Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Jesus is Groovy, Apparently

So how did you evangelize hippies? Ask John Rydgren.

According to Hyp Records:
The legacy of John Rydgren (deceased) is one of the most enigmatic in radio-jock if not also record history. A Lutheran evangelist, Rydgren started a hit program called "Silhouettes," in which he rapped over such appealing tunes as "Music to Watch Girls By," "Groovin'," "Rinky Dink," the Electric Prunes' "Kyrie Eleison,"...
[h]is thoughts were highly original, ranging from quirky perceptions of the mundane to deep acid-head philosophy...

"Silhouettes" were as weird as anything heard from a pulpit or transistor radio.

Pastor John pitched his rants to the Hippie Freaks (many of whom would become Jesus Freaks) entirely on the hippies' own terms. Mentioned frequently are drugs (LSD, mushrooms, pot), mini-skirts, and other signifiers of the era. References to God... are plentiful but philosophical and intriguing. Such evangelical pills were supposed to slip subtly through the sugar coating of everyone's favorite psychedelic '60s hits. It worked.
For a taste, here are illustrations of Rydgren's "Hippy 23rd Psalm":

King David would be SO impressed!

I downloaded this LP quite a while ago, and was just listening to it again yesterday.
(Unintentionally) funny stuff!

Do yourself a favor, and give a listen to John Rydgren's "Silhouette Segments."  Each clip is an idividual download, so even pokey connections can snap 'em up.


PaperSmyth said...

Digging this.

Allen's Brain said...

I especially love how he spiritualizes the ogling of women in "Music to Watch Girls By," and again in "A Beautiful Girl."

PaperSmyth said...

Yeah, and the 'shrooms stuff is a bit over the top, too.

Have you ever heard of the kinda-sorta Christian syndicated radio show from the '70's called PowerLine? My memory is a bit rusty, but I know the thing existed. I wish I could remember... or I at least think I wish I could remember. :}