Larry Norman, the man known as “The Father of Christian Rock,” has died.
Larry’s brother, Charles Norman writes on LarryNorman.com:
4/8/47 – 2/24/08
Our friend and my wonderful brother Larry passed away at 2:45 Sunday morning. Kristin and I were with him, holding his hands and sitting in bed with him when his heart finally slowed to a stop. We spent this past week laughing, singing, and praying with him, and all the while he had us taking notes on new song ideas and instructions on how to continue his ministry and art.
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Several of his friends got to come and visit with him in the last couple of weeks and were a great source of help and friendship to Larry. Ray Sievers, Derek Robertson, Mike Makinster, Tim and Christine Gilman, Matt and Becky Simmons, Kerry Hopkins, Allen Fleming and a few more. Thank you guys. Larry appreciated your visits very much. And he greatly appreciated the thoughts, wishes, support and prayers that came from all of you Solid Rock friends on a daily basis. Thank you for being part of his small circle of friends over the years. Yesterday afternoon he knew he was going to go home to God very soon and he dictated the following message to you while his friend Allen Fleming typed these words into Larry’s computer:I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God’s hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.
My brother Charles is right, I won’t be here much longer. I can’t do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.
My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.
I’d like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.
Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.
– Source: LarryNorman.com, Feb. 24, 2008
Thank you to all of you who were so nice to my brother over the years. Kristin and I will post funeral information in the next day or two. Right now we’re not able to function very well, but the whole family is here… our mother Margaret, our sisters Nancy and Kristy, Mike Norman and his new wife Tiffany, and Silver.
We miss him beyond words. Thank you for everything.
Peace to you all in Christ,
The Wikipedia entry on Norman states:
Larry David Norman (April 8, 1947 – February 24, 2008) was an internationally recognized American musician, singer, songwriter and producer. Norman’s recordings are noted for their Christian and social subject matter and he is often described as the “father of Christian rock music”. Norman has also been described as having had a significant influence on many artists, secular and religious.
Norman has long been associated with what has been referred to as the Jesus People movement of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, although it has been reported that “he did not particularly identify himself with the youth–oriented ‘Jesus movement’ of the time”.
Norman began recording in 1966 and recorded numerous albums. Norman’s first album, I Love You , recorded when he was the lead singer for the group People!, was released in 1968. The bands cover version of The Zombies song of the same name reached number 7 on Billboard magazines top twenty list in June of that year as a single. Norman left People! prior to 1969 and has since performed as a solo artist, appearing both on mainstream and independent labels.
In 2001 Norman was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s (GMA) Hall of Fame as a solo artist. In 2007 Norman was inducted into the San Jose Rocks Hall of Fame (San Jose, California), both as a member of People!, and as a solo artist. At that time Norman reunited for a concert with People!
Due to reasons of ill health, Norman performed on a very limited basis in recent years. A documentary outlining his career as a troubled troubadour will be out in 2008.
– Source: Larry Norman, Wikipedia entry, Feb. 25, 2008