The Sound Of The San Francisco Christian Center
The San Francisco Christian Center was founded in 1954 and was one of the first churches to open its doors to disaffected hippies searching for a deeper spiritual substance in the dog days of the 1960s. This era saw the flowering of new, youth-driven forms of “Jesus music” that fused gospel messages with rock aesthetics, including the driving rhythms and charismatic delivery found in the work of modern soul stars like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Al Green and Earth, Wind & Fire. Chief amongst these new-style gospel artists was the San Francisco-based Andraé Crouch, who was one of the influences on the San Francisco Christian Center’s debut recording.
Under the direction of multi-instrumentalist/arranger Carl Fortier, the SFCC delivered an album full of emotional warmth, funky thrust, and spiritual elevation. As a historical document, it provides a breathtaking view into the roots of contemporary gospel music, but as just pure music, it is just simply a transcendent experience. And you don’t have to even be a believer to enjoy the ride.