Catholic Music: A non-definitive but exceptional, eclectic list

The April 29th edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper has a feature article, “Make a joyful noise”, about Catholic music and musicians, which I co-authored with long-time, tuneful friend, Gregory Oatis. We had a certain numbers of words and a limited budget (we were only able to visit South America and Europe; no Australia. Just kidding.) The final list includes 21 (or so) artists, bands, and composers.

Frankly, we stressed out a bit about our choices, knowing it was inevitable that readers would say, “How in the world could you leave This Great Catholic Band off your pathetic, narrowminded, tone deaf, biased list!?” So we established some rigorous criteria for making our selections. I forget what was involved in said criteria, but I know it was impartial and intelligent. Mainly, we wanted a wide range of artists. My one disappointment was not including a jazz artist; I could have gone with Dave Brubeck, but decided to let it go and give someone else some ink. Another criteria, which came from OSV, was to focus on living artists. Otherwise Haydn would have made a big splash.

Of this I’m fairly certain: most readers will learn about some musicians and music they’ve never heard of before. And many readers will, of course, take umbrage with this or that pick, or especially with this or that non-pick. Hey, I get it. My feelings aren’t hurt, and I hope yours aren’t, either. Here’s your chance: who would you have added? Why?

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About Carl E. Olson 1220 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.