The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Old School Playlist

As a preacher I’m always looking for creative ways to communicate timeless truths.  This weekend I’m starting a new sermon series called, “Old School Playlist.”  The goal is to have a little fun as we talk about serious issues.

I’ve already picked out some of the songs but I’m still open for suggestions.  Are there any Old School jams that you think would make good sermon themes? Share a favorite song from your youth and the spiritual truth you think it conveys.


For example, Wake Up Everybody by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes with Teddy Pendergrass could be used as a call to service.  Here’s John Legends remake of the classic old school jam.

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Paul Deaderick

posted May 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

As a lover and maker of music, I’ve been wanting to share Musiq Soulchild’s “Love” with you. When you see Love in the lyrics he originally wrote Lord. I loved the song so much, I play it on the piano when I have “Mass” at home.

If you use my idea please skip next Sunday, I’m a Reservist and we are working next Sunday—I don’t want to miss a thing!


Paul .]

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Michael Scott

posted May 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Robert, great sermon on Superstition today. My suggestion is an Allen Toussaint tune, “On your Way Down”. I know that you are a Toussaint fan, but this is the song that turned me on to him from my playlist in the 70’s. I’m sure that there is a biblical message in this song someplace. I know that you know this song from Trombone Shorty’s version, but Elvis Costello has also done it recently, and my favorite cover is of course by Little Feat, my favorite band for over 40 years. “Be carful who you misuse on your way up, because you might meet up on your way down!”

Fellow Jazz lover,

Michael Scott

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Michael Hale

posted May 8, 2011 at 10:55 pm


You gotta have, “At Last” – Etta James… as the ultimate realization of our affection, when we’ve found that Love (that only God can show us) that was missing from our lives.
Second would have to be, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrel… Notihng is greater than God’s love for us!

Looking forward to the series,

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Debbie Van Scoyk

posted May 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm


Being a fellow fan of funk, Tower of Power’s “Don’t Change Horses in the Middle of the Stream” would be a great sermon title. “Got to keep goin’ till we reach our destination. Don’t let nothin’ hinder your inspiration.” This has so many biblical examples, Moses and the promised land, Job, David, Peter, all the first century churches……and each one of us every day.

Great idea for a sermon series! Today was great and I am looking forward to the entire series.


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James Keown

posted May 9, 2011 at 1:20 am

After this mornings sermon I could not resist putting in my two cents regarding sermons and old school songs. My suggestion is Marvin Gaye “Ain’t that Peculiar” ….
But if you decide to preach about President Obama instead Bruce Springsteen “Born in the USA”

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Theresa A. Reynolds

posted May 9, 2011 at 11:19 am

Pastor, I thoroughly enjoyed your sermon today. The Five Stairsteps
“O-0-H Child” is probably one of my favorite old school tunes with a message. Donald McClurkin and J.Moss & the Clark Sisters featuring Kiki Sheard did a rendition of this songs that blessed me tremendously. Another song that spoke volumes to me was “I Wanna Thank You” by Frankie Bevery & Maze. Maybe you might be able to use these as a message. Thanks for bringing messages that are relevant that can be correlated to a biblical principle/passage. Have a God BLESSED day.

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Sherry Thomas

posted May 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

What about “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden and Whitehead”

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Robin Caldwell

posted May 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Depends on what day it is but a few weeks ago I was thinking that “Love Me by Name” (Patti Austin|Quincy Jones) has several messages that are spiritual in basis. From the way a woman should be regarded to the way she should regard herself and a man to above all, calling God by name in an intimate way that says we know Him and know Him well. Great post.

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posted May 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Money Money Money, MONEY. Some people got to have it/Some people really need it ect ect ect. Love of money is the root of all evil. Dont know the artist but you know the song. You go Robert!!

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posted May 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I’ll go a little different direction on this. My playlist comes from someone who grew up in the 60s. What about “Bridge over Troubled Waters” by Simon and Garfunkel? This song has quite a positive (spiritual?) message. And what does the line “I will lay me down” refer to? Anyway, this might be a fun one to ‘play’ with for a sermon.

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posted May 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm

One old school suggestion: “The Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics. Profound lyrics. I am enjoying the sermons. Thanks.

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Wes Jensen

posted May 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm

How about the Rolling Stones “You can’t always get what you want”

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posted May 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I’m loving this sermon series! What about “Beat It” by Michael Jackson? It makes me think of what it means to be a man and to be strong; there’s a time to fight and a time to walk away. Like David hiding in the cave and not killing Saul when he had the chance. Also, this is a little less main stream and only old school for people around 30, but I love “Nihilism” by Rancid. It’s about overcoming addiction and how the world tempts you to not care about or believe in anything

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