Dan Collins and Jamie Owens Collins
An Exclusive Interview by Keystone.

Dan and Jamie had just stepped off a 20 hour flight from the USA and Jamie did a concert - how I don't know. During the interview I thought - "You guys must be dying inside". The hall was packed and the concert was great! This interview was also in our first issue in 1977. There were no PR photographs - we grabbed a camera and Dan and Jamie stood in front of a concrete wall at the back of the hall - and we had a three page spread for the magazine!
Don Gillespie, 2009

Dan Collins and Jamie Owens Collins

Twenty hours of flying from the U.S., a few hours wait in Sydney for a connecting flight to the Gold Coast, and a concert that night. It might have been 6.30 p.m. on the East Coast of Australia, but for Dan and Jamie Collins it was 2 a.m. in the morning.

So started the Australian and New Zealand tour for Jamie Owens (now Jamie Owens Collins). However, the tiredness never showed, and Jamie came out fresh and relaxed, despite the long journey. A couple of hours before her first concert in Australia, we sat and talked with Dan and Jamie.

KEYSTONE: Jamie, how did you get into the music scene?

JAMIE: Well, I've been around it all my life. My father has written gospel music, conducted, arranged and produced albums for years, and he started me off recording albums when I was about fifteen. He had me do some solo spots on an album for him. Some people heard me and asked me to record some of their things, and then I went on to do some live performances.

KEYSTONE: Have you always been a Christian?

JAMIE: I received Jesus when I was four years old, and I think even at that age I was old enough to know that I ha( been a bad girl. I'd done some thing: that I shouldn't have done and I needed Him to forgive me. Of course, as Fv( gotten older, I've had to make new decisions whether I'm going to live for the Lord or for myself. I finally realistic how silly it was going any other way, of testing anything else out, because all had to do was look around. Everybod3 else tested out other things for me. What happened was that the Lord started t( show me the inside of myself, m3 attitudes, and that kind of thing. Just because I didn't go out and do the obvious sins didn't make me any less e sinner than anybody else.

KEYSTONE: You were on a couple of albums before you recorded your own, What were they?

JAMIE: The people I worked with were a couple of American composers Paul Johnston was one, and I've done some solo things for him on two or three albums, and a guy by the name of Otis Skillings, and Ralph Carmichael.

KEYSTONE: Laughter in My Soul was your first album, then Growing Pains. What's next.

JAMIE: We're supposed to record again next month, (December), as soon as we get home from this tour. Dan has another album he's working on right now. He produces, and as soon as he has finished that, we'll start on mine. He'll produce my next album.

KEYSTONE: Is there any particular  theme?

DAN: I've no idea.

JAMIE: I hate to tell you this, but I  have one song.

KEYSTONE: Oh well, praise the Lord!

JAMIE: yeah ... that's how I feel  about it. On the last album I did, I was  almost in the same spot about this time  before we were ready to record. We did  three recording sessions, like rhythm  sessions for basic background tracks, and the third day was coming up and I had no songs. So the day before the  session I wrote two songs, and if you  know me ... I've only written about a dozen songs in my whole life, so that was incredible. They just came to me. So  that was kind of a neat thing, and now  we'll see what happens with this one,  because it has to be even better.

KEYSTONE: How would you  describe your music?

JAMIE: Well, I'm really picky about  what I sing. If I do somebody else's  material, it has to be because I can honestly relate to it, from my own experience. Because I like the music I  sing and the music I write to be an  expression of what's going on inside of  me. I think that's important. I really  think that's what music was intended to  be in the first place       not just an  entertaining, showy thing, but some- thing real.

KEYSTONE: Was there any major influence by any particular person on your music?

JAMIE: There have been a few people... of course my Dad for one! Maybe not in style, but my Dad has some really strong feelings about music, and I've picked up a lot of them. My Dad would leave music in a second if he felt there was a better way for him to tell people about Jesus.

KEYSTONE: What's one of the strong feelings about music?

JAMIE: Well, that music is a good thing, that it's a tool, among other things. I believe that God created music because He enjoyed it, and He still enjoys it, and He wants us to enjoy it. I think if it's used properly then it's just a tool to praise Him, to express the truth so that people can find out about Jesus. And that's kind of my Dad's attitude towards it, too.

KEYSTONE: To get where you are in the music scene at the moment, what sort of sacrifices have you had to make?

DAN: I don't think to Jamie that they would have been sacrifices. To many other people they would have been sacrifices. She has lived in the music business with her parents for so long that her lifestyle is completely sacrificed. They never had an established home and all that. It's always been moving.

