Song of the Cebu - What Would Jesus Do?
BeBe Winans, VeggieTales, and that bracelet
This issue gets the new year started off with a discussion about the christian music industry largely being owned by secular companies, as well as discussion about secular artists releasing spiritual-themed albums; there’s an article with the alt-punk band Plankeye, and a long interview with Sandi Patty on her return to the industry, and a review of a debut album from a new singer, Jennifer Knapp.
In January 1998, California bars went smoke-free, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky were in the news as well as the Unabomber, the 100th episode of “Ellen” aired, Titanic and Good Will Hunting took home most of the Golden Globes, and Dawson’s Creek premiered.
One of the things I’ve been working on is learning more about disability history and ableism and the way we talk about things such as mental illness. (One great resource is this book, A Disability History of the United States.) I think one of the things that it can be hard for people now to remember, or even for younger kids to realize, is just how awful a lot of society talked in the '90s. This Letter from the Editor is not to pick on CCM so much as just to take a moment and realize just how commonplace and how awful some of this stuff was (If I was going to critique this, it definitely would be on the belief that says the real damage to the planet is the way we treat each other interpersonally instead of the actual tangible damage that’s literally destroying the earth.)
from a letter to the editor...
“The other day I saw the new WWJD CD. I went to a Christian bookstore and noticed that just about everything was WWD stuff: bracelets, T-shirts, necklaces, devotionals, books, Bibles, the CD... the list could go on longer, too. I think we need to stop and ask ourselves if Christianity has become simply a center for marketing new products. I can honestly say that I have seen “Jesus toenail clippers.” I kid you not. Recently, I saw that the newest WOW album has been released. I think the WOW albums are a great idea; they give a fabulous selection of music, and their accompaniment music video selections great, too. But they also have the new “WOW” NIV Bibles! This year, there is one, and last year there was one, too. A new WOW Bible for every year? I Think that is kind of going a little too far and is just capitalizing on the Christian artists to sell more Bibles and other merchandise. A line needs to be drawn somewhere.”
Who doesn't remember this sterophonic multimedia event?
This cover story is about one of the few Black artists the Christian music industry had. BeBe, who often sang with his sister CeCe, was a successful Christian and secular artist. This is the first time BeBe Winans is on the cover of CCM by himself. He had been on the cover of the magazine with CeCe three times before, and with some of his brothers as their group The Winans, in September 1990, but this was his first solo appearance, and his last cover appearance overall.
This article is partly a biography of him, and partly a biography of all of his family members. There is actually very little information on his first solo album BeBe Winans, which he is there presumably to promote, which strikes me as odd, actually. And of course, as a Black artist, the magazine asks him about race, which it rarely does when it interviews white artists.
Listen to the whole album here!
What Would Charles Sheldon Think?
a look at the top charts...
If the Song of the Cebu was a sad acoustic ballad...