In the summer of 1963 (when I was 15) I joined The Continentals, a christian choir and orchestra based out of Portland Youth For Christ. For the next two years, this group became a life changing force for me. We performed at weekly rallies, T.V., churches and of course our summer tours.
1964 Summer Tour
We traveled around the continental U.S.A. and took a brief 4 day cruise to the Bahamas where we sang for the Premier. At the end of our tour we recorded two albums at Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood, “Life Is A symphony” and “Sing A Song Along”
1965 Summer Tour
Once again we traveled through most of the “lower 48”, but this time we spent three weeks in Europe. 1965 was the summer of “The Sound Of Music” and we had the awesome experience of spending three days in Salzburg Austria where the movie was filmed. Pretty heady stuff for a 17 year old kid. A while back I put some of my favorite 1965 pics to Herman Hermit’s “I’m Into Something Good”. Clickfile://localhost/Users/ron/Desktop/1965%20Continentals-Medium.m4v
After 40+ years The Continentals reunited in October of 2005 at Canby Grove Conference Center in Canby, Oregon. Probably one of the most awesome experiences of my life. We all discovered how much we loved, missed and cared for each other. After an exhaustive search we located 86 members of our original group (1962-1965). After 1965, Cam Floria, reorganized the group and began a world wide ministry that involved 65,000 “Continentals”. Due to the vastness of the groups next phase, we chose to call ourselves “The Originals”, since we were the first to perform under the name.
For our reunion, 60 “Originals” showed up. We shared, we sang, and we sang some more. Our reunion ended with a concert. With almost no advertising, 500 people showed up to hear us sing one more time.
In honor of the 50th anniversary since our beginning we decided to meet together again. Our reunion was held in Portland at the Montavilla Baptist Church. This time 40 showed up for another great experience, and once again we performed another concert to a packed house, ( my two grand children Jack and Addy got to see their grandpa sing). One of those attending was Holly Chandler the younger sister of one of the Originals.
Holly writes a blog and felt moved to write the following article on her reflections. Here is the link: