Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
as of March 29, 2023

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03.24.23How to Donate Online or by Mail
03.24.23New Video Playlist for You: ApologetiX Covers by Fans
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03.24.23Influential Albums 1045-1051
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03.24.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
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03.18.23ApologetiX Radio Show Celebrates Five Years
03.17.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
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03.17.23Influential Albums: 1038-1044
03.15.23Clues for 2023 Single #6
03.13.23ApX Easter Week Playlist
03.11.23ApX Alum Drummer Becomes a First-Time Grandpa
03.10.23A Letter from J. About the Letter J
03.10.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
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03.09.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.06.23This Week's News Bulletin
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03.04.23New ApX Songbook (1992-2022) is Here
03.04.23Influential Albums: 1024-1030
03.03.23Fan Follows Up on Last Week's Big Music Article
03.03.23Nice Notes from Bible-Readers
03.03.23Over 400 ApX Live Videos Together in One Place
03.03.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
02.25.23Music: The Sacred, the Secular, and the Subjective
02.24.23ApologetiX in Places You Wouldn't Expect
02.23.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
02.23.23Influential Albums: 1017-1023
02.21.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.20.23This Week's News Bulletin
02.20.23New Single:'65 & '88
02.17.23Serious Prayer Request from Wichita KS
02.17.23Influential Albums: 1010-1016
02.16.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
02.11.23How Did J. Meet His Wife?
02.11.23Fan Follows Up on "Ask God" With His Own Story
02.11.23The Numbers Behind the Songs on This Single
02.11.23Influential Albums: 1003-1009
02.10.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.10.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
02.06.23New Single: '71 & '79
02.06.23This Week's News Bulletin
02.04.23Question Evolution Day Coming Soon
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02.03.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.27.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.27.23This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
01.26.23ApologetiX Keyboardist Thankful to Still Be Alive
01.26.23Influential Albums: 989-995
01.24.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.23.23This Week's News Bulletin
01.23.23New Single: '67 & '72
01.21.23ApologetiX Needs Help and Prayer
01.21.23Encouraging Messages from 20 Fans in 15 States
01.21.23Fans React to "Stupendous" New Songbook
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01.20.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
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01.13.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.13.23New CD BOGO Ends Sunday Night
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01.07.23Update on Songbook and Other Projects
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01.07.23Influential Albums: 968-974
12.30.22Influential Albums: 961-967
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12.28.22This Week's News Bulletin
12.28.22Over 1500 Tracks for $100
12.24.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #24
12.23.22New Christmas Single
12.23.22Influential Albums: 954-960
12.23.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.17.22Influential Albums: 947-953
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12.12.22This Week's News Bulletin
12.12.22Buy Our Next CD, Get 1 of 37 Free
12.08.22Influential Albums: 940-946
12.08.22This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.08.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #23
12.08.22ApologetiX Christmas Playlist + Two More on the Way
12.05.22This Week's News Bulletin
12.05.22New Single: '82 & '07
12.03.22Influential Albums: 933-939
12.03.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.03.22Bible-Reading Update for Next Two Weeks
12.03.22Keith Haynie Become a Grandfather Again
11.29.22This Week's News Bulletin

The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #23
Thu., Dec. 8. 2022 2:22pm EST

J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.

Here are the stories behind the songs on our 23rd single of 2022:


I'd been wanting for while to do a parody about the Jewish scribe and priest Ezra and the biblical book that bears his name. By the way, did you know that he doesn't show up until chapter 7? That's the chapter number where he first appears in the Book of Nehemiah, too.

Anyway, on September 28, 2019, I was driving and listening to a sports show on SiriusXM satellite radio, and they used Billy Joel's "Pressure" as bumper music. It brought back fond memories of my freshman year in college, and I suddenly realized I'd stumbled upon the right song for Ezra, so I started a document for it.

Other things came along in the meantime, however, including two additional Billy Joel parodies I wanted to do first. I don't know if I'd ever mentioned my idea to Rich Mannion before, but he brought up "Pressure" as a possibility on September 20, 2022. I wasn't sure the time was right yet, but I finally gave him the green light to do the instrumentation on November 21.

Jimmy was recuperating from his motorcycle accident, and Keith was going to be in Nashville awhile for Thanksgiving and the arrival of his third grandchild. So that meant Rich would be doing keyboards, drums, and bass electronically.

He had all his parts done by November 27 (Tom Tincha did the guitars), and then the pressure was on me to write the lyrics (all I had was "Ezra"), because I had to sing it five days later. As always, God came through, but I was still tweaking the lyrics that morning.

Play Fair Delilah (2022)

I've always loved the audience reaction on our 2009 live rendition of "Play Fair Delilah," the only version available until this one. It was a brand new parody back then, so everybody at that concert was hearing it for the first time, kind of like Johnny Cash's recording of "A Boy Named Sue" at San Quentin State Prison, which was released as single and became the hit version.

However, when I listened to "Play Fair Delilah" a number of years later, I cringed at my vocals. Consequently, when we made the decision in 2022 to do a rock opera about Samson, I was only too glad to have a chance to record a nice studio version with better vocals. Wayne Bartley volunteered to do the guitars this time around.

I then discovered there was a later version of "Hey There Delilah" with added string instrumentation, so we got Rich Mannion to do all that. The whole idea of a rough-and-tumble he-man like Samson singing a tender ballad was already funny enough, but embellishing it with orchestration upped the ante.

I also changed a few lyrics to inject a little more variety into the choruses. It amused me to have Samson use a fancy word like "impunity." Furthermore, I moved things around so his first references to UFC and WWE would be at the very end of the song to maximize comedic effect.

Meanwhile, I eliminated the reference to Halo 3, which was fairly current in 2009 but has since been superseded by Halo 4 (2012), Halo 5 (2015), Halo Infinite (2021), etc.