© 2014, Stonehillian Productions, All Rights Reserved. • Stonehillian Productions • P.O. Box 5745 West Columbia, SC 29169
In the early days of the often-called "Jesus Movement"... Randy Stonehill collaborated with many of the most vital and important voices in the Christian music scene. Here's a brief run-down of the cast of characters and Randy's own ruminations on what they mean to him.
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Keith called me up in the middle of a busy afternoon in 1976. He said, 'Randy, Todd Fishkind came over to do some co-writing, and he played me the most beautiful chorus melody I think I have ever heard.'...And Keith said,
'Randy, you've got to come over right now, because I'm working on the verse melody, but God told me you're the guy that's going to write the lyrics. He's going to do mighty things with it. It's going to go all around the world. So I got in the car, I drove to the house, and as I pulled up into the driveway you could hear the music wafting out onto the front lawn. Which is interesting, because his music room is all the way at the back of the house. But he was wailing and flailing, and it was so intense that you could hear the music even if you were standing on the front lawn. So I walked up to the porch, and Melody [Green] opened the screen door, and she had this kind of sweet, bemused look on her face. She hugged me hello and she pointed down the hall, and she said, 'He's waaaiiittting.' We loved him, but he was so unique and he could be like a bull in a china shop. He was like a hurricane you almost had to brace yourself for. "I said, 'All right, what about this? (singing) 'Like a foolish dreamer trying to build a highway to the sky,'' his arms shot up in the air and he went, 'Yeeess! Praise God! See? I knew you were the guy!'...I ended up writing most of the lyrics to that song that afternoon; he just trapped me in the music room for about three hours, I couldn't even go to the bathroom. He'd just go, 'No, no, no, come on, you're on it, you're on it. How's the second verse go?' And he's throwing a line or two from time to time, but basically he was just staring at me with a yellow legal pad and a pen, and a big smile on his face." "He had told me on the phone before I ever started working on the song, 'Randy, God is going to do mighty things with this song, and it's going to go all around the world.' And after we wrote it and Phil Keaggy did the first recording of it, we watched in delight and in amazement as God did take it all around the world. It became a Top Ten hit in Australia, it opened ministry doors for me all the way down to the bottom of the world. It was recorded again and again down through the years over and over by various artists and it's still being re-recorded to this day. I'm convinced that was not because Keith and I were so talented or cool, but I really do believe that God in his largesse allowed two young Christians to frame in music that pivotal moment in a person's journey when the wind of the spirit comes blowing in and God's love breaks through." - RS