February 7, 1955|
Abilene, Texas, US
|Genres||Pop, contemporary Christian music|
|Occupation(s)||Recording artist-songwriter, record producer, wnba sports owner|
|Labels||YMC RECORDS/HOME SWEET HOME RECORDS|
Chris Christian (born February 7, 1955 as Lon Christian Smith is an American songwriter, record producer, and a record label executive. His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Olivia Newton-John, Hall and Oates, Natalie Cole, Sheena Easton, The Pointer Sisters, Al Jarreau, The Carpenters, Amy Grant, Patti Austin, Dionne Warwick, America, The Imperials, B.J. Thomas, B W Stevenson, Marilyn McCoo, Dan Peek, Cheryl Ladd, Jane Olivor, Sandi Patti, Pat Boone, Ali Lohan, Donnie Osmond, and others.
As a member of the trio of Cotton, Lloyd & Christian (put together by Mike Curb) in the early 1970s, he enjoyed two hits on the Billboard adult contemporary chart on 20th Century Records. The group performed on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and Midnight Special. As a solo artist he performed on The Merv Griffin Show, Solid Gold, and was a judge on Star Search. Christian also played guitar with Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, and the Wayne Newton band.
As a record producer, he is best known for starting Amy Grant's music career by signing her at age 16 to his production company and calling Myrrh Records executive Stan Moser to advise he was making an album on Amy as part of a long term production agreement Christian had signed with Myrrh Records. Christian produced her first album and acted as executive producer for her second, handing over production duties to his college friend Brown Bannister. He owned her songs until 1997 when they were sold to Gaylord Entertainment.
He has produced The Pointer Sisters, Patti Austin, Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Amy Grant, Dallas Cowboys, B J Thomas, Dan Peek, B W Stevenson, Debby Boone, Steve Archer, Bill Gaither, Marilyn McCoo, Eric Champion, Ali Lohan, Pat Boone, and over 100 other albums.
As the first artist signed to Boardwalk Records owned by Neil Bogart, with Bob Gaudio (Four Seasons) producing, he recorded "I Want You, I Need You," which peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1981 and reached the No. 8 on Billboards Adult Contemporary Chart. "I Want You, I Need You" was a number one song in some countries outside the USA. Cheryl Ladd sings back-up on the song along with many other artists on the album including Christopher Cross, Nigel Olsson, Frankie Valli, Dann Huff, Tommy Funderburk, Bill Champlin, Paul Jackson, Amy Holland, and Robbie Patton. Other artists on Boardwalk were Ringo Starr, Joan Jett, Mike Love (Beach Boys), and Night Ranger. Robert Kardashian (the Kardashians' father) was his best friend, manager and was responsible for Chris signing with Boardwalk Records. A second hit, a medley of the 1968 Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell Motown classics "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "You're All I Need to Get By" sung with Amy Holland, hit No. 21 on the Adult Contemporary chart and No. 88 on the Hot 100 in 1982.
Christian has produced albums that have been nominated for nine and won four Grammy Awards. He has also been nominated for seven Gospel Music Association Dove Awards as an artist, songwriter, and producer, winning five. He has also released sixteen other albums as a solo artist.
Throughout his career, he has written music for many major TV sports events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA finals, The Masters, Olympics, NFL Today, US Open, and many more.
In 1981, Chris launched his own label Home Sweet Home Records. On that label he signed and produced albums for White Heart, Steve Archer, Mark Heard, Dan Peek, B J Thomas, Eric Champion, Rick Riso, Luke Garrett, Marilyn McCoo and others.
In 1992, he founded HSH Educational Media and executive produced and wrote the music for the popular children's series "Gerbert" which aired on PBS and what is now ABC Family for over 10 years. His company continues to own and license the Gerbert shows and music. The "Gerbert" TV series won an ACE award for best Pre-School Show.
Chris purchased The Studios at Las Colinas in 1992 with partner Steve Jarchow. Ross Perot Jr. bought Jarchows interest in 1993. Chris and Ross purchased the acreage around the Studios Complex selling their interest in the Studio and the remaining land to Fox Sports Southwest in 2003.
He was inducted into the West Texas Music Hall of Fame, , as well as the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He is listed among the Distinguished Alumni of Abilene Christian University (class of 1973). His family was a founding family of The Covenant School in Dallas. 
- "It's just music with a message". Del Rio News Herald. November 29, 1986. p. 4. Retrieved March 13, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. (subscription required)
- "YMC Records To Make First Appearance at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers Convention" at TheFreeLibrary.com 
- "WDMG Gets Sirius With Universal Music Enterprises" on Satellite Standard Group's Blogspot page 
- "Dallas Exec Matches Up Retailers and Big-Time Recording Artists" column by Cheryl Hall from The Dallas Morning News 
- "WNBA's Dallas Wings Introduced in DFW Metroplex" 
- "Dallas Wings era opens in WNBA with high hopes" - ESPN 
- "Christian has taken winding journey to sports ownership" 
- "WNBA's Dallas Wings already honoring local roots" 
- "Christian takes music experience to the WNBA" 
- "Thank You Chris, thank you very much"