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Religious songs can deliver some pop in the mainstream

Updated: March 25, 2012 8:05AM



Even if you’re not a big football fan, it’s been hard not to notice the widespread attention given to Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos quarterback who is not shy about talking about his religious beliefs.

It got me to thinking about songs with Christian themes or a spiritual feel that became mainstream pop-chart hits and were not restricted to gospel-music outlets and the like.

With a dose of old-school flavor, here are five great tunes that remind us there is more than just the material world.

“Oh Happy Day” (1969) — The Edwin Hawkins Singers hit the Top 10 in the United States with this soothing salute to Jesus.

“My Sweet Lord” (1970) — George Harrison scored this chart-topping track that provided a great start to his post-Beatles career.

“Amazing Grace” (1971) — This dollop of comfort crept into the American Top 20 on the strength of the angelic voice of folk singer Judy Collins.

“The Lord’s Prayer” (1974) — Sister Janet Mead, an Australian nun, reached the Top 10 in America with this melodic rendition of a classic prayer.

“Mighty Clouds of Joy” (1971) — B.J. Thomas is the guy who notched a No. 1 tune with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” and later made the Top 40 with the spiritually-tinged “Mighty Clouds of Joy.”

Classical angle

Need some sophisticated culture in your life? You might want to check out an opera appreciation class at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City.

Those classes are continuing with opera buff and educator Dennis Brittain. A session is set for 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. March 3.

Reservations are requested, plus a $3 donation. Call 874-4900.



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