A documentary on contemporary Christian music (CCM) is set for release this fall, revealing the birth and growth of a music industry that focused on hope, love, and life found in God.
Lionsgate just dropped the trailer of "The Jesus Music." The movie, which will be available in theaters on October 1, tackles the story of CCM, including its humble beginnings through its massive influence today, The Christian Post reported.
Directed by the Erwin Brothers -directors of hit Christian films "I Can Only Imagine," "I Still Believe" and "American Underdog"- the documentary will show exclusive interviews with famous Christian musicians, particularly by Amy Grant, Lauren Daigle, Kirk Franklin, Michael W. Smith, and TobyMac. Its executive producers include Smith and Grant. It also features interviews with various people such as Glenn Kaiser, Greg Laurie, Bill Reeves, Eddie DeGarno and more.
The film's official synopsis reveals that CCM began at the Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California. This was during the counterculture and civil rights movement in the 1960s, The Music Universe said.
What began as a new genre of music played from a church in California several decades ago has grown to a "multi-billion dollar industry" that has massive influence among the millions of fans and listeners worldwide today.
"With stories of trials and triumphs, the universal power of music from these artists shine through from their messages of passion, sacrifice, and redemption that inspire millions of devoted listeners," the synopsis read.
Alongside the film, "The Jesus Music - The Soundtrack of a Movement" will also be released, featuring tracks from Grant, Smith, TobyMac, Daigle, Michael Tait, Franklin, dc Talk, Chris Tomlin, John L. Cooper, Steven Curtis Chapman, Cece Winans, for KING & COUNTRY, among others.
According to the Jubilee Cast, the movie is based on Marshall Terrill's book, "The Jesus Music: A Visual Story of Redemption as Told by Those Who Lived It," which featured five decades of CCM artists.
CCM was a response to Larry Norman's record in the late 1960s, an original concept which he called "We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus and a Lot Less Rock and Roll," a mix of "orthodox Christianity" and "cultural observations" that caters to non-Christians. Rejected by Capitol Records, Norman created and distributed the songs himself.
The music executives marketed CCM to Christians, utilizing artists who crafted songs mainly focusing on theology, but would later introduce secular musicians who were converted to Christianity, such as Dan Peek, Mark Farner, B.J. Thomas, Richie Furay, Joe English, Dion and Rick Cua.
More studios became receptive of the genre in the 1980s, leading to the rise of CCM Christian band, Stryper, and artists like Grant and Smith.
However, believing that being identified with the religious faith has limited the distribution of their music, many of the artists left their CCM labels by the middle of 1990s, preferring to be known simply as artists.
They either joined secular record labels or marketed their music both to Christian and secular consumers. These former CCM musicians include Winans, dc Talk, Jars of Clay, Franklin, Bob Carlisle, Julie Miller, Fleming and John, Jon Gibson and the band MxPx.
Nevertheless, CCM gave Christians a different kind of music to listen to, especially when they're not inside church halls and living day to day lives in their homes, schools, workplaces, and more.