Crusaders, The

Band members               Related acts

Danny Altcholer -- lead guitar (1966)

- Fred Barnett -- guitar (1966)

- Jeff Barnett -- drums, percussion (1966)

- Walt Flannery -- keyboards (1966)

- Mike Joyce -- bass (1966)



Charity (Walt Flannery)

- The Love Exchange (Danny Altcholer, Walt Flannery,

  Mike Joyce, Fred Barnett and Jeff Barnett)





Genre: garage

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  The Crusaders Make a Joyful Noise with Drums and Guitar

Company: Tower

Catalog:  T 5048

Year: 1965

Country/State: California

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: was sealed – opened, played once for CDR transfer; ‘free’ stamp on back; mono pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5261

Price: $60.00


With a track listing full of traditional religious material that many of you will remember from your youth (and you may still be singing them if you attend church), 1966’s “The Crusaders Make a Joyful Noise with Drums and Guitar” may look thoroughly unappealing to many collectors.  Don’t let the album cover, track listing or the sanctimonious liner notes put you off of this one. 

Hailing from Southern California, The Crusaders boasted a line up consisting of lead guitarist Danny Altcholer, keyboard player Walt Flannery, bassist Mike Joyce, and brothers Fred and Jeff Barnett (guitar and drums respectively).  Signed by Capitol’s Tower subsidiary, their debut was co-produced by Hank Levine and Larry Goldberg.  While this was clearly a secular album (as far as I’m aware one of the first major label releases clearly intended to tap the youth market), the mixture of traditional hymns and handful of originals were cloaked in an extremely mid-1960s pop and garage vibe.  While the band didn’t seem to have a true lead singer (most of the songs have ‘group’ vocals), they boasted an accomplished lead guitarist in Altcholar (‘Praise We the Lord’ served as a nice showcase for his chops), with the rest of the band also quite good.  It sounds kind of strange, but given the band’s earnestness and talent, if you could overlook the occasionally cringe-inducing lyrics (check out ‘What Is Man’), tracks like ‘Little Drummer Boy‘, ’God Lives’ and ‘Praise We the Lord’ could easily have been confused for something by their better known non-secular competitors (think Tower label mates The Standells).  Elsewhere harmony-rich pop tracks like ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘With the Lord On Your Side’ and ‘ Make a Joyful Noise’ bore more than a passing resemblance to The Association, while their covers of ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ and ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ offered up a nice introduction to Duane Eddy-styled rock.  It certainly won’t appeal to everyone out there, but should hold plenty of appeal for garage and Christian rock fans.

"The Crusaders Make a Joyful Noise with Drums and Guitar" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Little Drummer Boy   (Simeone – Onorati – Davis) – 2:42

2.) Battle Hymn of the Republic   (traditional – arranged by The Crusaders) – 2:10

3.) God Lives  (The Crusaders) – 2:07

4.) You’ll Never Walk Alone   (Richard Rodgers – Oscar Hammerstein II) – 1:56

5.) With the Lord On Your Sid   (The Crusaders) – 2:38


(side 2)
Praise We the Lord   (The Crusaders) – 2:54

2.) What Is Man   (The Crusaders) – 2:00

3.) He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands   (traditional – arranged by The Crusaders) – 2:26

4.) Onward Christian Soldiers (instrumental)  (traditional – arranged by The Crusaders)  – 1:44

5.) Make a Joyful Noise   (The Crusaders) – 2:13


With the addition of lead singer Ronnie Blunt the band subsequently reappeared as the much hipper looking and less religious oriented The Love Exchange.