As I hang with the singers and songwriters of the LDS music world, there are few songwriters so universally respected as Cherie Call. Her insights are clear and pure, her turn of a phrase is unique, and her ability to connect with an audience is amazing. And in a world where angst, cynicism, and sadness are shorthand for “deep meaning”, she shows that there is depth in happiness and belief.
In the late 1990’s through the turn of the 200’s, she dotted the LDS music scene with three self-released CD’s, entitled “One Star”, “Taken”, and “Heart Made of Wind”. She also had songs appear in three of the movies in the “Mormon Cinema” movement, namely, “God’s Army”, “Brigham City”, and “Charly”. After her independent releases, she signed with Deseret Book, the biggest record label in LDS music. Her first CD under their wing, “He Gives Flowers to Everyone”, contains my personal favorite Cherie Call Songs.
One of them is called “Believe” and it’s all about being bright in the face of a cynical world:
Sometimes traffic lights are green,
Sometimes people keep their word
In spite of everything you’ve heard, it’s true that
Sometimes nice guys finish first,
Sometimes true love really lasts
Sometimes all the world can change
If only you believe”
The other one is quite well-known among Cherie’s fans, called “It Passes All My Understanding”, about a conversation about God between passengers in an airplane.
“I was sitting on a southbound plane,
I was buried in a magazine
When the man in the next seat over
Wanted to talk to me
He talked about the universe,
He talked about Saturn’s rings
He said, “I might be an atheist,
Except for just one thing:
“It passes all my understanding
How it all worked out just right
The distance that we live from the sun,
The stars that shine at night
We may prove that it was just an accident
But how did it begin?
It passes all my understanding”
She’s been celebrated for her work in LDS music with no less than 6 of the Pearl Awards. Run by the Faith Centered Music Association, the Pearl Awards are the Mormon music industry’s equivalent to the Grammies. I can remember almost feeling sorry for her during one of the awards galas, as she, pregnant to nearly bursting, was called up onto the stage over and over to accept her awards. She seemed to appreciate each one, though.
If winning a “Mormon Grammie” weren’t enough, Cherie has also been a regularly invited performer at Nashville’s famous Blue Bird Café, and in the summer of 2004 she was also a finalist in the prestigious Kerrville New Folk songwriting competition. I also think it’s very telling that her favorite quote (on her Facebook page) is from Christian author CS Lewis: “Crying is alright in it’s way while it lasts, but you have to stop sooner or later and then you have to decide what to do.”