Our 70’s Rock Band Tour!

 In 1972 I met Dear at a concert he was singing in. My best friend just started singing with this group and I accompanied her to the concert. Dear and I  became attracted to each other later that year after I auditioned for the group and joined.  In the summer of 1973 and 1974 Dear and I toured England with this American Christian Rock Group. We were called the “Contemporaries”.  Never to be confused with the Continentals! These articles and photos are a combination of our tours in ’73 and ’74. Dear and I were engaged during the ’74 tour and got married December of that year.

I’m one of the singers on the far right and Dear is right next to me.

“The American evangelical folk-rock group The Contemporaries received a superstar welcome when they played last week in St John’s Church, Waterloo. More than 600 children between the ages of 12 and 18, together with a small number of adults, packed the building for the hour-long concert which featured the latest in religious music. Outside local residents opened doors and windows to hear the music from the church and later a spokesman for the group said ‘The audiences on Merseyside are far warmer than any we ever had in ten years of playing in the states.”

“A band of young people spreading the word of God in their own unique way are the Contemporaries. The young American group have been touring England for the last two weeks at their own expense. The group visited Liverpool before making a tour of local schools.”

I’m in the front row standing on the right with Dear next to me of this picture with Dear.

“Hymns gave way to Jesus rock in morning assembly at St. George’s Church of England School, in Meadow Road, Gravesend yesterday. The concert was given by the Contemporaries, 14 musicians from the United States, who are in the middle of a world tour. They have already completed a number of successful “gigs” in Liverpool. They are all professional musicians, but they are giving their services free. They have also appeared at Gordon Secondary School for Girls and today they will be at Northfleet Count Secondary School for Girls. On Friday they will be at Gordon Secondary School for Boys and on Monday Southfields High School.”  [this article was pretty sensationalized…the band were professionals, not the vocalists. Our World tour consisted of 4 weeks in England]

We have great memories of our tours in England. Dear went on 2 previous tours before I joined the group. We were able to sing in schools for their religious hour. It was exciting for us to be able to give testimonies and talk about Jesus at schools. (couldn’t do that in the U.S.)

It was hilarious that the kids would chase after us and want to get our autographs. After our school concerts during the day we would sing at a town hall or church at night and many of the students from the schools would come again to hear us.

I’m in the middle of all those young girls!

Dear and I left the group in the mid 70’s after we were married.

16 thoughts on “Our 70’s Rock Band Tour!

  1. My husband and I met in a Christian singing group too – “The New Christian Singers”
    I am smiling as I look at your pictures – and I can see that I am going to have dig out some of mine and scan them.
    We looked exactly the same!! Even to the long dresses.
    We never went abroad but we toured the Maritimes and made several recordings.
    It was a wonderful experience and helped me grow in my faith as a young believer.

    Kathie, I’m looking forward to your photos! I also agree that our experience with this group really caused our faith to grow. Blessings.

  2. I so enjoyed seeing those pictures, and I especially thought your clothes were so cute. Such good taste.
    Wow, it just doesn’t seem that long ago does it? I remember my dad saying to me when he was 80, I just don’t feel 80 in my head and then I look at my body and figure it must be true. That reality is becoming clearer every year.
    Well, thank you for the picutre into your past, I’m so glad you and your Dear “stuck”.

    Lovella, I don’t peer into mirrors much these days! 🙂 Blessings…

  3. So awesome Ellen! Just think, some women out there have a book tucked away with your autographs! What a crack-up! Had no idea you were both famous!

    Michelle, ahhh….fame is fleeting my dear. It was hilarious!

  4. Oh man those were some fun times! I still remember going to see you guys sing! “I have a reason to sing…..”

    Lana, Ahh yes and the infamous concert mom came to when she told me afterwards “I don’t think dare drums in heaven.” 🙂

  5. Hey, I didn’t know you were my ‘celebrity’ blogging friend— and a pretty one at that:-) What a flashback! …to think upon those days. Looks like you had fun, and we had the same hair! Thanks for this post–loved it.
    PS–Got my article done with much peace, thanks to your prayers. THANK YOU and BLESSINGS!

