The Archers (musical group)

The Archers (musical group)

Infobox musical artist
Name = The Archers

Img_capt = The Archers
Img_size = 220px
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = United States
Genre = Contemporary Christian
Years_active = 1971—1993
Label = Charisma Records
Impact Records
Light Records
Sparrow Records (MCA Songbird)
Reunion Records (Word-Geffen)
Associated_acts =
URL = []
Current_members =
Past_members = Tim Archer
Steve Archer
Nancye Short-Tsapralis
Billy Rush Masters
Janice Archer-Cruse
Notable_instruments =

The Archers were one of America's earliest Jesus music and Contemporary Christian music groups. They were originally comprised of brothers Tim and Steve Archer, Nancye Short and Billy Rush Masters. After Masters and Short departed in 1977, sister Janice Archer joined. They enjoyed greater longevity than most of the pioneering CCM artists, recording chart hits in the decades of the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. [Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music; Powell; pp 46, 47; Hendrickson Publishers; Pap/Cdr edition (August 2002) ISBN-10: 1565636791 ISBN-13: 978-1565636798] Their hits included, "Jesus Is The Answer", "Little Flowers", "It Wouldn't Be Enough", [Reunion for Reunion, Contemporary Christian Music Magazine, February 1991; "In The News" -Paul Baker] "Fresh Surrender", "Stand Up!", and "Heaven In Your Eyes". [Powell, p.47 Hendrickson] Former "Maranatha! Music" artist and CCM pioneer Erick Nelson defined The Archers' role in the development of contemporary Christian music as representing one-half of a convergence: traditional vocal groups like The Archers got hipper while the hippie rock groups (like the Maranatha bands) got more mellow—eventually both evinced the polished, commercial sound that would be identified as stereotypical contemporary Christian music. [Powell, p.47, Hendrickson]

Early years

Growing up the sons of a pastor in the San Joaquin Valley of northern California, Tim and Steve Archer began singing in their father’s church during their childhood. Eventually they branched out to other churches in the San Francisco Bay area. In the mid-1960s they spent their summers touring with their older brother Gary as the gospel trio, "The Archer Bros." This was a pivotal period in the group's evolution to what eventually became known as contemporary Christian music, since it was the first time they began to incorporate their own electric accompaniment, a rare introduction to evangelical Christian music of the time. [ Bio captured 26 February 2007 Licensed name was "The Archer Bros.] In 1966, Tim and Steve entered a talent search contest and placed second nationally. [ Steve Archer Bio Steve Captured 4 March 2007] In 1967 with both Tim and Gary playing guitar they began an evolution toward an even more Contemporary sound. Before long (with Gary moving into artist management), they took on additional personnel, drummer Fred Satterfied and guitarist Billy Rush Masters and Steve Smart then later adding vocalist Nancye Short after Smart's departure, taking the name The Archers. []

Jesus music

By 1971, they were performing in churches and Jesus festivals throughout Southern California with other Christian artists, and came to the attention of Andrae Crouch and Light Records’ chief, Ralph Carmichael. [Light Records Bio, 1975] With Masters writing many of the early songs, the group collaborated on vocal arrangements and a new sound, previously unheard of in evangelical circles began to emerge. As Jesus music began to gain a stronger foothold in North America, [ Powell, Henrickson, pp 8, 9 Introduction] they came into contact with Pat Boone, eventually touring with him. [, Bio] In the spring of 1972, they went into TTG Studios in Hollywood, California to record their first album, "Any Day Now", with Gary producing for their independent "Charisma Records" label. Its release coincided with the group’s performance at EXPLO '72 in Dallas, Texas with over a quarter million people in attendance. [Powell p.46] Masters penned most of the songs for the album including "God’s Love", "Put On Jesus", and "For Me, For You". [ American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers, (ASCAP) Ace Title Search, Billy Rush Masters; 21 March 2007] The album also included two songs written by their friend, Andrae Crouch, entitled “It Won’t Be Long” and “Jesus is the Answer”. [ Cutting Edge Ultimate Christian Music Discography] Both “God’s Love” and “Jesus Is The Answer” became Number One hits in the U.S. and Canada. [Contemporary Christian Magazine, February 1991, In The News: “Reunion For Reunion”, Paul Baker]


In 1973, the J.T. Benson Company of Nashville, Tennessee bought Charisma re-releasing the album on its Impact Records imprint as "The Archers". By this time The Archers included a full support band with Tim Jacquette (bass), Tim Johnson (keyboards) and Tim Short (drums) all of whom had played on the first album and in earlier concert appearances. [Official Impact Records Bio, 1973] With an increasing national profile, the group continued to expand their schedule, appearing in churches and larger concert venues nationwide and Canada. In 1974, they recorded their second and last album for Impact, "Keep Singin' That Love Song" with Bob MacKenzie producing. [ Cutting Edge, "The Archers"] Nancye Short contributed heavily to the project, writing and co-writing "Children", "Truth, Peace and Joy", and “He Love’s You". Dannie Lee Stutzman, leader of the Jesus band, Danny Lee and The Children of Truth, penned other songs including “Keep Singing That Love Song” and the Number One hit “Little Flowers”. [In The News, Baker] Andrae Crouch contributed a tune specifically for the project, “He Washed My Sins Away.” [ ASCAP Title search] The album received critical praise and widespread airplay, laying the foundation for their move to Ralph Carmichael’s Light Records.

