Orange County, California, USA and Nashville, Tennessee, USA
The Choir is an atmospheric Christian alternative rock band currently comprising Derri Daugherty on guitar and vocals, Steve Hindalong on drums, and Dan Michaels on saxophone and lyricon. Long-time bassist Tim Chandler died in 2018, and guitarist Marc Byrd was the fifth member of the band between 2005–2014. As of 2021, the band has released 16 full-length studio albums, three EPs, five live albums, one single-disc compilation, one retrospective box set, and is still actively recording new material.
Daugherty and Hindalong met each other in 1979 through Tim Chandler. Daugherty and Chandler were playing for TV Evangelist Paula Jan Crouch at the time, while Hindalong and Chandler were at Azusa Pacific University together. Hindalong and Chandler were playing together in Jazz, Top 40, and other music style groups. Chandler approached Hindalong about Daugherty because Derri was a good songwriter, and he knew the guys in Daniel Amos. Daugherty was also a roadie and sound-man for the Calvary Chapel movement for their Saturday Night concerts.
The three of them wanted to put together a band, so they did in 1979. Chandler ended up joining Daniel Amos, so they got Mike Sauerbrey in 1983. That is when they officially became the Youth Choir. Youth Choir was part of the Calvary Chapel Christian punk and alternative music scene, which also included the bands Undercover, Crumbächer, Altar Boys, and 4-4-1.
The band's first official recording was the track “It's So Wonderful”, released in 1984 on the compilation album What's Shakin', which also included early work from Undercover, Altar Boys, and The Lifters. This song was one of the few times that lead singer Daugherty wrote both lyrics and music; as the band developed, the majority of The Choir's lyrical output would come from drummer/percussionist Hindalong. In 1985, the band independently released a 7-inch single with “I Can't Take It” b/w “Here in the Night (live).” The band then signed to Broken Records and released their debut album Voices in Shadows in 1985, with Mike Saurerbrey on bass. The band used a “Drumulator” instead of Hindalong for the drums (because this was popular at the time), leading Steve to hate the album for a long time. Their first EP Shades of Gray followed a year later, when Dan Michaels joined the band.
When the band signed to Myrrh Records (a sub-label of Word Records) in 1986, their new label wanted the band to change the name. The label wanted a fresh start for the band, but didn't want them to throw out all of the support they had garnered as Youth Choir. So they decided to drop “Youth” to become The Choir.
(…to be continued…)
|1985||Youth Choir||I Can't Take It / Here in the Night (7-inch)|
|1985||Youth Choir||Voices in Shadows||Broken Records|
|1986||Youth Choir||Shades of Gray ep||Broken Records|
|1986||The Choir||Diamonds and Rain||Myrrh Records|
|1988||The Choir||Chase the Kangaroo||Myrrh Records|
|1989||The Choir||Wide-Eyed Wonder||Myrrh Records|
|1990||The Choir||Circle Slide||Myrrh Records|
|1993||The Choir||Kissers and Killers|
|1994||The Choir||Speckled Bird||R.E.X. Music|
|1995||The Choir||Love Songs and Prayers: A Retrospective||Myrrh Records|
|1996||The Choir||Free Flying Soul||Tattoo Records|
|1997||The Choir||Let It Fly||Tattoo Records|
|2000||The Choir||Flap Your Wings||Galaxy21 Music|
|2000||The Choir||Live at Cornerstone 2000: Plugged||M8 Records|
|2000||The Choir||Live at Cornerstone 2000: Unplugged||M8 Records|
|2001||The Choir||Never Say Never: The First 20 Years||Galaxy21 Music|
|2005||The Choir||O How the Mighty Have Fallen||Galaxy21 Music|
|2010||The Choir||Burning Like the Midnight Sun||Galaxy21 Music|
|2010||The Choir||de-plumed||Galaxy21 Music|
|2012||The Choir||The Loudest Sound Ever Heard||Galaxy21 Music|
|2013||The Choir||Peace, Love & Light ep||Galaxy21 Music|
|2014||The Choir||Shadow Weaver||Galaxy21 Music|
|2014||The Choir||Live and on the Wing in Music City||Galaxy21 Music|
|2018||The Choir||Bloodshot||Galaxy21 Music|
|2021||The Choir||Deep Cuts||Galaxy21 Music|
Hindalong's original title for Diamonds and Rain was Love and Fear, because the songs had a theme of love and fear and the tension between the two. However, the band's A&R guy Tom Willet didn't like that name. He asked Hindalong to see if there were any symbols of those two themes, or something more poetic. Hindalong felt that diamonds could symbolize “love,” and rain could symbolize “fear,” so that is where the title came from.
2001 Galaxy21 Music (026297493226)
Tracks 6-9: From the Wikipedia page for Voices in Shadows: “Before the album's release, the band convinced the label brass to let them re-record “A Million Years” as a full band, with Mark Heard as producer, Bill Batstone on bass and including newly-hired Dan Michaels on Lyricon, before issuing that single to Christian radio. While in the studio with Heard, Youth Choir also re-recorded “Another World” as well as two new tracks: “We Should Be Dancing,” and an early version of “All Night Long,” the latter of which would be recorded again for the Shades of Gray EP. The re-recorded versions of “A Million Years” and “All Night Long” would officially be released on the compilation album ..Love Songs and Prayers: A Retrospective in 1995, with the other two tracks appearing on the “Nevermind the Extras” disc in the Choir's ..Never Say Never: The First 20 Years boxed set in 2000.”
Track 16: According to Steve Hindalong in 2022: “'Everybody Suffers' is a song I recorded for Eric Compuzano’s (The Prayer Chain) label called Northern Records. It was for a compilation project that was never released so the song only exists on Nevermind the Extras. I recall writing the lyric on the plane flight to LAX, putting music to it the next day and recording it one night at the Green Room with a bunch of those awesome, talented guys. Maybe 20 years ago?”
Track 19: According to Steve Hindalong in 2022: “The 'Rifle Man Voices' was a sub mix of the spoken parts for that song. Back then we were on 24 track 2” tape so a production idea like that required us to record a bunch of tracks and then bounce them down to two stereo tracks.“
(…to be continued…)