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308. Right Where You Are – Kenny Marks


Kenny Marks

In the world of Christian pop music more than a handful of artists bounded on the scene without the songwriting credentials, artistic acumen and lyrical insight…and they sold a ton of records. Other like Kenny Marks made a name for themselves and sold a decent amount, but never attained the popularity their quality work deserved.

Often favorably compared to Bryan Adam and Richard Marx, Kenny Marks was a singer-songwriter that plied his trade in the CCM world and should have done much better. His songs combined the popular and common themes of mainstream CCM with a twist or difference that set him apart. he would also deal with subjects either taboo or poorly communicated in other settings.

He may be most noted for his trilogy of songs that surrounded the relationship between a Johnny and a Jeannie. Two High School sweethearts that date, marry, have a child and divorce. Though a later album would bring Johnny back as a character, it is the three songs on three records in a row that are of most note. That trilogy started here with “Growing Up Too Fast.”

The albums biggest hit was the title track, a stirring ballad about God’s undying love and forgiveness. “One Small Voice” reminds the listener of God’s attempt to speak to us in the small things in a busy and loud world. “Single-Minded Love” addresses the loneliness and difficulty of being a single adult within the walls of the Church.

Marks had a decent little career, but it should have been stronger and lasted longer. There were three of four fantastic albums released throughout the mid-80’s that still deserve repeated listening.

  1. Brian
    November 18, 2010 at 11:04 am

    This is album is just a fantastic listen. RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE (the track) is a haunting reminder that no matter where you go or what you do JESUS id right there waiting for you to turn around.

    Sentimental attachment to this whole album with the upbeat ONE SMALL VOICE standing out as well. It was among the cutting edge beats of its days in an era that was just learning to loosen its grip on the boundaries of Christian music.

    Song after song is special. Even the Paul Smith penned song, SING FOR JOY.
    Recommended highly.

  2. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Ahhh.. poor Johnny and a Jeannie. Lol.. Kenny Marks on of my fav’s that consistently makes my play list. Only thing I didn’t like about this album is it seemed the drums coulda been mixed a little more to the front.

    “Sing For Joy”.. I actually like the KM version better than the one released by the Imperials.

    • Andrew J. Persac
      March 19, 2013 at 2:26 am

      i agree with you, Greenchili, about KM’s Sing For Joy being better. Why has no one mentioned “The Prisoner”, for me the masterpiece of this project (is it on CD anywhere)? The Jeanie & Johnny quadrology was very unique in Chritian music; I applaud him for that honesty in the topics he covered with his music.

      • Jerry
        September 13, 2013 at 12:00 am

        I have this on CD. Interested in a download link of it in 320kbps? Let me know.

  3. Greenchili
    December 26, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Hmmm three of four… We got “Right Where You Are”, “Attitude”, “Make It Right”, and “Another Friday Night”. “Fire Of Forgiveness” and “World Gone Mad” were early 90’s releases. So which one didn’t make the cut low5point?

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