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Hot hits from the Bible

singingnun.jpg

Pop stars and Nuns. They don’t usually go together, with some notable exceptions.

But in 1973, Sister Janet Mead, a Roman Catholic nun from Australia had an international smash hit on her hands with her single “The Lord’s Prayer."

Selling over two million copies, Sister Janet donated all the sales proceeds to charity and continues to record to this day.

But she wasn’t the first nun to strike pop gold. That would be Jeanine Deckers, “The Singing Nun” who came out with “Dominique” in 1963. The song was so big she sold more records than Elvis Presley during the 4 weeks it was on the charts. Fame wasn’t as kind to “Sister Smile”, as she was known. She left the convent and tried to keep her music career afloat. But her producer took her earnings, she lost the rights to use her own name, and was pursued for tax evasion.

She and her lover later took their own lives. Here are some filmed fragments of Jeanine Deckers, The Singing Nun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUzY-W2klT4

Possibly the best known song that comes from the Bible can also claim to have the oldest lyrics in pop music history. “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, set to music by Pete Seeger and made famous by the Byrds in 1965, has lyrics almost entirely from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Coming out during the midst of the Vietnam War, it became associated with the peace movement. Here’s a bizarre music video of the Byrds on horseback singing “Turn! Turn! Turn!”: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgq8_EmOSM0

But if Record Bin Roulette had to choose one song to represent the Bible’s influence on pop music it would have to be the world’s only Christian football waltz…

“Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)” by Bobby Bare:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COfL-jtdFWQ

End over end, neither left nor to right
Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights…

John has worked as a professional bassist for 20 years, including a 15 year stint as Musical Director of the Mountain Stage radio program. John has been at KNKX since 1999 where he hosts “All Blues”, is producer of the BirdNote radio program, and co-hosts “Record Bin Roulette”. John is also the recording engineer for KNKX “In-Studio Performances”. Not surprisingly, John's main musical interests are jazz and blues, and he is still performing around Seattle.
John Maynard started working in radio in the seventies as a DJ at Seattle’s KJR AM which at the time was the dominant AM station in the Seattle market. After a brief stint as a restaurateur and night club owner, Maynard returned to radio with Robin Erickson, creating the hugely popular “Robin and Maynard Show.” In the more than 20 years under that marquee, Maynard flew with the Blue Angels, piloted the Goodyear Blimp, sang with Donny Osmond and hung out in a Universal Studios bar with Kojak (Telly Savalas).