Arthur Blessitt

A recent PBS Frontline episode looked at the lives of candidates John Kerry and George W. Bush on a parallel track. It turned up a curious fact: It wasn’t the Rev. Billy Graham who led Bush to Christ; it was onetime Sunset Strip evangelist Arthur Blessitt. This Web page, part of a larger site about 1970s Christian rock, contains a three-minute Real Audio clip from a 1972 Blessitt album titled Soul Session at His Place. It’s hilarious; over treacly Floyd Cramer-style piano, cheesy organ and background singers moaning “Jeee-zus,” Blessitt rambles in a quavering hickoid accent: “You want to cry and say, ‘God, God, I’ve been trying to turn on every way I can, but every trip’s been a bummer for me. It just ain’t real. For many of you, you’re spaced out tonight on acid …” A Jack Chick comic put to music.