that was on the radio in the mid 70s. Omartian’s keyboard work is stellar and he could make a monophonic synthesizer talk. One of the reasons this album sounds great is a number of top studio musicians were on it. “White Horse” features a wonderful solo by guitarist Larry Carlton. Wilton Felder and David Hungate provide the bass. Concert master Sid Sharp does the strings.

I’m not sure I even have a copy of the album. I think I do – but with 15,000 LPs, I cannot say for sure. One of these days, I am going to catalog my collection in my free time. With 20 years in radio, you tend to get a lot of free albums and perhaps when I get some free time I’ll do this – right.

No comments:

Post a Comment