Jon Gibson About
From the artist’s website:
In 1972, according to Gibson’s father, there was not a dry eye left in the auditorium when 3rd grader, Jon Gibson took to the stage at Robert Saunders Elementary School to sing Michael Jackson’s “Ben” over a 45 record. Winning first place in the school talent show was the beginning of a musical journey that would lead to over twenty hit songs. But a troubled upbringing, tainted by alcoholism, divorce and an abusive stepfather would cause issues to surface in his teens, landing him in the San Francisco Youth Guidance Center. After being stabbed by rival gang members, Gibson joined the Army where he served in Germany.
After returning home from the Army in 1980, Gibson moved in with his real father who had recently become a born again Christian. Impressed by his father’s miraculous turn around, Gibson also became a born again Christian; with a new direction, love and support from his father and step mother, he began to work on his music career. It wasn’t long before Gibson was making a mark on a Bay Area music scene that was already beginning to refer to him as The White Stevie Wonder.
Gibson was signed to Solar Records (The Sound of Los Angele Records) in 1982 and worked with Michael Jackson on the Bill Wolfer project entitled Wolf, currently known as The Best of Bill Wolfer. Gibson’s debut album Standing On The One was released in 1983 on Solar’s new subsidiary label, Constellation Records. The album which featured musicians from Rufus, Wings and Shalamar, was quickly climbing the R&B charts and his debut MTV video was gaining much attention but the success of the album would be cut short due to a sudden dispute between Solar and Warner/Electra/Asylum (WEA). Gibson, with the help of new management was released from his Solar contracts and began to pursue Christian music channels.
Gibson’s 2nd solo album and Christian music debut On The Run featuring up and coming guitarist Joe Satriani, rendered his first # 1 CCM hit God Loves a Broken Heart. Gibson’s 3rd album, Change of Heart, featured a then unknown rapper, M.C. Hammer and rendering his second # 1 hit Friend In You, while his next album Body & Soul featured a remake of Stevie Wonder’s song Have A Talk With God, which featured Stevie Wonder himself on Harmonica. Gibson’s 5th solo album Jesus Loves Ya was featured in TIME/LIFE’s 100 Greatest Christian Albums while racking up three more # 1 Christian hits. The album’s title song Jesus Loves Ya still holds the record today for the longest playing single at # 1 in Christian music history, eighteen and a half weeks. Gibson’s 6th solo album Forever Friends rendered four # 1 Christian hits and was voted CCM Magazine’s 1992 Album of The Year.
Tough to describe and tougher to classify, Gibson’s a white guy who sounds similar to Stevie Wonder, and a songwriter who is as prolific and versatile as they come. A master in the studio with many instruments, Gibson’s freestyle vocals skills have been compared to singer’s like Ella Fitzgerald and Bobby McFerrin. Gibson, who helped pioneer Christian rap as the genre’s bridge to popular Christian radio, racked up 22 Top 5 Hits, 9 of which rose to number 1 on the Christian Contemporary music charts between 1986 and 1995. Gibson has recorded with artists like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and M.C. Hammer and collaborated with many great musicians.
Throughout his career, Gibson has straddled many musical styles and confounded those who have tried to label him creating consistent original music. This lack of categorization may have limited the promotion of his career, was pop or urban radio really ready to play a blue-eyed soul singer who sang about his faith? None-the-less, it has gained for him a sizable and fiercely loyal following and a catalog of really wonderful music. If you haven’t heard him then you are truly missing out on one of music’s most talented and timeless American singer/songwriters.