Children of the Day
Russ Stevens * Marsha Stevens * Wendy Carter * Peter Jacobs
Come To The Waters Maranatha 1971
Come To The Waters
Children Of The Day are definitely up there near the top as my favorite American folkrock group. It's no wonder the Maranatha folks selected them for the first full-length debut on their fledgling label. Going beyond just the guitar and vocal harmonies that characterize the genre, this guy/gal foursome successfully weave in piano, harpsichord, woodwinds, strings, etc. - and make it all work without sounding syrupy. The songwriting is exceptional, the arrangements unique, and the harmonizing immaculate. Never hum-drum, with lots of variety from somber ballads to uptempo folk to praise anthems to four- part Bach. The title track of the debut has become a "golden oldie" of the Jesus movement sung at many a seaside baptismal service. KS
From former member Russ Stevens:
The "Come To The Waters" album was made because people kept asking for recordings of our stuff. We didn't quite know what to do and had no money, so we went to Chuck Smith and borrowed about 900 dollars to make the album.
We recorded the album at Abbey Sound, Ltd. in Hollywood. Buck Herring (husband of Annie Herring - Second Chapter of Acts) was our engineer. This led to a long-term relationship with the whole 2nd Chapter group. This was before they were recording and when we visited them, Matthew Ward's voice still hadn't changed. This is really old history.
I do recall coming into the studio one day and being told that we couldn't use the piano that day. Larry Norman had been in the prior day and broken it with his sometimes histrionic recording.
The process of doing a recording and mastering it was not totally new to Peter and myself since we had been in a jazz group that had made an album a few years prior. However, the process of getting it manufactured was new to us.
We went to the United Artists manufacturing plant and ordered our first run (I think it was 1000). Needless to say, we needed to go back a number of times and finally established credit with UA.
We used a friend to do the cover art and interestingly, the hands above the water on the front cover were the artists. What we didn't realize until after the covers had been printed, was that the hands had a broken finger that showed if you look carefully. "He was bruised for our transgressions . . . "
For the first release, we shared the Maranatha label with Maranatha Music as a partnership. That went on for about 5 or 6 years until we signed with Light Records and sold all the albums to them. Older copies of the albums are labeled with the HS777/? numbers. CTTW was HS777/2 since it was held up for release by Chuck until the Everlasting Jesus Music Concert could be released (HS777/1). It was actually ready before that, making CTTW the first Maranatha Album completed.
The last time I checked, CTTW had sold over 150,000 albums. Small stuff for these times, but quite respectable then. Russ Stevens - Dec 1999
With All Our Love Maranatha 1973
Be Ye Still
On With All Our Love the Children perfected their sound - this is probably their best album. Not a clunker in the bunch on this one with all four contributing to the songwriting. 'Be Ye Still' even throws in an accordion to melancholy effect. In fact quite a few of the tunes are on the somber side. Influences of The Carpenters are present throughout, especially in the background vocals. Pastor Chuck Smith pops in for a brief narration during "The Crucifixion". KS
Where Else Would I Go Maranatha 1975
Where Else Would I Go
Where Else Would I Go is another triumph in spite of the fact that the music is sounding less folky and moving toward mellow often-orchestrated MOR. And for once I mean MOR in the good sense, recalling the best of The Carpenters (I know The Carpenters aren't exactly critics' darlings but these tunes reach out to me). The title cut recalls 2nd Chapter of Acts. Absolute beaut of a cover featuring a colorized engraving print. KS
Christmas Album Maranatha 1975 & Light reissue
On Christmas Album the band brings their unique style in traditional carols. KS
Children of the Day (at right) celebrating with Andrae Crouch Disciples
at Andrae's (center) 1 millionth album sold party given by Light Music.
Taken at the 1976 CBA convention in Kansas City.
Never Felt So Free Light 1977
Givin' To Jesus
Butterfly Light 1979
The two albums on Light signal a big change in direction and lack the creativity of the earlier material, reflecting instead the easy listening and soft jazz typical of this label. As far as that kinda stuff goes, Children Of The Day still emerge better than most of their competition, and a catchy melody or two can be gleaned from each of these. KS
Some Children of the Day factoids:
1. Originally were called "the group" by pastor Chuck because they were the only group in the very early days - 1969.
2. COD came up with its name when invited to sing at Melodyland. They were asked what the name of their group was. Until that time they had not thought of themselves as a group.
3. The original Praise Album is mostly COD except for the lead vocals. COD did back-up vocals on all songs and Peter did all of the arrangements.
4. Come to the Waters was the first album to be made for Maranatha Music. Its release was held until Maranatha 1 was released.
5. COD owned, produced and financed the first four albums that were on the Maranatha label.
6. Even though we had a "falling out" with M!M pastor Chuck was always and remained the Vice President of COD, Inc.
7. Marsha wrote For Those Tear I Died to her sister Wendy to lead her to the Lord. Wendy was 14 years old. Marsha was 16.
8. Before COD Peter and Russ were in the Pete Jacobs Quartet. They were 16-17 years old and did Dave Brubeck style jazz - no vocals. They won the California State Battle of the Bands for their class. They made an album that, even though the recording was funky showed some remarkable talent.
9. To record the synthesizer parts on the Christmas Album, Peter bought a keyboard the night before, learned how to play it, recorded all of the parts the next day, and returned the keyboard for a refund the next night.
10. COD's first tour of Europe was as part of the Azusa Pacific College Concert Choir. COD did a set within the set of the choir. Wendy had to get special permission to attend APC because she was only 16 and still in High School.
11. COD's first album was produced by Buck Herring later of Second Chapter of Acts.
Thanks to Kit Fremin(Wendy's husband)