Silhouette Segments (American Lutheran Church  8-8531)  1968?


 Rydgren, John - Silhouette Segments

Somewhere beyond the extreme fringes of Christian music lies the creative genius of John Rydgren. Did I say music? More accurately Silhouette Segments would fall into the spoken word category alongside works by Stewart Henderson and Pat Berkery. Stylistically the planet’s closest ally would be hip “word-jazz” artist Ken Nordine, though Rydgren’s vignettes clearly exist in a world of their own, unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Pastor John Rydgren was director of TV/Radio/Films for the American Lutheran Church. This double album (housed in a wildly psychedelic gate-fold cover, complete with mod mini-skirted femme on the back) features material from his radio show Silhouette. Tall, thin, spectacled, short hair, receding hairline, coat and tie – it’s hard to believe that stuff this wild could possibly emanate from this gentleman. Titles include ‘Personality Doll Of The Week’, ‘Hippie Version Of The 23rd Psalm’, ‘Rinky Dink’, ‘Search It Out’, ‘Transistor Father’. Thirty-one segments in all, ranging from the four-minute ‘Dark Side Of The Flower’ (a poem over sitar music describing the disappointments of hippiedom) down to the twelve one-minute titles that comprise side four. Particularly striking is Rydgren’s otherworldly voice – incredibly slick, velvety, deep, hovering a mere fraction of a tone above Lurch. Equally important is the background music, culled from instrumental artists of the time such as Bob Crewe, The Brass Ring, The Tijuana Brass, The Electric Prunes, Cannonball Adderley, plus numerous snatches of unidentified incidental easy listening, psychedelic rock, crime jazz, lounge pop, and whatnot. The language is wonderfully dated, groovin’, happenin’, touching on topics like hippies, war, poverty, Christmas, the church, parents, even girl watching! Remarkable depth here including poetry, humorous skits, fake commercials, sound collages, interviews. ‘The Happening’ even melds pieces of conversations with artists like The Association, Paul Revere, Peaches and Herb, 4 Tops, asking their opinions on the state of spirituality among youth. On the inside cover there’s a picture of him interviewing Peter Tork of The Monkees, but that segment apparently didn’t make it on the vinyl (bummer). Rydgren’s spiritual commentary is ever present in the grooves as well as in the liner notes, offering the hope of Christ in a fashion that is neither heavy-handed nor trite, but compassionate and creative. A single-disc “re-issue” appeared in the late ‘90s. Refreshingly unique and inspirational through and through!    (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).

Pastor John Rydgren* - Silhouette SegmentsGate-foldL

Pastor John Rydgren* - Silhouette SegmentsGate-foldR


Pastor John Rydgren* - Silhouette SegmentslabelS1

Pastor John Rydgren* - Silhouette SegmentslabelS2

Pastor John Rydgren* - Silhouette SegmentslabelS3

Pastor John Rydgren* - Silhouette SegmentslabelS4

This one was on Heavenly Grooves blog.  Thank you Donald for finding the additional photos here



Song #Song TitleTime
1-1Music To Watch Girls By2:47
1-2Personality Doll Of The Week1:20
1-3Mercy Mercy Mercy3:09
1-4Hippy Version Of The 23rd Psalm0:53
1-5Rinky Dink2:47
1-6An Offering In Music AKA Kyrie Eleison2:34
1-7Disadvantages Of Life2:23
2-1Hippy Version Of Creation
2-2Search It Out1:32
2-3Transistor Father2:20
2-4Plea Of A Lonely Girl1:16
2-5To Sir With Love3:11
2-6The Happening3:10
3-1Groovin' On A Saturday Night2:56
3-2Dark Side Of The Flower4:07
3-3Dedicated To The One I Love1:25
3-4Christmas Montage2:38
3-5A Christmas Reflection1:48
3-6Portrait Of Christ2:13
4-01Home Sweet Home1:00
4-02The Lord Is My Sheperd1:00
4-03The Oil Painting1:00
4-04The Air Terminal1:00
4-06Here Lies The Church1:00
4-07Move Out In Style1:00
4-08A Simple Stroll1:00
4-09The Noise1:00
4-10Great To Build Something1:00
4-11The Disadvantages1:00
4-12A Beautiful Girl1:00