Jon Gibson (Christian musician)
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January 3, 1964 |
San Francisco, California, United States
|Genres||Contemporary Christian, blue-eyed soul|
|Instruments||guitar, drums, keyboards|
|Labels||Constellation, Frontline, Brainstorm Artists International, B-Rite, Imagery|
Jon Robert Gibson (born January 3, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Originally a blue-eyed soul singer, he moved toward contemporary Christian music. Gibson scored a number of hit singles in the 1990s, including "Jesus Loves Ya", "Love Comes Down", and "God Will Find You".
Upon returning home to pursue a music career with his local band in the early 1980s, Gibson found his father had become a Christian. Gibson accepted Christ and, after attending church as a result of his dad's pestering, was baptized by his father in the bathtub.
After Gibson came out of the army at age 20, he signed with Dick Griffey's Constellation label as a rhythm and blues artist. Apparently Griffey had some fun circulating Gibson's demo tape, with people believing they were listening to Stevie Wonder. With Constellation Gibson released his debut album, Standing on the One. Gibson, however, being torn between his desire for pop stardom and his need to give testimony to his faith, entered the Christian music industry when he signed with Frontline Records in 1986.
On the Run was well received (also being re-released in 1990), rendering his first Number 1 single in Contemporary Christian music on Christian radio, entitled "God Loves a Broken Heart". It became the first of a string of over 20 Top Ten CCM Hits. Gibson also experienced success with the No. 1 single "Friend In You", a ballad which is one of CCM's classic hit songs, from Change of Heart. On this album, he did a cover of "Ya Mo Be There", a song originally performed by James Ingram and Michael McDonald, and co-written by Rod Temperton and Quincy Jones.
Although his first rap solo was 1986's "Ain't It Pretty" from the album On The Run, Gibson wrote and produced the first rap hit in CCM history (by anyone) called "This Wall" featuring M.C. Hammer (it was originally within the lyrics of this song that Stanley Kirk Burrell - or "K.B." - first identified himself as M.C. Hammer), and was featured in Time–Life's CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music. Prior to this time, he was a part of Hammer's gospel rap group Holy Ghost Boys, with songs having been produced before being released on their respective albums. For instance, Hammer would later release a song called "Son of the King" on his debut album Feel My Power (1987) and Gibson released "This Wall" on his Change of Heart album (1988). Burrell, along with Tramaine Hawkins, performed with Gibson's band doing several concerts in various halls such as the Beverly Theatre in Beverly Hills.
Gibson was reunited with Stevie Wonder on the 1989 album Body & Soul, with Wonder playing harmonica on a remake of his own song called "Have a Talk with God" (from 1976's Songs in the Key of Life). Wonder's 1991 soundtrack album Jungle Fever would go on to have Gibson singing backup in return (e.g. on the track "I Go Sailing"), even touring together.
Gene Andrusco, Rick Zunigar and Rob Watson assisted on the album Jesus Loves Ya (1990), which had two hit singles—the title track and the song "Love Come Down". But there were several elements that frustrated the relationship between Gibson and Frontline Records. The main issue was the fact that through the years Gibson was receiving little if no payment for his recordings. "My contract was over when I completed the album Forever Friends", Gibson says. In the end, Frontline Records ran into serious financial trouble and Gibson decided to create his own record label, resulting in a nearly three-year hiatus before his next disc, Love Education. Afterward he signed with Ojo Taylor and Gene Eugene of Brainstorm Artists International. Gibson then got married, had children, and took time off from his music again. Upon returning, he searched for a record contract for two years, finally landing with gospel record label B-Rite Music in 1999 for his The Man Inside record, a consciously urban-sounding album made with producer Tommy Sims. It didn't fare as well as previous records, and Gibson again decided to take his career into his own hands, creating his own Imagery Records and releasing his first praise album, Soulful Hymns, in 2002.
In 2009 he recorded his 10th solo album, The Horizons of Knowing, with plans for release in late November/early December 2010. However, the album was never released. On June 7, 2010, Gibson released the single "On a Mission" which was available as a download.
Eventually, the song "I'm On a Mission" was included on his 2012 album The Storyteller. A portion of the funding for the album was raised via Kickstarter. Released on an independent record label by Soul Scan Music, the album was mixed by engineer Dennis Moody.
Musical style and training
Gibson writes, arranges, and produces most of his albums, and plays most of the instruments. Comments Gibson, "I'm not a trained musician. I never took music in school. I dropped out of school in 9th grade. I don't know how to read and write notes. I don't play with any proper technique; I just grab instruments and play them. Everything I learned to play, I figured out myself. So I'm not the best musician, but if you give me time, without people coming around, pressuring me ('We have to finish this record by the GMA') when I don't have these pressures on me, I can do tracks closer to the feeling I really want if I play it myself. It takes me longer, but I get more of the feeling I really want if I play it myself."
Gibson married Lisa Rea in 1995. They have three children together: Jonathon Thomas Gibson, James Robert Gibson and Jesse Earl Gibson. Gibson currently leads worship services across the nation and also performs for multi-genre, mainstream audiences/celebrities worldwide. He is also a music minister at a California church.
- 1983: Standing on the One (12-inch vinyl)
- 1986: On the Run—No. 1: "God Loves A Broken Heart"
- 1988: Change of Heart—No. 1: "Friend in You"; "This Wall"
- 1989: Body & Soul—Top Ten Hits: "Father Father", "In The Name Of The Lord", "Everyone Needs The Lord"
- 1990: Jesus Loves Ya—No. 1 for 11 weeks yielding 1991's top selling Contemporary Christian music single: "Jesus Loves Ya"; "Love Come Down"
- 1991: The Hits
- 1992: Forever Friends—5 Top Ten Hits with 4 No. 1's: "Happy To Know Jesus", "Can't Live Without Jesus" "You Are The One" "Forever Friends" "Found A Home"
- 1994: Songs Of Encouragement And Healing (A collection)
- 1995: Love Education—3 Top Ten Hits
- 1999: The Man Inside—Top Twenty Album
- 2002: Soulful Hymns
- 2009: Spirit of Christmas Northern Light Orchestra
- 2010: The Horizons of Knowing (unreleased)
- 2012: The Storyteller
- Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music. Backbeat Books/All Media Guide. p. 574. ISBN 9780879306274.
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- "engineer and producer - Welcome". Dennis Moody. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
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- "Jon Gibson". gospelflava.com. October 19, 1999. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
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