This was our very first issue. Launched in June 1977. I had no idea that we would be the first CCM publication in the world. We were into music and Rolling Stone and our kind of music was not getting noticed. Having worked for newspapers and magazines it seemed only natural we should have a publication that reflected our thoughts and life style.

Evie was as big as ABBA, she was a household name and everyone was in love with her. At this point in time I wasn't even aware that there was a Christian Bookstore network. The magazine was available at Newsagencies. Needless to say it was a sell out - all 10,000 copies. The design art work (we had to physically 'paste up' the type and pictures in tose days) was all done on our dinning room table. We also did what probably the first 'centre spread pin up' in a Christian magazine - picture of Evie with the cup of tea. - Don Gillespie 2009

Evie Torrnquist

In a very short space of time, Evie Tornquist has rocketed to the top spot in Gospel music in the world. There has probably never been an ambassador for Christ or for Gospel music that has had such far-reaching appeal, admiration and respect, not only from the Christian community but also from the general public and secular press and media.

KEYSTONE: This is your third time in Australia; how does it all feel? A lot of things have happened to you since you first came here.

EVIE: Yeah, boy. This tour, if you'll permit me to get 'spiritual' here, is different from the other two tours. I think more than anything else there are a lot of people back home and around the world fort hat matte rwho have been praying and fasting for this tour. Not only myself, but people like Billy and Ruth Graham are praying just these two weeks for us, Johnny Cash and people who are just as important but you wouldn't recognize their names. God's put me through quite a bit over the last twelve months. I believe I'm inching up a little closer to the Lord each day, and when that happens the inspiration and opportunities are limitless. Really there isn't a closed door, and I've sensed some formidable things from the time we arrived here. In the first press conference at the airport, and when we came up to Brisbane, the media literally came to us for radio  spots, and TV people came out; it's been  on the news and it's just extraordinary this time. I shouldn't be surprised since we asked God to bless it, but now that the fruits are coming out and we're looking at them ... mmmm, there they are, and it seems so worthwhile, so rewarding.

KEYSTONE: The way it has gone in Australia has been incredible. What about overseas? What's happening there?

 EVIE: It has taken off for me and my little ministry. In the last twelve months some phenomenal things have happened. Maybe it's just me or what's  happened to me, but the music I sing is  meeting a lot of needs lately. I couldn't  begin to tell you the letters I get ... I mean a  pile of letters every day saying that  peoples' lives are changing, just through  the simple little music I sing, and it's so  great. It's happening to Honeytree, to  Andrae, to Barry, to Debby to everyone. I think Christian music has come a long way in the last twelve months in the U.S.; more people are listening and the marketplace is bigger. Debby Boone has done an awful  lot for Gospel music with her hit" You Light  Up My Life", and on a TV show Johnny  Cash and I hosted in Nashville recently she  sings the song and explains that this is her anthem of praise to Jesus for lighting up  her life. And the world just sits back and says "Wow!", and there is a respect in the secular audience and credibility about us that they are waking up to, and I think it’s great.

KEYSTONE: To get where you are, I’ll bet there has been a lot of hard work.

EVIE: Yeah ... there's been quite a few  concerts, and miles and miles, I don't  know how many times around the world I  go every year, but again, if it were songs  that didn't give hope and that didn't point  to Jesus, I wouldn't be doing it. Maybe I would be singing some kind of music, just because I love music so much, but it is the message that is my motivation.


KEYSTONE: I've heard comments about you that because of your image, because of what we see and hear on TV, people tend to ask "Surely life isn't that good?", or "Is Evie really like that, it looks too good to be true." I'm sure there must be times when Evie gets depressed or feels lonely, upset; after all, we're only human. So how do you cope? I'm sure you have those times.

EVIE: Oh, yes, I have them! I get tired, I slip up on my own quiet times with the Lord, and sooner or later that catches up to you and you find yourself pretty miserable. At least that's how it works with me, and of course the only thing to do is turn to the one that's always there and that's the Lord. But I don't want that to sound trite ... that's easy to say, but I've experienced Him that way, when I can't talk to anyone else, not even my mom or my best friend, but I can go to Him. Many times, like the song "I Will Praise You Just The Same", I literally have to go through a time where I just sit and I'm depressed and I think a psy­chology expert might tell me that certain people enjoy a state of depression every now and know. So if I'm depressed, once I begin to realise it's up to me to look to the Lord to get me out of it, it doesn't take me long and it doesn't take Him long. Of course there are ups and downs and times that seem more worth­while than others. Concerts where I feel hmm ... we just didn't make it today, or WOW! Did it go through? I believe people sense that the songs I sing and the little words I say in between are more or less an extension of me. Even though I haven't written them myself, I wouldn't sing them unless I felt they were part of me. With the responsibility I feel the Lord has given me, when I'm tired and don't feel like signing another autograph... I need to do it anyway. So even though I have a smile on my face, sometimes it's just temporary and as soon as the people clear out I sit and flake. But there's always a smile inside, always a joy that brings me through every situation, and I've been through some quite difficult, ones. There's a time for diplomacy I suppose, and yet I don't feel like I'm being artificial. I'm just trying to let people know that there's a joy in the Lord; it's not all a bed of roses and a bowl of cherries, but it's the greatest life anyone could have.

KEYSTONE: What's in the near future?

EVIE: After the Australian tour, my next tour will be Scandinavia and Holland for three weeks, then my summer is pretty easy. I have one run of three and a half weeks without a blessed thing to do. I don't know what I'll do with myself, but I think I'm going to enjoy it. Just a few concerts, kind of outdoor Jesus Festival things, and also we've got a new record coming out. We thought about doing a live album to follow up the children's record, but as I seriously thought about it, the kids' record is a specialty item, not a typical album of mine, and neither is the Christmas record before it, so the live album was going to be yet another specialty album. I didn't feel too good about that so we've postponed it and we're going to do an album with all new material, more contemporary/soul, with some really good new composers. I think it's time to do another album like Gentle Moments. That was more of a con- temporary record than Mirror was more soul and a little more rock, as opposed to John Denver pickin' style. I think it should be interesting. I'm looking forward to that.