410. Mylon – Mylon LeFevre
The youngest of the Southern Gospel family group, the Singing LeFevres, Mylon appeared to end up the black sheep as well, leaving the safe sounds of Southern Gospel for groove oriented Southern Rock and funky blues. As a 17 year old in the army he wrote his first song, Without You. He would perform that song one night with his famous and unbeknown to him, Elvis Presley was in the audience and would later ask to record the song. Within just a few years the song would be covered by over 100 artists.
After leaving the famed Stamps Quartet he went out on his own and signed with Atlantic Records to record his first rock and roll record after a not so successful Southern Gospel solo release. But he never escaped his Gospel roots, at least lyrically, as the opening traditional Gospel song, “Gospel Ship” starts the record off. The whole record maintains Christian themes but with a decidedly more rock flair to the music.
Fans of Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers, Fleetwod Mac and Lynard Skynard will probably find something here to like. Southern Rock with a distinct blues influence is the foundation for a great collection of rock n roll.
Many consider “Mylon” to be the first real “Christian rock” album. Other, independent and garage bands with earlier releases disagree, but there are few that can attest to a major distribution deal and making the universal impact this album did. Mylon would continue to make Gospel records on secular labels throughout the 1970’s before forming the band “Broken heart” at which time he signed to a Christian label.