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Rewind - Barry McGuire

Rewind - Barry McGuire
If you know anything about {{Barry McGuire}} it probably revolves around one of two songs. The first is "The Eve of Destruction," McGuire's hit single during the 1960's. The second is "Bullfrogs and Butterflies," a kid's song he wrote for his own son. The most amazing about this is that as different as these two songs are, they are both totally Barry McGuire.

While McGuire is known for his 1965 hit, his career actually started much earlier. Starting in bars, McGuire learned folk songs and played music mostly because, "I couldn't believe I was getting paid to do it." In the early sixties McGuire took flight as he became a member of the folk group, "The New Christy Minstrels." McGuire was a part of the group for three years, one of his high points being his authoring the now classic folk song "Green, Green."

After leaving the New Christy Minstrels, McGuire floated until approached by highly successful record executive Lou Adler, who quickly put McGuire together with songwriter P.F. Sloan. McGuire's rendition of Sloan's "Eve of Destruction" quickly rose to the Number One position on the charts. Multiple factors, including his hit being considered a "fluke" by many industry insiders, inhibited McGuire's ability to follow that success.

In the early seventies, McGuire came to faith and was baptized on Father's Day in 1971. He quickly signed on with Myrrh, offering up three of the more memorable early albums of the Jesus movement, Seeds, Lighten Up and the live album with the Second Chapter of Acts called To The Bride.

When Myrrh label head Billy Ray Hearn left to start Sparrow in the mid 1970's, McGuire followed Hearn and released several strong records including C'Mon Along and Have You Heard, as well as that second signature song, Bullfrogs and Butterflies. By 1984 McGuire was out of contract and looking for a change in his life. McGuire and his wife Mari packed up and moved to her native New Zealand.

"I lived there until 1990," says McGuire. "What happened was that I got involved with World Vision in New Zealand, and came back to the states hoping to get involved with getting more kids sponsored."

While his work with World Vision in the United States never materialized as he had hoped, McGuire continued to perform throughout the early nineties. Then, a chance reunion at a concert with his old friend Terry Talbot set the stage for a new phase in McGuire's ministry.

"In 1993 I started singing with Terry Talbot," McGuire remembers. "We were doing a concert somewhere and we started singing together backstage. It really worked and we joked about working together and doing a record. Now we have. It is called When Dinosaurs Walked the Earth."

"In 1995 we did 35-40 concerts together. In 1996 we did over 70. What we are doing now isn't so much 'ministry,' persay. We just want to bring some joy and laughter. There are lots of other good ministers out there. We just want to bring wholesome entertainment. And not everything we sing is necessarily Christian.

"We will sing 'Help,' 'Blowin' In the Wind,' and 'When the Ship Comes In.' These songs can move people. We still do 'Eve of Destruction.' That song becomes more true each and every year. It's truer now than it was when I first recorded it."

When asked if he is where he thinks God wants him, McGuire's response is typically upbeat and confident. "I know that. I've known that for quite a few years, now. I don't know where God is taking me. But I know I am right where God wants me. I know that God is in control of my life. One time a guy said to me, 'You're a fatalist.' I said, 'Absolutely. My faith is in the hands of my God and I know I can trust him. Is trusting God fatalism? If it is then I am.' (laughter). It's really simple. It takes all the pressure out of life."

Life goes on. Yet sometimes we long for the past. Has that been a problem for McGuire, living with his past successes in Christian music? "No, I've never missed them (the old days)," says McGuire definitively. "They are great memories. I wouldn't change one of them. But I wouldn't want to do it again. They're nostalgic wonderful moments when we get together, like with Annie or Matthew or Nellie ({{Second Chapter of Acts}}). We talk about the places we've been or the things we have done. It's misty eyes and warmth and hugs. But I don't think any of us would want to do it again. It was hard, hard, hard, hard work. We were on the road 300 days a year. It's a tough way to make a living."

The newest Talbot/McGuire CD is entitled Frost and Fire, a Celtic flavored concert CD. The duo are just finishing a video of the Frost and Fire concert. It is scheduled for release in October of 1999. They also have recorded several other albums including When Dinosaurs Walked the Earth, and Ancient Garden.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of any of these CD projects then just send $18 for a CD and $28 for the video (includes postage and handling) to Barry McGuire, PO Box 1628, Clovis, CA 93613 or call (559) 322-6689. Make your checks out to: Barry McGuire.

Then as Barry says, "We'll get it in the mail in a couple of weeks. You can become a part of the advance promotion and distribution club of Talbot/McGuire."