Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
as of April 12, 2024

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04.12.24Influential Albums: 1430-1436
04.12.24Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
04.12.24Over 1650 Tracks for $100
04.12.24USBs Include New CD & Latest Single
04.12.24This Week's Bible-Reading
04.12.24Unchained Medley CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Etc.
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04.08.24This Week's News Builletin
04.05.24Five Months Till the Big ApologetiX Show
04.05.24New Story
04.05.24Influential Albums: 1423-1429
04.05.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
04.05.24ApX Fan Needs Lung Transplant or a Miracle
04.03.24This Week's News Bulletin
04.01.24New Single: Two-Hit Wonders
03.29.24Bible-Reading Ends Tuesday, Starts Again Wednesday
03.29.24Rock the Bible Finishes Up
03.29.24Easter Season Playlist 2024
03.29.24Influential Albums: 1416-1422
03.28.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday Night
03.28.24Clues for 2024 Single #7
03.25.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.22.24Influential Albums: 1409-1415
03.22.24This Week's Bible-Reading
03.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.20.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.20.24New Single: Top-Five Hits by Four-Man Bands
03.16.24Influential Albums: 1402-1408
03.16.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
03.12.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.09.24Influential Albums: 1395-1401
03.09.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
03.09.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.05.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.03.24New Single: '74 Solo Smashes
03.01.24A Serious Problem We're Trying to Address
02.29.24All About Our Next CD
02.29.24Influential Albums: 1388-1394
02.29.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.29.24Clues for 2024 Single #5
02.25.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.22.24Get Ready for Our Next CD
02.22.24Influential Albums: 1381-1387
02.22.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.22.24Wayne Is Retiring, What's Next for Him and Us?
02.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.19.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.19.24New Single: Billy & The Beach
02.16.24Influential Albums: 1374-1380
02.16.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.16.24Remembering ApX Friend Paul "Doc" Nigh (1956-2024)
02.16.24Clues for 2024 Single #4
02.10.24Influential Albums: 1367-1373
02.10.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.10.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.06.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.06.24New Single: '74 & '83
02.03.24ApX Lead Singer/Lyricist Shares His Testimony 36 Years Later
02.03.24Influential Albums: 1360-1366
02.03.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.03.24Latest CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Etc.
02.02.24Clues for 2024 Single #3
01.29.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.26.24Influential Albums: 1353-1359
01.26.24How to Get the ApX Library, USBs, Multiple Downloads
01.26.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
01.26.24Flashback: J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2014
01.26.24J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2024
01.26.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.24.24Checking in With ApX Alum Drummer Fred Behanna
01.22.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.22.24New Single: '70s #1 Hits That Remade '60s Top 10 Hits
01.19.24Influential Albums: 1346-1352
01.19.24Encouraging Message from Longtime Fan in Oklahoma
01.19.24This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
01.15.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.12.24Influential Albums: 1339-1346
01.12.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.12.24Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.12.24New Testament Reading Started Wednesday
01.11.24New Worship Songs Available from ApX Alum Bill Rieger
01.08.24New Single: '81 & '83
01.08.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday
01.08.24New USB Thumb Drives on the Way
01.05.24Clues for 2024 Single #1
01.05.24Influential Albums: 1332-1338
01.05.24Have You Heard About the Other Music City Miracle?
01.05.24This Week's Bible Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.29.23Influential Albums: 1325-1331
12.29.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.28.232023: A Record-Breaking Record-Making Year
12.28.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
12.26.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.26.23New Single: 1974 & 2008
12.23.23Influential Albums: 1318-1324
12.23.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.23.23ApologetiX Updated Christmas Playlist
12.18.23This Week's News Bulletin

Influential Albums: 1325-1331
Fri., Dec. 29. 2023 2:10pm EST

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

Here are the latest entries in the "albums that influenced me" series I started writing in May 2020.

Note: Just because an album appears on this list doesn't mean I give it a blanket endorsement. Many of the secular albums on this list are mainly there because they wound up being spoofed by ApologetiX.

1325. Sunday School Songs - Cedarmont Kids
Cedarmont Kids was a series of Christian music videos and recordings featuring songs for children sung by children. Originally known as Kids Classics, the series started in 1993 with six different collections — Bible Songs, Action Bible Songs, Sunday School Songs, Songs Of Praise, Silly Songs, and Lullabies. More would follow in 1994-95 and 2002-06. The franchise name was officially changed to Cedarmont Kids in late '94, and all of the ones we owned (and we may have owned them all) were under that umbrella. We had the videos, the cassettes, and the CDs, and I played them all for our kids when they were little, but our third daughter, Kelly, loved them the most. In fact, she still loves them at age 20, but that's O.K., because the "kids" singing on the recordings have to be approaching 40. I've seen and heard those things countless times, but I singled out Sunday School Songs for this list because of a particular poignant moment. My first wife had recently told me she wanted a divorce, and I remember hearing the song "Alive, Alive" on that Cedarmont Kids video. It was such a beautiful, hopeful song, but my life was falling apart, and I got choked up hearing it. I can't remember how soon afterward the following event occurred, but I always associate it with that song: I took Janna for a walk, carrying her, because she was only two years and nine months old at the time. I was too depressed and lost in thought to say anything. From out of the blue, she said, "I love you, Dad." It was the first time she'd ever done something like that on her own, and it touched me deeply.

