2003   OCTOBER 12   #285

Teen Challenge Choir - My Psychiatrist/Mary Jane

If you look at only image I put up on this site all year, let it be this back cover of "Champions": it's what compelled me to take this album home. It also tells you everything you need to know about the Teen Challenge Choir.

"My Psychiatrist" challenges the validity of modern psychiatric practices, suggesting instead that maybe all these people seeking professional help really just need Jesus. Either that or it's a song about a seriously deluded individual who believes her psychiatrist actually IS Jesus. One or the other.

The psychiatrist's identity isn't revealed until the end of the song, so I guess I just spoiled the riddle for everybody. It's a catchy little number, though, and that should more than make up for any disappointment anyone should feel about that.

Besides, I'll leave it up to you clever people to figure out what "Mary Jane" refers to.

- Suzanne Baumann

TT-6:10 / 7MB / 160kbps 44.1khz

Jonboy writes:
If I'm not mistaken, I think the Teen Challenge kids are the same ones who do a car-wash & rummage sale every weekend on Grand River Ave. near my house. The first song presents a rather ominous parallel: the Nazis were also very anti-psychology, largely due to the fact that many of the luminaries in the field at the time were Jewish. I've also seen some pretty horrific anti-psychology propaganda stuff from the Scientologists, where they do dramatic re-enactments of Soviet brain experimentation. As for musical caliber, I couldn't even make it to "Mary Jane". Sorry. Maybe later.

Jef Stevens writes:
Teen Challenge began in the 1950s when the Rev. David Wilkerson set out for New York to minister to teen gang members. It was the conversion of gang leader Nicky Cruz that laid the foundation for the beginnings of Teen Challenge ministries. Cruz's conversion is chronicled in the novel "The Cross and the Switchblade."

Suzanne Baumann writes:
Hmm. I'm starting to think there may be multiple Teen Challenge Choirs. On my album, they appear to be located in Rehersburg, PA. That's their contact address and also the location of the recording studio. Bernie Gillott and Chuck Cyrus produced, arranged songs, and played instruments on the album. They seem to be the guys in charge. It was recorded in 1986. Maybe the movement had spread nationwide by then?

Jef Stevens writes:
Exactly! That was part of the idea of the ministries was to have these Teen Challenge programs all acoss the country, and part of that program is the choir. They had spread nationwide by the 60's I believe. The movie "The Cross & The Switchblade," with Erik Estrada and Pat Boone, came out in the early 70's, so they were already well known by then. They are kind of like "Up With People" for reforming drug addicts.http://www.teenchallenge.com/