Cutout Bin: Accordion-Happy Televangelists the Van Impes, From Night Clubs to Christ
Maybe the Slap Chop infomercial ended and the remote was lost between the seat cushions. Or perhaps you spent a weekend stuck at your crazy grandmother's house, with no cable. In any case, you've surely seen the Van Impes, the nation's most enduring televangelical couple. Their weekly faux-news program Jack Van Impe Presents is shown throughout the country and the world, usually at about 3 a.m. Before their dominance of the late-night UHF airwaves, however, Jack & Rexella released a pile of records that ran the gamut from gospel songs to end-of-the-world evangelism. Presenting the Van Impes is (we believe) the couple's first album. The cover shows Jack with his accordion, an instrument he played since childhood, and a disturbingly hot pic of Rexella. This one's all music, and as the cover says, "The Van Impes have been marvelously used of God and their ministry in music will thrill your soul."
From Night Clubs To Christ refers to Jack's own journey from the dingy, sinful nightclubs of the underground accordion circuit to his present position as "The Walking Bible," able to recite over 8,000 scriptures from memory. You've come a long way, baby.
In Hell Without Hell, Jack and his cute little devil buddy take on "cultists" who claim that Hell doesn't exist. "Dr. Van Impe proves that there is a Hell, even of the word Hell never appeared in the Bible." Unconfirmed reports say his irrefutable evidence includes viewing a clip of Kathie Lee Gifford's Hip-Hop Christmas Special.
For his next record, Van Impe takes on one of the real bastions of evil of the early 1970s: the rock and roll musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. Rather than an updated retelling of Biblical stories, Van Impe says, "Superstar is a new Christ, a false Christ and perhaps the preparatory forerunner of the one the Bible calls, the antichrist." Or just a bunch of hippies singing about Jesus, whichever.
In 1978, Rexella bowed to popular demand and finally released a children's record, Rexella Sings... Children's Songs. Lord knows there's nothing like the wife of an evangelical doomsday preacher to entertain the little ones. On the album cover she shows off her little kitty as a bonus. I CAN HAS ARMAGEDDONZ? We'll leave you on a happy note this holiday, with the latest from Jack & Rexella: December 21, 2012: History's Final Day.
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