There are a few LDS singers who are going to Hollywood this season on American Idol. We all remember Carmen Rasmusen and Jon Peter Lewis from past seasons (among a few other almost-finalists). Both Carmen and Jon are gigging regularly and have recently released new albums. (Ive seen Carmen showcase in Nashville and perform locally, and I believe shes got the goods for The Big Time).
For the new season, Southern Californian Brooke White got the thumbs up from all three judges after her Ive-never-seen-an-R-rated movie audition in Pennsylvania (the song was Like A Star). Watch the clip here.
What makes me wonder how far Brooke has risen in the already-in-progress season is that her former web site is no longer up. A friend of mine is in Brookes ward, and hes been telling me how great she is for several years now. So I check in on her web site from time to time. But now the web site is under construction. It might just be a coincidence, but it could indicate that she is under contract with the shows producers or least wanting to spruce up her web site for the increased traffic shell be getting.
The other LDS contestant who got the thumbs up from all three judges is 16-year-old David Archuleta from Salt Lake City, who auditioned in San Diego.
Local arranger/songwriter Richard Parkinson has been working with David for a couple years. Here they are doing Oh Holy Night. Parkinson says, I met his dad in a Sam's Club in Murray no kidding and immediately began to put together a few Christmas songs for his performances in 2005. I was totally blown away. I really could not believe he was this good. But he is, and I took every opportunity to just be around his amazing talent. Besides that, I believe he is a better person than he is a singer, if you can believe that!
Both of these singers can SING! So stay tuned. Well see how far they rise.
QUICK NOTES: Colorado-based singer Allyse Smiths debut CD, Come Thou Fount, is a peaceful collection of hymns and standards (with pianist Marvin Goldstein). Meanwhile, artist/engineer Clayton Pixton of Kansas City takes a totally different approach with Hymns Anew, even though both artists cover Come Thou Fount. Pixtons 12-song collection offers up acoustic/vocal style arrangements. Instruments include piano, guitar, tin whistle, and of course lots of neat vocals, says Pixton on his web site. Both albums are definitely worth checking out.
(Quint Randle was born and raised in Southern California and has been a music journalist and songwriter for more than 25 years. He is now a faculty member in the BYU Communications Department. He has co-written two No. 1 songs in the Christian-Country market and still moonlights as a member of the award-winning duo Joshua Creek. He founded Gig Magazine and has written for Mix Magazine, Recording Engineer/Producer and Guitar Player. He also co-authored the book "Making Money Making Music.")