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Contemporary Christian Music Analyzed By The Numbers
By Nate Ohman
It seems to me that there has been a void in the documentation of contemporary Christian music. Over the years, I have found only a handful of quality resources on the subject. CCM has really taken off in popularity over the last 10 years. But what about all the great music from the early 1970's through the mid-1990's? As more and more people enjoy the likes of Jeremy Camp, Relient K, and Casting Crowns, a growing crowd of people will want to know the history of the movement.
This has prompted me to launch a new website that seeks to bring back the classics by analyzing the airplay and sales charts from 1978 to present. One might call it an objective overview of the past. What were the top ten songs of 1979? Who had the number one album of the 1990's? Who were the top 100 artists of the 1980's? (By the way, DeGarmo & Key came in at #18). The site is still in its infancy stages and begins
as a part-time endeavor. However, I would love to see it grow into a full-time ministry of bringing Christian classics (and ultimately, the gospel) to the masses. I'm a stats guy, so I love digging through old charts and tabulating the various rankings. In fact, I am currently publishing a weekly Christian Top 40 chart on the website that combines a variety of airplay and sales charts into one composite chart.
Just today I was listening to some old cassettes and enjoyed "Shotgun Angel" by Daniel Amos, "Did I Forget To Say?" by Tim Miner, and "Watercolor Ponies" by Wayne Watson. I have to admit, I hadn't heard the Wayne Watson classic for quite some time and it moved me. Now that my kids are growing up, the song touches me in a very different way than it did when it first came out.
All this said, I invite you to check out the website and enjoy the journey with me.