1326. Sing Me to Sleep, Daddy - Various Artists
Believe it or not, this is by far the most played album in this history of my household. Originally released by Provident Records in 1997, Sing Me to Sleep, Daddy featured 10 soft songs sung from a father's perspective, with such notable contemporary Christian music performers as Michael W. Smith ("Anna"), Wayne Watson ("Sing Me to Sleep, Daddy"), Randy Stonehill ("I Will Be There"), and Phil Keaggy ("Brahm's Lullaby"). Those are all fine performances, but my favorites are probably the other six selections by lesser-known artists: "You Steal My Heart Away" (Guy Penrod), "Safe in Your Daddy's Arms" (Peter Penrose) — yes, a Penrod and a Penrose — "Kisses and Hugs" (Michael James), "My Gift" (Michael O'Brien), "O Little One" (Angelo Petrucci), and "Father's Arms" (Billy Gaines). Lisa's cousin Jamie, who worked as a radio personality for many years, gave us the CD, probably not too long after our second daughter, Heather, was born in May 2002. He never could have imagined the impact it would have. Our third daughter, Kelly, arrived on October 1, 2003, and Sing Me to Sleep, Daddy became our "go to" bedtime music for her and Heather. I put it on an iPod with a speaker system and just let it repeat throughout the night, and we've rarely missed a night since. It's still part of Kelly's routine at age 20, although she can make her own musical choices now. Anyway, the album is 45 minutes long, so that's at least 10 times per night. Taking time out for vacations, it has probably been played at least 350 times per year over the last 20 years. That would be 70,000 times. Thank you, Jamie! You should get a gold record or something.

1327. The First Sunday Sing-a-long - The Maranatha! Kids
Released in 1986, The First Sunday Sing-a-long was the audiocassette version of a VHS tape I used to play for Janna all the time when she was a toddler and a little girl. Not only that, I sang the songs to her myself and did the same with her siblings after they arrived. One of the saddest things for me about retiring our VCR was that I wouldn't be able to play the Sunday Sing-a-long video anymore. It was just a bunch of kids singing Bible-based songs ... sort of like the Cedarmont Kids, although the Maranatha! Kids were around first and are certainly Maranatha! Middle-Agers now. Here are some of the songs I loved that made it into my repertoire: "It's a Happy Day (And I Thank God for the Weather)," "Ha La La," "Beloved (1 John 4:7 & 8)," "A Perfect Day," "The Butterfly Song," "Arky Arky," "I Will Make You Fishers of Men," "Jesus Loves the Little Children," and "This Little Light of Mine." Others that bring back fond memories include: "Jesus Loves Even Me, "Climb, Climb Up Sunshine Mountain," and "Special Specialities." While writing this entry, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that The First Sunday Sing-a-long is available on iTunes and Apple Music. I'll file that info away for when I have grandkids.

1328. Multiplication Rock - Schoolhouse Rock!
The Schoolhouse Rock! series of animated shorts (shown between regular programs) was a Saturday-morning staple for kids my age in the 1970s. It debuted on ABC-TV in January '73 with the Multiplication Rock videos. Those three-minute musical math lessons taught many of us our times tables and miraculously managed to make the entire experience entertaining and even (gasp) fun. The first clip I remember seeing was the "Elementary, My Dear" episode for multiplying by two, which used a Noah-and-the-Ark theme, although the very first one aired was apparently "Three Is a Magic Number." I saw that one shortly thereafter. The "3, 6, 9 — 12, 15, 18 — 21, 24, 27 — 30" made it so easy for me to count by threes. The other clips and songs were all memorable: "My Hero, Zero," "The Four-Legged Zoo," "Ready or Not, Here I Come," "I Got Six," "Lucky Seven Sampson" (not to be confused with the biblical Samson, whose name is spelled without a "p"), "Figure Eight," "Naughty Number Nine," "The Good Eleven," and "Little Twelvetoes." Many of them are classics, and it's hard to pick a favorite, but I'll single a few out: "Naughty Number Nine" was a revelation to me because of the way it explained the nuances of that number. "Little Twelvetoes" has some really interesting instrumentation. Still, for my money, you can't beat "The Good Eleven," because it not only has a wonderful tune but also contains the incredibly clever line "Good eleven ... never gave me any trouble till after nine." The Multiplication Rock CD was released by Rhino Records (on their Kid Rhino imprint) in 1997, although I didn't buy my copy until the early 2000s, after I had a couple kids of my own. I learned a lot about math, grammar, and history from those Schoolhouse Rock! shows. I also learned what a powerful educational tool music can be, and that helped sow the seeds for what we do in ApologetiX. I'll cover more Schoolhouse Rock! CDs in the next couple entries.

