On Saturday, November 2, 1991 Hosanna Integrity Music video recorded “Lift Him Up With Ron Kenoly” as well as “Worship With Don Moen.”
My mother, Dora L. Owens, and I sung in the mass choirs of both productions, video recorded live before more than 2,500 people at Chrysler Hall, in Norfolk, Virginia, more than 28 years ago.
My mother was 60-years-old then. She is now 88. I was was 34-years-old then. I am now 62.
Both of those productions were released in cassette, CD and video in the spring of 1992.
We were blessed to have sung in both productions, but “Lift Him Up With Ron Kenoly” was really special.
Here are ten notable items about that production, which you can watch by clicking on the one hour and five minutes Vimeo video link, which is imbedded below.
ITEM 1: “Ancient of Days” (at the 24:43 mark) features a memorable percussion (Alex Acuna seen/Carl Albrecht heard), flautist (Justo Almario), and bass (Abraham Laboriel) solo. These four instrumentalists begin the solo at the 27:54 mark. The five-member brass section climaxes the solo by accompanying Laboriel with four syncopated one-count blasts. Trombonists Dave Hillburg and Craig Ware; plus trumpeters Dan Ackerman, Darryl Gardner and Chris Jades concludes this moving one minute and 54-second solo by playing the “Ancient of Days’” bridge.
ITEM 2: The drummer is the talented Chester Thompson, who played for such secular artists as Santana, Genesis, and the Bee Gees. Thompson became a Christian in 1980.
ITEM 3: One of the background vocalists was Olivia McClurkin. She sings the “Hallowed Be Your Name” (at the 32:22 mark) duet with Kenoly. All these years have transpired and I didn’t make the family name connection until writing this blog. Her brother is gospel singer/Pastor Donnie McClurkin. I was more shocked to also recently learn that McClurkin died of pancreatic cancer on November 4, 2008 —two days after the 17th anniversary of this recording. McClurkin was 51. Well she is certainly hallowing the LORD’s name, as she praises and worships her Heavenly Father in Heaven.
ITEM 4: “All Honor” (at the 40:12 mark) song was anointed then, and you will see/hear that this song is still anointed now.
ITEM 5: The white male background vocalist wearing black and white in front taught us the complicated hand clapping sequence to “Whose Report Will You Believe?” (at the 50:45 mark). We had fun learning the hand clapping sequences of that song. (He’s seen on the right at the 52:00 minute mark).
ITEM 6: My mother had a sore shoulder then, and it was painful for her to do the “Whose Report Will You Believe?” hand clapping sequences. But she did. During that part, I can be seen looking back at her (at the 51:00 mark) to see how she was doing.
ITEM 7: As I recall, the “I Can’t Stop Praising His Name” song (at the 55:31 mark) that is in the video was actually the second time (or encore performance) we did. The CD rendition heard in the audio was either the first take we did that evening, or the take we had recorded that Saturday morning. Because Kenoly is singing different ad lib vocalizations in the CD version than he is in the final take of the video. Plus, if you look closely, Kenoly and choir members were exhausted —yet we still had a lot of energy.
ITEM 8: I sure rained in my suit that night. It took about a month for my voice (I was hoarse) to recover. But it was a great experience. I’m glad someone posted this memorable concert on Vimeo so another generation can be blessed by this production.
ITEM 9: “Lift Him Up” jumpstarted Integrity Music’s video ministry and catapulted Ron Kenoly into an international praise and worship stardom during the 90s.
ITEM 10: In 2004 and in 2012, I made calls/wrote emails, suggesting to the powers that be that Integrity Music digitally re-master, add “Where Are They Now?” special features. (For example, the “All Honor” soloist in “Lift Him Up” was pregnant. Is her young adult child a vocalist now?) They could have packaged it in a “Collector’s Edition” and then re-released in DVD and/or Blu-Ray. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far with that suggestion.
However, you’ll be edified by watching these anointed productions, video recorded 28 years ago this evening —just about now.
Here’s the Vimeo link of “Lift Him Up With Ron Kenoly.” It would be well worth an hour and five minutes of your valuable time to lift Him up!
You don’t need Internet connectivity to listen to this music. “Lift Him Up With Ron Kenoly” and “Worship With Don Moen” are available from iTunes, so you can download on your device and listen to these songs anytime.
In closing, I need to state that that night had a profound spiritual impact on my life. I started writing portions of the Bible in newspaper format three years after this concert. My Bible newspaper writing also birthed writing about Bible people in their own words, which represent a new and innovative genre of Christian literature.