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Eric & Polly Rapp: News

"When I Give You Roses" - February 4, 2009

The most recent online evidence of Eric's recent songwriting activity, the love song "When I Give You Roses," is now up in our "Music" section! As with the previous entry, "Who Knows?", the MP3 is a demo-quality recording made on Eric's Sansa Fuze. We hope you enjoy it!

tease, tease... - January 9, 2009

The holiday break has sparked some new songs from Eric... Look for some rough MP3s to hit the web site sometime soon--thanks to his new MP3 player/recorder! We'll probably create a new subhead on the "Music" page for "Work in Progress" or something similar.

Two songs uploaded! - December 19, 2008

In response to those who have asked us for a recording of our Christmas song "The Best Gift," we have uploaded a demo version for the 2008 Christmas season. It would have been a full studio version, except that the computer wasn't cooperating. Advent is a busy season, and we may not get another chance to do it properly before Christmas, so we did a rough version with a handheld digital recorder, just to get it online for you. Merry Christmas!

We've also uploaded a demo version of "Your Mother" recorded the same way. We're hoping to do a digital-only release of our own tunes early next year, which will include studio versions of both songs, so stay tuned!

What happened to the Guestbook? - November 16, 2008

Today I removed the Guestbook from our site. We enjoyed hearing from friends far and near, but over the last several months the number of bogus entries has been climbing. Unfortunately, those who wish to abuse it to promote their own sites or agendas have ruined it for the rest of you. Should we eventually move to another host with a different system for vetting entries, we'll happily reinstate it. In the meantime, you're still welcome to send us your thoughts and comments directly via our Contact page. You can also publish your opinions of our CDs at CD Baby. We very much appreciate your support!

A great night in Marshall - October 5, 2008

Last night we performed for a roomful of young Lutherans on their annual youth retreat in Marshall, Michigan, for the second straight year. Last year we were very pleasantly surprised at the good reception we received at our first show for that age group, and this year was even better. Apparently our fame had preceded us...several of the young people identified themselves as "Issues, Etc." listeners when we were being introduced, and when we started singing our song "Hey, Preacher Man," which frequently appears as bumper music on that show, I couldn't believe the number of digital cameras and cell phones that suddenly got pointed at us! A number of the young people said later that they'd heard the song on the show and hadn't realized it was us. It was a great night, and we had a great time talking to the youth.

CHANGES to Marshall Retreat gig! - October 2, 2008

Just in case you didn't notice it on our Calendar page, the location and time for our concert at the annual Lutheran Youth Retreat in Marshall, Mich., have been changed. We are now scheduled to play at 8:30 PM at Schuler's Restaurant, NOT the Stuart's Landing bandshell. It's going to be a bit chilly for an outdoor evening concert!

"Issues, Etc." is back! - June 19, 2008

A fine radio program has returned to the airwaves and internet! Visit Issues, Etc. to learn more about an intelligent, biblically oriented talk show dealing with issues in the social, political, and religious spheres. Great listening!

Issues Arising! - May 28, 2008

The outstanding radio talk show "Issues, Etc.," on which Eric and I were featured a year ago, was canceled in March, but a new show is about to rise to take its place! It promises "no holds barred" coverage of the same kinds of cultural and religious issues featured on the old show. See Pirate Christian Radio for more information and to see how you can donate to this new program of Lutheran Public Radio. If the 7,000-plus people who signed the petition to bring back "Issues" committed just $50, the entire 2008 broadcasting season costs would be more than covered!

Walking for Life! - April 29, 2008

Eric and I will be participating in the annual "Walk for Life" of the CareNet Pregnancy Information Center of Berkley, Michigan, this Saturday, May 3. If you would like to support us in helping women, their partners, and their unborn children deal with unplanned pregnancy, post-abortion trauma, and abstinence education from a loving, Christian perspective, please email us with your name, complete mailing address, including Zip code, and the amount you would like to pledge (lump sum, not per-mile). I will enter your pledge on our sponsor sheet, and the center will contact you by mail to fulfill your pledge after the walk. (This is the only mailing you will receive--you will not be added to the center's mailing list unless you specifically request it.) Thank you!

"Ten Ways to Stay in Love" #5 on the Country chart - April 15, 2008

Artist Underground has informed us that our song "Ten Ways to Stay in Love" was ranked #5 on the Country chart last week. The song has been on the site for well over a year now, so this is a pleasant surprise. Thanks, listeners!

"Issues, Etc." makes news at Wall Street Journal - March 28, 2008

Today's Wall Street Journal contains a column about the cancellation of "Issues, Etc." and the resulting outcry from thousands of fans. You can read it here.

"Issues, Etc." petition tops 5,000 names - March 27, 2008

Today the petition to bring back "Issues, Etc." hit the 5,000-signature mark and is still gaining names. David Strand has issued a new "explanation" for the cancellation, which inside sources say is full of misinformation and "spin." Here is a detailed discussion of the new statement.

"American Idol Underground" update - March 25, 2008

This site has become "Artist Underground", and last week our song "More Than Enough" rose to #15 on the Faith-Based chart.

"Issues, Etc." petition and web site - March 23, 2008

For any of you who may have listened to "Issues, Etc.," we encourage you to sign the petition asking for its return. You may also keep up to date with discussion of its cancellation at the Wittenberg Trail and/or Bring Back Issues blogs.

