Love Song

14 Aug

Jay Truax, Tommy Coomes, Bob Wall,
and John Mehler of Love Song Summer 1973.

Love Song was the seminal Jesus freak group that had mass appeal, which some labeled as the Christian counterpart to the Beatles. They came on the scene in 1970, when hippie musicians Tommy Coomes, Fred Field, Chuck Girard, John Mehler, Jay Truax, and Bob Wall began to regularly attend Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California. The pastor of the small, but growing church was Chuck Smith, Sr., a 40 year old Foursquare minister, with a wife and teenage children. The chemistry that occurred between them produced Biblically sound lyrics through a polished pop/rock sound that fit right in with the electric and acoustic folk rock of that time period. All the members of the band were experienced musicians who had been playing professionally since high school. Chuck Girard was the most successful member of the band, with a decade of success under his belt with radio hits that established him as a player in the music world.

When I moved from Birmingham, Michigan to Los Angeles, California in 1971, I became part of the Jesus movement and began to attend a Foursquare church in the Los Angeles inner city. The church had a coffee house and Love Song played there until it outgrew it and then played to packed out crowds in the church’s sanctuary. The Highland Park Neighborhood Foursquare Church, was located on the corner of Avenue 56 and York Boulevard. After Love Song broke up, Chuck Girard would come and play solo and even help provide other Jesus music artists like Keith Green for concerts. Chuck Girard has continued performing through the decades and still does so today, in 2012. Tommy Coomes is the worship leader for the Billy Graham organization and Promise Keepers, and he, Girard, and the other band members periodically reunite and perform Love Song concerts. Chuck Girard’s daughter, Alisha (Girard) Childers, is a solo artist who was a member of the turn of the millennium Christian girl group, Zoe Girl.

Jay Truax, Tommy Coomes, Bob Wall and John Mehler of Love Song Summer 1973.

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