One In A Million Find Our Why Stephanie Boosahda Has This Title and By The Way, Who is She? by Philip Mayaab
For some of us (myself included sometimes), as we start to get a few years added to our age, we can't remember things as readily as we once did. I say that because, some of us will have to dig deep into our memory bank this week, because unless you listened to early CCM radio incessantly, you may not remember the young lady who is the artist on our Vinyl Revival LP of the week.
When I first started listening to Contemporary Christian music, there weren't as many stars (for lack of a better word) among the small list of successful artists. I got in around 1979, and most of the artists were not what you would call a household name, because it was the music and the message that got most of the recognition. For every mega successful artist on the radio, such as Dallas Holm & Praise, The Imperials, Andrus, Blackwood & Co, and a small handful of others, there would be larger numbers of solo artists, bands, and groups still working on becoming more recognizable. Of course all of that would change in the early 80s, once record companies finally got the hang of the promotion game, but I digress. During the early days of my own personal experience with CCM radio, one name I remember hearing a lot was that of Stephanie Boosahda. Our local station featured her music a lot, and she had a style and voice that fit well in those early days. It was kind of nice, because at that point in time, the airwaves were definitely more male dominated, and there were fewer female artists playing in regular rotation on the radio.
I had all but forgotten Ms. Boosahda when I came across a copy of her 1980 LP One In A Million, but the moment I saw it, I instantly remembered hearing her on the radio when I was a kid, so I bought the album, and I am sharing it with all of you this week. There are a couple of the songs that our D.J.s played consistently on the air, and we'll get to those in a few minutes. In researching for this post, I discovered that Stephanie has a rather extensive ministry resume, that includes hosting her own television program as well as being the co-host of Pat Robertson's 700 Club for a period of time. Her singing career took a back seat to the ministry she has shared with her husband Wayne, whom she met at Oral Roberts University in the early 70s. They have traveled around the world for over 40 years preaching and singing the Gospel together, but she is still considered one of the early pioneers of the CCM industry.
Being one of the early female vocalists in the genre, Stephanie Boosahda is remembered as one of the better singers of her time, and when you listen to the album on CCM Classic this week, you may catch a slight similarity between her voice, and that of Kathy Troccoli, who would release her debut album two years later. This was Stephanie's third album (she has released a total of 8), so she was fairly well established by the time it came out, and her concerts have been described online as energetic, life-changing worship & praise with great humor and strong powerful ministry in Word & Spirit.* In addition to her standout voice, Stephanie Boosahda was also known for her songwriting abilities as well (one of my favorite S.B. songs is You Were There, which appeared on Amy Grant's sophomore album My Father's Eyes). That songwriting served her well in the making of this album, because her name appears in the writing credits of each of the ten tracks on the LP, a feat which few other female vocalists were accomplishing at the time. Each of the songs are tailor made for her voice, as the vocals fit just like the final piece of a puzzle. Our station in St. Louis played He's Gonna Make Your Dreams Come True , Let Your Faith Do The Walking, Comin' Home To You, and Why Choose Me Lord in regular rotation, so this record was well represented on the radio (back in those days, we didn't have music on demand as we do now).
If I had to describe this album's overall feel, I would classify it as the standard adult contemporary sound that was so popular back in the late 70s and early 80s, and it would probably compare to music by a mainstream artist such as Nicolette Larson or Jennifer Warnes. Like 99% of the albums released back then, the music is dated, and there are several of the upbeat songs that utilize that sort of disco high hat cymbal pattern that you heard on records by the Bee Gees, but in all honesty that doesn't take away from the enjoyment you will get when you listen to the album. The songs are balanced well between slower and upbeat, and Stephanie delivers the vocals on each type of song very well...the ballads are sung with a great deal of emotion and feel, while the faster numbers contain snappy, crisp vocals. As far as the studio personnel goes, one name of note is that of GMA Hall Of Fame member Brown Bannister, who handled both producing and engineering duties, and did a superb job with both. The musical tracks were supplied by some of Nashville's A-list studio musicians, and the album's credits are a who's who of well known musical talent, such as Shane Keister (his last name is actually spelled wrong on my copy of the album), Jack Williams, Reggie Young, Jon Goin, Jerry Carrigan, and others. It is clear when reading the credits on the album (which I do with every album I own), that Chrism Records spent out a good deal of money to get the best personnel possible, and the finished product proved that their investment was well spent.
This is a REALLY good record, by an artist who deserves a lot more notoriety than history has left her with. Stephanie Boosahda's talent is comparable to that of other, better known female vocalists of her day, such as Evie and Nancy Honeytree. In a time period that did not include names like Sandi Patti and Point Of Grace, and barely included Amy Grant, Stephanie Boosahda turned out some top notch albums and radio singles. Had she focused entirely on her singing career, she could have been remembered alongside some of the biggest female vocalists that CCM has ever known, however she felt it more important to help her husband go all over the world, preaching the gospel. We here at CCM Classic are happy to share a great album from a great artist with you this week, and just maybe, we might jog your memory a little...
Side One -
1. Comin' Home To You (David Stearman & Stephanie Boosahda)
2. Say The Word (Stephanie & Wayne Boosahda)
3. I Believe In God (Stephanie Boosahda & David Stearman)
4. Where You Lead Me I'll Go (Stephanie Boosahda & David Stearman)
5. Why Choose Me God? (Stephanie Boosahda)
Side Two -
1. Let Your Faith Do The Walkin' (Wayne & Stephanie Boosahda)
2. He's Gonna Make Your Dreams Come True (David Stearman & Stephanie Boosahda)
3. I Love You Because... (Stephanie Boosahda)
4. I Can Do All Things (Stephanie Boosahda & David Stearman)
5. Flyin' Away (Stephanie Boosahda)
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