Ways to Support "Issues, Etc." Staff - March 19, 2008

Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz, the host and producer of "Issues, Etc." have lost their jobs because of the cancellation of the show. According to someone who worked on the board overseeing the radio station, KFUO, severance packages are usually contingent on a signed promise never to talk about the termination. So if you would like to help Todd and Jeff through this difficult time, you may send checks to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Box 247, Hamel IL 62046, with "Wilken/Schwarz Fund" on the memo line, or you may contribute through PayPal at the Wittenberg Trail blog. Just scroll down a little and you'll see the link in the right sidebar. (Be aware, however, that PayPal will deduct their percentage--up to 2.9% plus 30 cents-- from your donation.) And, of course your prayers will also help!

"ISSUES, ETC." CANCELLED!!! - March 18, 2008

It's outrageous, but it's true--the Lutheran radio talk show that was largely responsible for igniting Eric's faith and inspired several of his songs has been canceled without warning--they've even obliterated the online archive! Anyone wishing to express their opinion of this decision is encouraged to call the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod at 888-843-5267, email David L. Strand, the Executive Director of the LCMS's Board of Communication Services, at david.strand@lcms.org, and LCMS President Gerald Kieschnick at president@lcms.org.

Xiao Dong Wei at Paint Creek Folklore Society - January 5, 2008

The Paint Creek Folklore Society is an amazing organization.... We've been members since early 2001, and it's exposed us to all kinds of fascinating music. Just tonight, for example, we were privileged to hear Xiao Dong Wei, a fabulous artist of the Chinese erhu (a two-stringed violin) who has played with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Mesmerizing. On other occasions we've heard West African music played on the gyil (a xylophone/marimba with buzzing gourds for resonators), Scottish bagpipe music, American bluegrass, Irish pennywhistle, and a host of other things. That's just the monthly workshops! Then there are the members themselves--everything from semi-professional musicians to nonmusicians who just love the art and the fellowship. If you love music and live anywhere around the metro Detroit area, you really ought to check it out sometime. Meetings are the first Saturday of every month, starting at 7:30 PM at Lawnridge Hall of University Presbyterian Church, 1385 South Adams Rd., Rochester Hills, Michigan. If you're a musician yourself, bring your instrument and a song to share at the Song Swap! (A guest fee of approximately $8 applies.)

"More Than Enough" on American Idol Underground - December 17, 2007

Our song "More Than Enough" has joined "Ten Ways to Stay in Love" and "Hey, Preacher Man" on the American Idol Underground.

"More Than Enough" as Bumper Music - November 21, 2007

The "Issues, Etc." radio talk show, hosted by Todd Wilken in St. Louis, Mo., on station KFUO, used a clip of our song "More Than Enough" to introduce a segment on "Christians and Vocation" today! Go to the program archive, scroll down to today's date, and click on the link for the segment containing "Christians and Vocation"--the song appears about halfway through the file. We're always pleased and honored to be included in such a quality program--check it out!

"Hey, Preacher Man" Tops the Chart! - November 13, 2007

On the "American Idol Underground" "faith-based" chart, our song "Hey, Preacher Man" was the highest-rated song last week! There are hundreds of songs competing for a spot on that chart, and this song has been on the Underground since February, so this comes as even more of a surprise. Many thanks to all the online listeners who have rated our song so highly!

Zion Youth Retreat - October 6, 2007

We were invited to play for the second annual youth retreat put on by Zion Lutheran Church in Marshall, Mich., this weekend. We played for their banquet at Schuler's restaurant and an evening concert at the Stuart's Landing bandshell, and we had a great time. This was the first time we played to an audience of mostly young people (from all over Michigan as well as Indiana), and we were delighted with their enthusiastic response--some of them were even singing along with our own compositions! We also got to play along for a bit of folk dancing, which was capably led on pennywhistle, Uilleann pipes, and Highland bagpipes by a Hillsdale College student named Abe. The concert was recorded on iPod, so if you like, you can listen at the church's audio archive page.

More Than Enough at Lutheran Bookstore - September 14, 2007

The Lutheran Center Bookstore, at 16259 Nine Mile Road in Eastpointe, Michigan, is now carrying copies of our most recent CD, More Than Enough. Stop in and check out their wonderful collection of books, gifts, Sunday School materials, and CDs, and you might just hear us playing while you shop! If you would like to call them, they have a toll-free number--800-572-6711--and their hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 to 5:00, and the first Saturday of the month from 9:00 to 2:00.

Supporting the Local Community - August 25, 2007

Our little suburb had a community-wide garage sale and mini-mini-festival, so we volunteered to play some music for it. They hadn't actually been planning on music--their "festival" concept was mostly a moonwalk for the kids, food from several local vendors, and a raffle--but to me (Polly), you just can't call it a festival without music. We played for an hour, chatted with some new fans, and ended up selling several CDs. We had fun, and we're hoping maybe the organizers will be inspired to take it a step further next year, with a stage and an organized list of acts! :)

Live on in Joy - August 11, 2007

Within the space of a little less than two weeks, we received notices that two of our fans had passed through death's curtain. I (Polly) got to thinking about the stereotypical line, "Rest in peace." It has its place, I guess, for in God's heaven "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4). But I think it emphasizes too much what will be absent. The absence of pain and sorrow isn't merely rest--it's joy! So if in some way you can perceive my prayer for you, my brothers in the faith, may you live on in joy.

We've been parodied! - July 23, 2007

Some youth from Marshall, Mich., have taken our song, "Hey, Preacher Man," and adapted the words to address it affectionately to their own pastor. This is a first, as far as we know, and we're flattered by the attention...they've even put it on YouTube! Check it out at the Honoring the Office of Holy Ministry blog or at YouTube.
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