Home Before Midnight®

Home  |  Articles

Genesis of a Genre: The Birth of Christian Rock
Author: Joe Markko
Publisher: Home Before Midnight, LLC
Published: Sep 26, 2023
ISBN: 979-8218235444
Library of Congress Control Number: 2023912719
Distribution: IngramSpark, KDP and Draft2Digital

Read the Introduction  Christian Newswire Press Release

GENESIS OF A GENRE IS AVAILABLE ONLINEor by order/request from local Bookstores and Libraries.

  • Best Spiritual/Religious Book. [Honorable Mention for the Best Biography.]
    Hollywood Book Festival, 2023.

  • Runner-up for the Best Biography.
    Paris Book Festival, 2023.
  • Best Book: Music.
    International Impact Book Awards, 2023.

  • Silver Medalist: Music.
    Literary Titan Book Awards, 2023

  • Best Christian Book.
    NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, 2023. 

  • Part of the BeneTech Bookshare Library providing free books to people with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral Palsy and other reading challenges.

    “….a profound exposition of the genesis of contemporary Christian rock music in America. This is a deeply stirring read …..a relevant and timely read.” – Feathered Quill Reviews

    “Agape’s story is one of faith-filled creativity and a powerful wave of spiritual awakening.” – Authors Reading Reviews

    “Markko recounts the band’s journey with the tenor of a storyteller spinning a yarn about the old days. A reader interested in the history of Contemporary Christian Rock, or the Jesus People movement, will appreciate this lively retelling.” – BookLife Reviews

    “……his narrative is often captivating. A warm and informal history of a movement and its music.” – Kirkus Reviews

    “….. more than just a foray into a musical genre; it’s an exploration of friendship, spiritual growth and the profound propagation of divine love. A must-read for those seeking a heartwarming narrative on faith, music and unity.” – Literary Titan Reviews

October 31, 1969: Hollywood, California.

Contemporary Christian Music is still four years away from being “a thing.” Larry Norman, one of the progenitors of the emerging genre, has just released his first Christian album, “Upon This Rock.” Amy Grant is 9 years old. Matthew Ward, of the 2nd Chapter of Acts, is eleven.

At the Salt Company Coffee House in Hollywood, Larry Norman shared the platform with a Southern California “power-trio” who called themselves, Agăpē.

Intrigued by the gritty and unapologetically loud “blues-edge” to their music, Larry Norman “came out of his seat,” excited by the possibilities. No one else in his experience had yet married such hard-driving, high-energy rock music to the Gospel message.

Playing out against the backdrop of the Jesus Movement – the “Fourth Great Awakening in American Evangelical history” – 20,000 people were reported to have responded to Agăpē’s audacious, Gospel message.

And then, at their peak, they simply disappeared.

A prequel to Contemporary Christian Music, the obscure story of Agăpē is a story of beginnings. It’s a tale about “the days of old” and The Birth of Christian Rock, when minstrels became messengers and the Word became flesh once again.

AVAILABLE ONLINEor by order/request from local Bookstores and Libraries.

Also available from HBM Publishing,
the Award winning autobiography of one of the earliest pioneers of Christian Rock.


When Someday Comes: Memoirs of a Survivor is the award winning autobiography of Joe Markko, one of America’s earliest pioneers in the musical expression now known as Contemporary Christian Music.

Written as a record for his children and grandchildren, When Someday Comes winds through a childhood of abandonment and crime, the violence-plagued demonstrations of the 1968 Democratic Convention, 10 years in a Christian cult that took the lives of three people, electrocution with 27,000 volts of electricity, the shotgun-shooting death of his oldest child, falling from grace as an ordained clergyman and the long road to physical, spiritual and emotional healing.

A cautionary tale for our times, When Someday Comes remains a story of hope, a contemporary tale of “beauty for ashes.” Available from Amazon, Abe Books, Barnes and Noble and other book stores.

  • Awarded Honorable Mention for the best autobiography of 2011 by the London, New York, Hollywood and New England Book Festivals.

Home Before Midnight LLC is also the publisher for the music of
the All Saved Freak Band.

One of the earliest influences in what has since become a distinct sub-category of Rock and Roll, Contemporary Christian Music,  ASFB broadcast their first recorded songs on WREO radio in Ohio in the fall of 1968. ASFB joined Larry Norman and the California group, Agape, as one of the earliest pioneers of “Jesus music” birthed in that same year.

“There is an extraordinary urgency to the All Saved Freak Band. At a time when the growing industry of CCM was making its saccharine pact with the pop devil their music crackled with apocalyptic power and the desire to use the rock song as a vehicle of total transformation. Though it may be hard to square the All Saved Freak Band with the slick, suburban profile of CCM, they remain formative figures in the genre, with their messianic intensity providing the essential rock ‘n’ roll element of risk.” [The freaky origins of Christian rock by Erik Davis, Slate Magazine, 7/31/07]

Available from Amazon. For more information about their music and history, please visit www.allsavedfreakband.com. 

Home Before Midnight LLC  |  Publishing
Cleveland, Ohio
All Rights are reserved.