    Vicki, “Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end…. ”
    So happy to hear the article is complete, Rejoicing with you.

  6. Worth the wait! Thanks for sharing! You were one gorgeous gal (and are still…love the shot of you and Katie in your earlier post)–what great memories, I’m sure! Who knew I could be blog buddies with an international jet setter and rock star?

    Lisa, You’re too kind. They are great memories.

  7. What fun!! Loved all the photos and the stories!!
    I remember (and wore) those fashions (can we honestly call it “fashion”??)! Surprisingly, I’ve seen some similar stuff in the dept. stores recently. Ha!

    Connie, good to hear from you. Hope all is going well with studies, etc. Fashion has a way of recycling!

  8. What great photos and stories, Ellen! Sure brings back memories of those days. Harry and I were in Afghanistan and Nepal ministering to hippies while you were singing your heart out with the Contemporaries. Makes me smile at how young we were and how we dressed, and such fond, grateful memories of those who came to the Lord. It was a privilege to be part of all that, wasn’t it?

    Rosemary, It really was and is a priviledge to be about God’s business. Blessings on you.

  9. What FUN!! I would have LOVED LOVED LOVED to have done this!! I’ll bet you’ve got buckets and buckets full of memories!!!
    Do your children sing? Do you and your husband still sing? Whatever happened to the group?
    His,
    Mrs. U
    Hi Mrs. U., We have some crazy memories for sure. My children enjoy singing. My daughter enjoys it the most and has sung duets etc. My husband and I do most of our singing in the pew at church now. The group deteriorated through lack of good leadership and folded in the later 70’s.

  10. Thanks for the great words & pics Ellen.
    I remember well seeing the band when you played at
    Hayesbrook school in Tonbridge, this was around 74 or 75
    i guess..you came to our school twice.
    Great memories of happy days.
    Regards from the UK,
    Steve.

    Steve, Oh man this internet thing is amazing. I’m so thrilled you found these good ole memories and that someone in the UK remembers us…blessings…

  11. Hi Ellen, the net is an amazing resource for sure.
    I remember two names from the band when we saw them,
    Steve was the drummer if i recall right..i was crazy about
    drumming back then, play guitar now lol.
    Also a lovely blonde girl who i think was called Heidi.
    Are those names familiar i wonder?
    Thanks again for all the info.
    Steve.

    Steve, You are absolutely right. There was a drummer named Steve and the lovely blonde was my best friend Heidi. I just got off the phone with Heidi cuz I had to share your comments with her. We had some fun remembering those days. She’s actually the blonde in the photos above. My husband and I weren’t with the band in ’75. We were newlyweds and couldn’t afford to get away. Heidi lived with us just before she got married and we’ve stayed close and our kids all have shared time together. Well it’s a small world. My husband and I have made a few trips back to the UK (2002, 2004, and 2006) We hope for more trips in the future, too. Blessings on you…

  12. Amazing Ellen, a small world indeed!
    Fancy you and Heidi being best friends, i thought she looked
    familiar in the first picture you posted.
    I think the two years the band played at my school were
    75/76..sure they played at the school next to ours as well.
    Ok about the drummer named Steve, my old memory didn’t
    let me down this time lol.
    I’ll be checking your pages every day now that i’ve found
    you..thanks once again for all the fascinating news.
    Best wishes,

    Steve.

    Steve, Thanks so much for finding me and commenting. You made my day!! I’m heading to the airport now to fly to California. Blessings….

  13. SO COOL, Ellen!!!!! Really…just SO COOL!!!!! This must have been quite an experience! No wonder you have wanderlust…you got started at an early age! Thanks for sharing this link with me, and thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope you get in the Fall mood soon! 🙂

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