About 2nd Chapter Of Acts
The 2nd Chapter of Acts began as a result of the trio singing at home together as Annie played the piano. Following the death of their parents in 1970, Nelly (14 yrs) and Matthew (12 yrs), still minors, moved in with their older sister, Annie, and her husband, recording engineer Buck Herring. Annie was a self taught singer and songwriter, who wrote and played her songs around the family piano. Her brother and sister would often join in as she played, and eventually, they developed extremely tight and intricate harmonies.
They started singing for local coffee houses and small gatherings, and gained the notice of Pat Boone, who arranged a contract to record and release two singles with MGM, "Jesus Is" (1972) and "I'm So Happy" (1973), which both charted secular in California radio. The fledgling trio also came to the attention of 1960s folk singer Barry McGuire (New Christy Minstrels), who had recently become a Christian and was preparing to record his first Christian music album, produced by Buck Herring. The siblings provided background vocals for Seeds and McGuire's 1974 follow-up Lighten Up.
The trio released their debut album With Footnotes in 1974. This album featured "Easter Song", which would become a signature piece for the group and has been recorded by many other artists since. This was followed with In the Volume of the Book in 1975, the year that also saw the release of a double live album with Barry McGuire, To the Bride, which included "a band called David", who supported 2nd Chapter of Acts on tour.
2nd Chapter of Acts' first three releases were issued by Myrrh Records, and the group toured with McGuire intermittently for three years.
The group went on a touring hiatus in 1976. Annie released her first solo record on the Sparrow Records label, founded that year by the executive who had signed them to the Myrrh label, Billy Ray Hearn. For the summer of 1977, they were joined on an 18-city tour by Phil Keaggy and the result was the live triple album, How the West Was One. Their contract with Myrrh fulfilled, they moved as a group to Sparrow.
Their Sparrow debut Mansion Builder (1978) was followed with The Roar of Love (a concept album inspired by C. S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), Rejoice, Singer Sower and Together Live (with Michael and Stormie Omartian). 2nd Chapter moved to their own Live Oak label with the release of Night Light in 1985 and broadened their appeal with the release of Hymns and Hymns 2, reaching audiences with more traditional music. Hymns proved to be their best-selling release and landed them a Dove Award followed by Hymns II and Hymns Instrumental. Their final recording of original material Faraway Places was released in 1988.
Their voices can be heard among other Christian artists on 2 benefit singles produced in 1985. Do Something Now! credited to The Cause on Sparrow Records to aid famine relief in Africa and Fight the Fight, Rescue the Unborn which featured over 100 Christian artists, to benefit the Christian Pro-Life Movement, released on Live Oak. Except for two sabbatical years in 1976 and 1983, 2nd Chapter of Acts continued to tour until 1988, performing over 100 concerts per year. Their final concert was in Houston, Texas on August 12 of that year.
2nd Chapter was recognized by the Gospel Music Association in 1999 and inducted into its Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Annie and Matthew also recorded several solo projects during the 2nd Chapter of Acts years. Both have continued to release new material and perform concerts.
About the Members
Annie was the main songwriter of the group and the only one who played an instrument (piano). Her admittedly unschooled compositional style, with its frequent irregular rhythms, added somewhat progressive rock-like elements (probably unintentionally) to what was otherwise a vocal based sound.
Annie and Matthew sang most of the solo parts. Nelly, whose voice could be hard to distinguish from Annie's, sang lead on songs where each member took a verse ("Which Way The Wind Blows," "Something Tells Me," "Takin' The Easy Way") and on solo pieces without the others singing backup ("I Don't Wanna Go Home," "Make My Life A Prayer," "Mountain Tops"). Her rich alto voice and her abilitity to find the connective harmonies between Matthew’s vocal licks and Annie’s melody was considered the 'glue' to the 2nd Chapter of Acts sound, and her harmony parts as such were generally the most difficult to sing.
- With Footnotes (1974)
- In the Volume of the Book (1975)
- To the Bride (2 LPs - with Barry McGuire and "a band called David") (1975) Most of this is by McGuire. The 2nd Chapter's section — 1 side plus 2 songs — consists mostly of songs they never released anywhere else.
- How The West Was One (3 LPs - with Phil Keaggy and "a band called David") (1977) Half of this was by 2nd Chapter, half by Phil Keaggy. This tour introduced Phil Keaggy to the established west coast audience of The 2nd Chapter of Acts. It includes 3 songs (one by Annie, one by Matthew, and one by Phil) never released anywhere else. It was later reissued on 2 CDs.
- Mansion Builder (1978) Contained the hit “Mansion Builder”
- The Roar of Love (1980) A concept album based on C.S. Lewis’ Narnia
- Rejoice (1981)
- Encores (1981) ("Best of" compilation of material previously released on Myrrh Records.)
- Singer Sower (1983)
- Together Live (2 LPs - with Michael and Stormie Omartian) (1983) 3 sides of this were by 2nd Chapter, 1 side by the Omartians. It includes one 2nd Chapter song that was never released anywhere else. This is the only 2nd Chapter album that has never been released on CD.
- Hymns (1986)
- Far Away Places (1987)
- Hymns 2 (1988)
- Hymns Instrumental (1989)
- 20 (CD album) (1992) ("Best of" compilation from all previous material, including 41 songs and early singles and a few unreleased songs) Issued on 2 CDs or 2 cassettes.
- Very Best of 2nd Chapter of Acts (2006) A compilation album of selected songs.
- Together Live [with Michael and Stormie Omartian] (1983) (This was available from Sparrow Records.) The 60 minute concert featured not only most of the songs from the LP's, but also personal testimonies.
- First Love – A Historic Gathering of Jesus Music Pioneers (1998).
- ( 2 DVDs + 2 CD + 30 Page Booklet) Almost 4 hours of history and performances from many of the early artists of Jesus Music. Features and history and performances from The 2nd Chapter of Acts.
In the Volume of the Book
How The West Was One
The Roar Of Love
Far Away Places
Very Best Of
DVD Set - First Love
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