1329. Grammar Rock - Schoolhouse Rock
After the 11 Multiplication Rock videos first aired in January through March 1973, they were followed by six Grammar Rock videos, which debuted from September '73 through April '74: "A Noun Is a Person, Place, or Thing," "Verb: That's What's Happening," "Conjunction Junction," "Interjections!," "Unpack Your Adjectives," and "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here." The ones that were the most popular among my peers were probably "Conjunction Junction" and "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here." Those two did so much to teach the terms/concepts of conjunctions and adverbs to my generation. In April '76, Grammar Rock belatedly introduced a pronouns episode, "Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla." Finally, in September '93, two final episodes aired: "Busy Prepositions" and "The Tale of Mr. Morton," which dealt with subjects and predicates. My favorites back in the day were "Interjections!" and "A Noun Is a Person, Place, or Thing." I sang them back then and at various times through the years, even before Rhino put out the Grammar Rock LP in 1997. I bought it on CD for my kids in the early 2000s, at the same time as the Multiplication Rock LP. Remember: "Grammar is not your grandma; it's your grammar. Grammar Rock is brought to you by ... Nabisco ... you'll find quality in our corner."

1330. America Rock - Schoolhouse Rock
In anticipation of our nation's Bicentennial celebration, Schoolhouse Rocks! introduced its third major series, America Rock, with nine episodes that debuted from September '75 through July '76: "No More Kings," "The Shot Heard Round the World," "The Preamble," "Sufferin' 'til Suffrage," "I'm Just a Bill," "The Great American Melting Pot," "Elbow Room," "Fireworks," and "Mother Necessity." As was the case with Grammar Rock, three additional episodes were introduced significantly later: "Three-Ring Goverment" in March '79 and "I'm Gonna Send Your Vote to College" and "Presidential Minute (The Campaign Trail)," both in August 2002. Those last two were specifically produced for the Schoolhouse Rocks! DVD set in 2002, which also included Science Rock (September '78 through July '79), Computer Rock (January '82 through January '84), and Money Rock (September '84 through November '96). I bought the America Rock CD in the early 2000s along with the Multiplication Rock and Grammar Rock CDs. Later, I picked up the Schoolhouse Rocks DVD, which my kids loved. Among the America Rock songs, my peers probably preferred "The Preamble" and "I'm Just a Bill." My other childhood favorites were "No More Kings" and "Elbow Room." ApologetiX alum keyboardist Bill Hubauer used to have an "I'm Just a Bill" shirt he would wear back when he and ApologetiX alum drummer Bill Rieger were both touring with us.

1331. More Wild Times in God's Creation - Jungle Jam
Jungle Jam and Friends: The Radio Show first aired in 1993. The six-cassette set More Wild Times in God's Creation came out in 1994 through Word Entertainment. Lisa and I got it from Keith Harrold in the early 2000s. We were amazed by how entertaining the stories were. Jungle Jam was a little bit like Veggie Tales with animals instead of vegetables ... but without the inherent limitations of animation. Gruffy Bear, Millard the Monkey, Sully the Aardvark, Racquet the Skunk, Jean-Claude the Flying Squirrel, Nozzles the Elephant, and the rest of the Jungle Jam gang quicky became family favorites for us, as did human siblings Marvy and Katie Snuffleson and their pals on RazzleFlabben Island. The first episode we ever heard was "The Big Bang Theory," which ended up being providential; although it was the 26th episode overall, it gave the secret origin story of how all the animals ended up together and introduced them one by one. As we would learn later, More Wild Times in God's Creation was preceded by Wild Times in God's Creation in 1993 and succeeded by Even Wilder Times in God's Creation in 1995. We eventually got every Jungle Jam episode available on CD. All five of our kids loved them — so much so that we dug them back out early in 2023 and replayed episodes in the car on the way to church. Upon hearing them again, no one's love or appreciation for the series had diminished a single iota. It felt like we were welcoming back dear old friends. We'd never stopped quoting them in the interim; they were as iconic as Veggie Tales to us. Like that series, Jungle Jam was written in such a way that it appealed to kids and adults alike. Also like Veggie Tales, the character voices were primarily provided by just two guys — Nathan Carlson, who also acted as narrator, and Phil Lollar (although there were others) — who also did much of the writing (along with Jeff Parker). Based on how much Lisa, the kids, and I still quote from them, I'd say our favorite episodes on More Wild Times in God's Creation were "Dial M for Monkey," "The Skunk Who Would Be King," "Katie's Kiddie-Bake Quick Cakes," "The Great Coconut-Clunking Debate," and "Mutiny at the Picnic."