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In 1971 or 1972, Mike MacIntosh asked me to capture the new worship songs that were being born during the Jesus Movement on vinyl. (Yes, vinyl..)

Hmmm? How would you capture the spirit of these wonderful songs?

Worship was simple and inviting. It was singing together as a community.

Pastor Chuck didn’t have a choir, a piano, or an organ in the little Calvary Chapel on Sunflower Street. It was just him sitting on a stool and leading us in what seemed like songs you’d sing at camp.

But soon things exploded.

Hundreds of young people and many musicians started coming around. Lives were changed, new songs were being written. They were scripture songs, songs of thanksgiving, and songs of changed lives.

I enlisted the talented singers and musicians in the many bands that existed at the time and tried to record the songs accurately and in a way that people could use in a small group, a home Bible study or a church service.

I recorded about 20 songs and took them over to Chuck and Kay’s home one night.

As Kay was headed upstairs to bed, she turned and said, “Oh, finally, something for us!” I knew what that meant!

But I didn’t expect what happened next.

After listening to all the songs Chuck finally said, “That doesn’t sound like a Praise Album to me!”

He took the fast songs off and assembled the album of songs that he loved the most.

That became the blueprint for the Praise Album Series. Beautiful and heartfelt. Songs we wanted to sing to express our newfound faith.

The camp song leader touched the church worldwide.


Tommy Coomes is a renowned musician and mentor whose unique blend of gifts have enabled him to make significant contributions to contemporary Christian music for over five decades. He has used a blend of worship and evangelism to minister worldwide since being a founding member of Love Song during the Jesus Movement to forming The Tommy Coomes Band.