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One of the first successful Christian Rock Bands to ever come on the Christian music scene was Petra. This iconic Christian Rock Band’s name is from the Greek word for “rock”.
Petra was started back in 1972 by their guitarist Bob Hartman, who attended the Christian Training Center in Fort Wayne, IN at that time. Several of his fellow students …guitarist/vocalist Greg Hough, bassist John DeGroff, and drummer Bill Glover, joined the band, and the Band began playing around Indiana – Midwest area.
Petra was not received very well at first by churches that believed rock & roll was demonic and had no place in a Christian’s life. Despite this resistance…the band became popular with young believers, and won a recording contract with Word Records (a subsidiary of Myrrh Records) in 1973.
Their first album was released in 1974, and was much like the styles of other bands like Boston & The Eagles, and Journey with a tamer sound than the iconic more driving Rock sound that they would be known for in the years to come. “Come and Join Us”, did not appear until 1977, and it featured lead vocalist Greg Volz, with a hard rock flavor.
Click on each Album to purchase or download any PETRA CD albums or MP3 singles.
Over the next several years… they changed band members some and around 1980 the Band members that would forge the next several years of what Petra is so well known for contained: Hartman, Volz, keyboardist John Slick, bassist Mark Kelly, and drummer Louie Weaver.
The albums Never Say Die (1981), More Power To Ya (1982), and Not of This World (1983) became big hits for the Band, who were rewarded with a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Gospel Group and two Dove Award nominations in 1984.
In 1985 keyboardist John Lawry replaced Slick, and In 1986, Greg Volz left Petra for a solo career. Head East’s lead singer John Schlitt became their lead vocalist as Petra continued to gain in popularity throughout years into the 21st century. Then in 2005 they completed their farewell tour which seemed to be the end of Petra. For the next few years John Schlitt began to record a solo compilation of more subtle music than he performed with Petra.
Then in 2010 they got back together for “Heaven Fest 2010”. They continue to schedule performances with some select concert events going into 2011. Petra has really stood the test of time, and could probably earn the title of the Best Known and loved Christian Rock Band of the Century!
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