Larry Norman

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Larry David Norman (April 8, 1947 – February 24, 2008) was an American Christian musician, singer, songwriter, record label owner, record producer, writer, playwright, actor, photographer, and humorist, who is credited as "a key figure in the development of contemporary Christian music",[1] "the most significant artist in the creation of contemporary Christian music (CCM)",[2] the "father of Christian rock music",[3] the "Godfather of gospel rock";[4] "Christianity's first rock star",[5] the "bad boy of Christian music",[6] and "the poet laureate of the Jesus revolution".[7] "By 1970, Norman had the most recognized name (and face) in the Jesus Movement and the Christian music scene",[8] with Time magazine soon describing him as "probably the top solo artist in the field".[9] While he had long been associated with the Jesus people,[10][11] and was even described as "the personification of the Jesus Movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s",[12] Norman himself "did not particularly identify himself with the youth-oriented 'Jesus movement' of the time".[13][14] He has been credited with having a significant influence on many artists, both secular and religious.[15] Norman has also been described as having a "propensity for spinning stories",[16] and a "penchant for revisionist history".[17]

Since Norman's first professional release in 1967, more than 100 of his own albums have been released through such commercial record labels as Capitol, MGM, Verve, and his own independent labels: One Way Records, Solid Rock Records, Street Level Records, and Phydeaux Records. Norman's first album, I Love You, recorded when he was one of the lead singers for the group People!, was released in 1968. The band's cover version of The Zombies song of the same name reached number 14 on Billboard magazine's top twenty list in 1968 as a single.[18] Norman left People! in 1968 and subsequently performed as a solo artist, appearing both on mainstream and independent labels.[19] In 1969 Norman recorded Upon This Rock, "the first commercially released Jesus rock album",[20] and in 1972 one of "the most influential Christian rock records of all time", Only Visiting This Planet.[21] Norman's recordings are noted for their Christian and social subject matter, having successfully "wed the rhythms of pop music with the spiritual and social outlook of Christianity to create a kind of flower-power gospel."[21]

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