Don Francisco (musician)
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Don Francisco (born February 28, 1946) is an independent American singer, songwriter, and musician, specializing in the field of contemporary Christian music. He has won two Dove awards, 1980 song of the year (for "He's Alive"), and 1980 Songwriter of the year.
Don Francisco was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of a Christian seminary professor Clyde T. Francisco. Francisco's early career centered on the folk-rock music common during the mid-1960s, but after an experience Francisco believed was supernatural, he rededicated his life to God and changed his personal, musical direction. Francisco is married and lives in Colorado with his wife, Wendy, also a recording artist as well as a graphic artist.
In 1977 Don Francisco recorded "I Don't Care Where You've Been Sleeping" for the album Forgiven. According to the Francisco's website: "We get more letters about the healing impact of this song than any other except 'He's Alive.'" It is one of the most uncompromising songs he has ever written and it is considered by many[who?] to be one of his best songs.
Benson re-released the original album Forgiven along with Got to Tell Somebody, and put them both on one CD in 1988. That re-release left off the song "I Don't Care Where You've Been Sleeping" off in order to fit both albums on one 70-minute CD. However, they did release the Forgiven album in the early 1990s with that song on it, along with all others, on their "Right Price" line of CDs.
Eventually after 1994, Don Francisco opted to operate independently, which, while affording him more control, seems to have had no ill effect on his musical output or quality. On the contrary, albums released after have gradually gained the use of further session work and demonstrate an even greater range of styles.
In 2003 Francisco released The Promises, which consists almost entirely of selected and paraphrased readings from the Bible. The disk is a collaboration between Don and Wendy Francisco.
Francisco's style is fairly distinctive, focusing on acoustic instruments barren of modern production techniques and concentrates on the narratives of the songs, using ballad styles or speaking through the music that interprets Scriptural events or Biblical lessons, specifically with respect to the teachings of Jesus Christ and his messages of "unconditional love" ("I Don't Care Where You've Been Sleeping"), salvation ("Give Your Heart a Home"), and even a lesson against religious self-righteousness and pharisaic condemnation ("Beautiful To Me"). As is the case with many singer-songwriters advocating a specific religious belief or philosophical viewpoint through music, Francisco uses his adaptations and interpretations as the means to convey what he feels are the most important teachings of the JudeoChristian scriptures.
Some of Don Francisco's songs deal with what his site calls Churchianity where the habit of church life replaces actual Christianity.
Views on copyright
Don Francisco retains full copyright on all his work but provides chord charts and lyrics for most of his songs. In addition to this, many of his albums have been recorded without lyrics so that an enthusiastic fan might sing them for themselves.
In addition to this rather liberal approach to the base material, his site actively encourages its visitors to create CDs for friends that might appreciate—the site actually states "...might be blessed..."—a custom Don Francisco and Friends CD, with the limits against sale and so forth and the simple requirement that the website URL be written on each CD.
Towards the end of 2006 the members area was opened to the public with the same access that had previously been reserved for members now available to anyone. While fans are now asked to donate should they wish, it is now entirely optional and separate from access to the base material.
Barred from the UK
In March 2009, Don Francisco was scheduled to perform in an Easter music program in the English port town of Poole but was briefly barred from entering the United Kingdom. Francisco claimed that at London's Heathrow Airport he was detained and escorted by armed guards back to the United States, and was barred entry for listing his occupation as "gospel singer" and failing to obtain a religious worker visa, a new requirement under British law. That year the United Kingdom passed a new points-based immigration system that increased scrutiny for religious workers traveling to the country.
- 1976 Brother of the Son
- 1977 Forgiven
- 1979 Got to Tell Somebody
- 1981 The Traveler
- 1982 The Live Concert
- 1984 Holiness
- 1985 One Heart at a Time
- 1987 The Power
- 1988 High Praise
- 1989 Live in the UK
- 1991 Vision of the Valley
- 1992 Come Away
- 1994 Genesis and Job
- 1999 Grace on Grace
- 2001 Only Love is Spoken Here
- 2003 The Promises (Spoken Word)
- 2005 That I May Know You
- 2007 The Sower
- 2009 Let It Ride
- 2012 Carols on Guitar
- 2014 Forever My Friend
- 1985 The Poet
- 1991 Early Works
- 1996 Word Pictures
- 1999 Balladeer Tales
- 1996 He's Alive, Collection Vol. I
- 1998 Beautiful To Me, Collection Vol. II
- 2004 The Package, Collection Vol. III
- Official website - contains albums, MP3s, a member area with lyrics and guitar chords, and ministry updates
- Don Francisco discography at Discogs