Always an incubator for all that’s weird and amazing, the Broadcast forum introduced me to Pastor John Rydgren‘s unusual take on both scripture and flower power. This quirky compilation, available for download below, compiles 20 segments, all recorded around 1967 and ’68, of Rydgren’s syndicated psychedelic sermons known as Silhouette. While his smooth baritone and swingin’ delivery suggests a chain smokin’ (handrolled only) longhair recording live from his velvet couch, Rydgren was the straight-laced head of the American Lutheran Church’s TV, Radio, and Film Department – a clergyman who preferred spreading the gospel in a haze of purple. The novelty of these off-kilter Silhouette segments, written and narrated by Rydgren, eventually piqued the interest of the old Top 40 powerhouse WABC-AM in New York, officially adding a religious dimension to the summer of love. You’ll hear snippets of The Electric Prunes, Tijuana Brass, The Association, and much more alongside nuggets of Good News. Gotta love the description of the First Day in “Hippy Version of Creation”: “the cat… flipped the switch.” Some perfect outsider recordings to compliment the excellent The End is At Hand compilation recently published at Aquarium Drunkard for your next day of rest. Dig.
Pastor John Rydgren – Silhouette Segments (approx. 55 Mb)