Billy Ray Hearn
Billy Ray Hearn is credited by many for pioneering the concept of Contemporary Christian Music during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Influenced by the folk musicians of the day (Peter, Paul and Mary and others) Billy Ray brought these modern sounds into the church to surprising results. The Contemporary Christian Music movement was beginning to grow and with the help of Billy Graham who asked Billy Ray’s group to perform at one of his church programs, Billy Ray was there to help direct its growth. He was hired by Word Publishing to sign artists to their record label. Within a few months the once unheard of idea of modern music in church soon began to grow and gain popularity.
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