Light years

By 1975, they had appeared at virtually every significant Jesus festival in the U.S. and Canada, and completed an extensive European tour. [Light Records Bio, 1975] In June of that year they released their first Light album, "The Archers: Things We Deeply Feel". The album produced a number of chart hits [Powell, p.46, Hendrickson] including Masters’, “Giver Of Life” and "Music", Andrae Crouches "Lord You've Been Good To Me", "I'm With Jesus", and the CCM Number One hit, "It Wouldn’t Be Enough". [Reunion For Reunion, Baker] The song went on to be covered by a number of other artists. [ASCAP Title search] As their profile grew the group’s album sales increased and they began to headline larger venues, including main stage performances at Disneyland’s "Night of Joy". [Wanye Coombs Agency bio, “Notable Appearances”, 1978] In late 1976, after returning from a tour of South Africa they entered the studio again teamed with arranger and Elvis Presley TCB Band alumnus, Larry Muhoberac to record their second LP for Light. [Antelope Valley Press, Archers At Exposition Hall, p. 2; 26, October, 1976] With the departure of Billy Masters and Nancye Short (who participated on background vocals), Janice Archer assumed the role of female lead. The group reemerged with a dramatically changed look and sound on the 1977 release of the GMA Dove Award nominated, "Fresh Surrender". [Steve] The album, their best selling to that date, produced seven back-to-back hits, including, Masters' title track and “I Need You” and Short's, "I'm Gonna Rise", "Make Me An Instrument", and "With Every Breath I Take". [ Contemporary Christian Music Magazine, Stand Up! “What’s New”, July 1979.] Both Tim and Steve made their first venture into composing, co-penning the soul single, “Water Into Wine” and Steve’s "Sanctified Life.” [ Light Records Discography] The year 1978 brought the new lineup to a performance at the White House for President Jimmy Carter. [] Returning to the studio late that year, the group again teamed with Muhoberac, this time as co-producer (with John Guess), for the critically acclaimed, Stand Up. [CCM Magazine, Stand Up! Review] Tim and Steve again contributed tracks with two top ten hits, the title song co-written by Steve, and Tim’s "Pickin’ Up The Pieces". [Powell, Hendrickson] Other tracks included "Fools Paradise", Kelly Willard’s, "Blame It On The One I Love", “Living In Your Love” (later covered by TG Shepard), and “Only His Love”.


In 1980, The Archers released their only live album, "Celebrate", recorded en-the-round at one of America’s first mega-churches, "Melodyland Christian Center" in Southern California. Rick Riso, formerly of the CCM group, "Messenger", wrote the title song and they performed a decade of previous hits. [Light Discography] Another career highpoint came in 1981, when they performed on the 1980 Grammy Awards telecast, winning a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational for their contribution to Reba Rambo and Dony McGuire’s ‘’The Lord’s Prayer’’. They sang on the telecast again the next year, nominated in the same category for "Spreadin' Like Wildfire", also produced by McGuire. In 1982, with opening act Bryan Duncan, they were the first Contemporary Christian band to perform at the "Universal City Amphitheater" in Los Angeles. The performance was sold out. [ Universal Amphitheater archival search, 26 February 2007] The anniversary year of their first decade as recording artists also brought the release of "The Archers: At Their Very Best" a compilation of their most popular Light tracks. "Billboard Magazine" reviewed the release saying, "This collection of the Archers' popular songs of the past decade proves their versatility, covering mainstream pop, light jazz and near-choral arrangements. The retrospective finds several tunes holding up well over the years, including 'It Wouldn't Be Enough,' 'Picking up the Pieces' the soothing 'Music,' and the popular 'Make Me an Instrument.' " [At “Their Very Best”, September 11 1982, Billboard Magazine] In 1984, The Archers released their last album for the now struggling Light Records, "All Systems Are Go", which became a catalyst—along with their earlier Grammy win—for their 1985 television show by that name on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).Following a five-year recording hiatus, with each working on solo projects (as well as doing several Archer performances a year) in 1991, the group returned to the studio for, "Colors of Your Love", this time on the Reunion label. Their last project as a group, the CD is distinctive in that all of its songs with the exception of “Music (All Around The World)” were penned by outside writers. Still, the project spawned the CCM hits with the title song and "Be Our Guest". [Powell, Hendrickson, p.47] The Archers toured in support through 1993, when they permanently disbanded.


