UTR Offers Tribute to Rich Mullins
- Steven Koster
- Under the Radar
Fifteen years ago, on September 19, 1997, the world lost a well-loved songwriter when Rich Mullins died in a car accident in Central Illinois. Starting this week, Under the Radar (UTR) will be paying tribute to Mullins, whose songs include some you may have sung: "Awesome God," "Sing Your Praise to the Lord," "Sometimes By Step," and "Creed."
UTR producer Dave Trout notes, “There are very few artists who have had more of an impact on the landscape of Christian music than Rich Mullins. He was a true poet who toiled over his lyrics. The lines of his songs are still to this day studied and discussed in a similar way we ponder the great lines of classic hymns.”
UTR listeners agree. "The music of Rich Mullins has given me an appetite for deeper, richer, more beautiful things," wrote Breann from Racine, MO.
Adrian from Benton, TN, added, "Rich Mullins inspired me to trust in God as a good God and a good Father. He lived his faith and didn't just sing about it. He was interested in knowing Christ and trusting the grace that He brought to us."
UTR is releasing the three-part production which airs on more than 250 radio stations and can be heard on RadarRadio.net. “The UTR team has been putting the pieces together for this special program for the last 2 years,” says Rev. Steven Koster, director of ReFrame Media, the English outreach of Back to God Ministries International, and the team that produces Under the Radar. “It's a thrill to celebrate one of the greatest songwriters of our generation, and hopefully introduce a new crop of fans to Rich's musical legacy.”
Included in the programs are interview clips by many of today's most critically-acclaimed songwriters. Andrew Peterson, an artist who has been cited on over 15 different websites as "the heir apparent to Rich Mullins," cited the principles of Mullins’ style that influenced a new generation of songwriters. “His love for scripture, his willingness to be vulnerable and honest about his own struggles, his own reckless way of living…You got the sense when you heard Rich sing that he really believed what he was singing, and that he cared more about what God thought than what you thought."
Charles from Chicago, IL agrees. He wrote on UTR’s website: "Rich Mullins' music painted an accurate picture of what it meant to love God and to be loved by Him. He was able to write great music and add lyrics full of passion, love, humor, grace and mercy - never without authenticity - and his songs still pierce the heart and soul."
Dave has long wanted to produce the tribute to Mullins, because, “Just like the Christian music industry at large, I respected and enjoyed a lot of Rich's music, but completely under-valued him as a songwriter. I truly woke up to the beauty of his art several years after he died. Many of his songs are so timeless, musically and lyrically, that their excellence shines brighter as the years march on.”
In addition to the 3-part radio tribute, the UTR Facebook Page is featuring Rich Mullins' music videos, quotes, concert footage, and community conversations about his life, music and ministry impact.