I like the Christian life: The Byrds’ Hillman talks about his faith

This is the coolest thing I’ve seen all day.

The backstory goes like this: I was talking with Ken Mansfield, author of The White Book and Stumbling on Open Ground. He mentioned Chris Hillman, one of the founding members of the Byrds, and said he was a Christian. I’ve been a fan of the Byrds since I was a kid and knew Roger McGuinn was a believer, but I didn’t know about Hillman. Ken told me to check out an interview Hillman did with CBN. Here’s the video. You’ll only need one guess as to why it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen all day.

The icon corner! I was surprised when I saw it. And the stacks of liturgical books. This guy’s Orthodox, I thought as I watched. Right then I nearly jumped off the video to find out more online, but I slowed down and decided to be patient and keep watching. To CBN’s credit, they highlighted Hillman’s Orthodoxy — even showing him reading from the Little Red Prayer Book with his wife. How cool is that?

If you dig the era and the music, find time and watch this next video too. It’s Hillman talking at the Library of Congress, telling his story. It’s long but full of great moments. About finding his voice, for one example, he says, “I’m still learning. You know what I do on Sundays? I sing in a choir. I sing in a Greek Orthodox choir, and I’m the only hillbilly tenor in the Orthodox Church.”

Speaking about the Byrds’ hit “Turn, Turn, Turn,” he says, it was “[p]robably the only time a song was at No. 1 on the charts right out of the Bible. I know Pete [Seeger] made his half of the publishing. I don’t know if King Solomon’s heirs ever got a dime.”

About Joel J. Miller

I'm the author of Lifted by Angels, a look at angels through the eyes of the early church. Click here for more about me or subscribe to my RSS here.

  • Evdokia3

    Cool! Love the Byrds and Flying Burrito Bros. :) You may want to also check out Kevin Allen’s interview with him on his podcast The Illuminated Heart from a few years back… http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/turn_turn_turn

    • Joel J. Miller

      Apparently I’m extremely late to this particular party. Many thanks for the link. I’m eager to listen. Kevin Allen’s new show on Ancient Faith is one of my favorites.


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