The Archers maintained a full touring band for the first fifteen years of their career. The core band for both their tour and recording bands included lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. [ Cutting Edge Ultimate Christian Music Discography The Archers, Celebrate; Retrieved 3 May 2007] Tim Archer played rhythm guitar [ The Bio] and Billy Rush Masters played lead. [Powell; pp 47; Hendrickson Publishers; Pap/Cdr edition (August 2002) ISBN-10: 1565636791 ISBN-13: 978-1565636798] Nancye Short played piano as well.In a genre known for poor recording production standards [Powell, Christian Music, Introduction, pp 8,9] they were known for creating well produced albums. [Powell, p.46] They used top musicians, which held true with their touring and recording bands [Cutting Edge; Fresh Surrender, Celebrate] which included some the best known in West Coast recording history. [See applicable links for further details on individual members of the recording bands] Although personnel changes occurred in the tour band, a number of members remained for long periods and some went on to prominent careers. [Cutting Edge; Fresh Surrender, Celebrate] Following are some of the group’s more prominent members.

Tour band

* Kelly Willard -- piano, background vocals (1975): (Went on to success as composer, Praise & Worship ministry)
* Phil Kristianson -- keyboards, composer (1975 - 1980): (Later with Amy Grant, Promise Keepers)
* Fred Satterfield – drums (1970): (First drummer, later with The Oakridge Boys)
* Paul Bahn – drums, percussion (1976 – 1980): (Later with Donna Summer)
* Tony Sena – guitar (1976 – 1981): One of the few tour band members to also record with the group.
* Tim “Jake” Jaquette – Fender bass (1971 – 1980, 1982): Primary bass throughout their career. (Recording engineer, producer, recorded and toured with The Archers; recorded with Steve Archer)
* Dan Cutrona – keyboards, vibraphone, Marimba (1978 – 1980, 1991): (Recorded and toured with The Archers)

Recording band alumni

Includes partial list of artists' recording credits

* Ben Benay – guitar: Joe Cocker, Kinky Friedman, Steely Dan, Donna Summer
* Jay Graydon – guitar: Ray Charles, Cheap Trick, Steely Dan, Hall & Oates
* Lee Ritenour “Captain Fingers” – guitar: Fourplay, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan
* Dean Parks – guitar: America, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Steely Dan, Neil Diamond
* Tim May – guitar: Ray Charles, Charlie Daniels, Debbie Harry, Whitney Houston
* Thom Rottella – guitar: Donna Summer, Cher
* Fred Tackett – guitar: Little Feat, Bob Dylan, Wallflowers, Rod Stewart
* David Hungate – bass: Bryan Adams, Gladys Knight, Dolly Parton, Toto
* Wilton Felder – bass: The Crusaders
* Renie Press – bass: Neil Diamond, (Played exclusively for Diamond except for a handful of exceptions)
* Billy Preston – keyboards: The Beatles
* Larry Muhoberac – keyboards: Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Tanya Tucker, Seals & Crofts
* Jim Gordon – drums: Eric Clapton, Derek & The Dominos, George Harrison, (co-wrote “Layla” with Eric Clapton)
* Jim Keltner – drums: Bob Dylan, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan
* Hal Blaine – drums: Wrecking Crew, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Beach Boys


Albums released in North America

*1972 "Any Day Now" (Charisma)
*1973 "The Archers" (Impact/Benson)
*1974 "Keep Singin' That Love Song (Impact/Benson)
*1975 "Things We Deeply Feel" (Light Records)
*1977 "Fresh Surrender" (Light Records) - Dove nomination
*1979 "Stand Up!" (Light Records)
*1980 "Celebrate - Live" (Light Records) - In concert
*1980 "The Lord's Prayer" (Light Records) - Grammy Award, Grammy performance
*1981 "Spreadin' Like Wildfire" (Songbird/MCA) - Grammy nomination, Grammy performance
*1983 "Here Comes The King" (Brentwood) - Christmas Album
*1984 "All Systems Are Go" (Light Records)
*1991 "Colors of Your Love" (Reunion/Word)

Compilations (Greatest Hits)

*1979 "In The Beginning" (Greentree/Benson)
*1982 "At Their Very Best" (Light Records)
*1984 "Golden Classics" (Light Records)
*1992 "2nd Time Around" (Gulfstar/Diadem)

teve Archer solo discography

*1982 Solo "(Home Sweet Home/Benson)"
*1983 Through His Eyes Of Love "(Home Sweet Home/Word) - #1 on Contemporary Christian Music chart"
*1985 Action "(Home Sweet Home/Word) – "Safe" reached #2, number 4 Song Of The Year"
*1987 Off The Page "(Home Sweet Home/Word) - two Top 5 songs"
*1988 Hits "(Home Sweet Home/Word) - compilation album"
*1994 Christian Contemporary Gold - Through His Eyes "(Home Sweet Home/Diadem)"
*1998 Stay Right Here "(Kle-Toi Records)"
*1999 The Very Best of Steve Archer "(Brentwood) - compilation album"
*2005 Call It Grace "(Tag Records)"



External links

* []
* []
* [ The]
* []
* [| Light Records Discography]
* [,,398241,00.html Artists Direct]
* [| Cutting Edge Ultimate Christian Music Discography]

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