JAMIE: Yeah, that's true.

KEYSTONE: What about church commitment and fellowship with other Christians?

JAMIE: We have a church we go to in Los Angeles. It's called the Vineyard. It's sort of a nondenominational group. It started off as a home Bible study, and then it just started to mushroom. We don't have our own building, but borrow a building on Sunday evenings. We have smaller groups that meet, all over the Los Angeles area, in different homes, during the week.

KEYSTONE: How often do you tour?

JAMIE: We haven't toured a whole lot this year. Dan and I were married a little over a year ago — a year and a month, or something like that, and we felt that the best thing for us to do, what God would want us to do, was take almost a full year off. We did very little travelling. Dan produced a couple of. albums, I think. But we basically concentrated as much as possible on our relationship. We did the work we needed to do just to eat. We feel like some really good things were established between us in that first year, so that we have a solid foundation to go out now and minister. Since about two or three years ago, we've been on the road a lot, and this next year we probably will be, too.

KEYSTONE: How big is the contemporary Christian music scene in the States?

JAMIE: Pretty big. In some ways I'm really glad and in some ways I'm not, because there's a lot of beauty to contemporary Christian music, to any kind of Christian music, if it's kept in its proper perspective, but sometimes it can get out of hand. In the world, music is such a big deal and music stars are set up as some sort of other-worldly ... super humans. That's carried over to some extent into the Christian music field, and I think that's kind of dangerous. A lot of us are learning, though, to keep the perspective on it, to let the people in the audience know we're just not super Christians, or super people or anything. God has given us this ministry and we're just like everybody else, and that way I think we can relate to people that the things we've learned in our walks with Jesus are the same things that relate to us all, not just the pastors, the singers and the people in front. But it's a pretty big thing in the States.

DAN: It's growing all the time.

KEYSTONE: What would be one of the most memorable experiences you've had with your music?

JAMIE: I've been to Northern Ireland a number of times, and on the first solo tour I did there, somehow the secular press was quite impressed with the fact that I was there. I think it was the Holy Spirit that opened the way for the whole thing. Nobody else could figure it out ... the headlines read "America has given us 'The Man from Uncle' and now the 'Girl from God'." That was my little nickname while I was over there. Then they put me on their television. There are only two T.V. stations over there, and they put me on the evening news. You know the trouble over there, all in the name of religion, and they went through this whole news programme about the killings, the assassinations, the bombings, and all the horrible things that go on. And they ended the programme…  I mean ended it! They said "Goodnight", and then they said "Just before we say goodnight, we have this girl from America," and so on, and then they had me videotape the song 'Love Is'. and that's how they faded out the news, with this song. The scripture  "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with  all thy heart, all thy mind and all thy  strength, and love thy neighbour as  thyself" is the basis of that song. That's  how they ended the news and it was so strong! I had no idea where they would use it, even if they would use it. It just  totally blew my mind.

KEYSTONE: What advice have you got for someone who wants to break  into the music scene?

JAMIE: Well, my Dad has this famous  little line that I like, because people are  always coming to him and saying   "How can I break into the Christian  music scene?" and he'll say to them   "Well, you can't, because breaking and  entering is illegal." You see, there are so  many people that really love music, and  really love the Lord, and they figure  what better idea than to do their music  for the Lord. That's a great idea, but the  problem is that it may not be what God  wants them to do. We usually tend to be  more discouraging than encouraging to  people, simply because if God really  wants them there, He's going to put  them there. If we encourage them too  much just to be nice, they could spend  years trying to get into this ministry and  it may not be where God wants them at  all. I think it's a matter of definitely  knowing what God's will for your life is, because He has a ministry, a special ministry, for each one of us.

For some people it's music, and for some it isn't. They may appreciate music, and love it, and maybe just provide music in their  local church and minister beautifully  there. That doesn't mean they should go national or international. Maybe that's not the scope God expects of them. So  usually we're a little bit discouraging to  people about that. Sometimes we are  encouraging if we really feel that this is  something that God is doing.

DAN: There's a good example of King  David when he was a boy playing in the  fields to the Lord with his harp. He  didn't desire to make it big, so his  position in music was to minister to the  Lord and to the sheep. And somebody  came and said "Hey, he plays a fine  harp," and he ended up going to the  King, and the King enjoyed him. It was that kind of thing. But he played to his  flock of sheep for years.

JAMIE: Just ministered to the Lord.

DAN: That sort of thing blows people  away, mainly because they want to  become "STARS".

KEYSTONE: Thanks Jamie and Dan  for talking with us, and all the best for  your coming concert tour.