Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
If the Catholic Church had its own version of “American Idol,” who might be the contestants? I’m partial to a few musical family groups (no doubt it’s the von Trapp family phenomenon). Some of these families have already appeared on competitive musical television shows already, and some already have CDs, but I’d like to see them go head-to-head. Feel free to propose others in the comment box below.
The Louisiana band L’Angelus puts on a very energetic show. The band is made up of family members Katie, Paige, Johnny and Steve. Known primarily as a Cajun band, they sing Cajun, religious, pop, and Christmas tunes. They played World Youth Day in Spain earlier this year. Currently, they’re touring with contemporary Christian singer Michael W. Smith for Christmas. Here’s a video of them singing Lac Bijou. Check them out, or more importantly support their work by purchasing their music.
Celtic Spring is another family of Catholic musicians and dancers - The Wood family - six siblings and their parents. I happened to catch their live show at World Youth Day Down Under in Australia. They combine Irish dancing and music for an especially lively stage show. Here’s the video from their appearance on “America’s Got Talent” in 2007.
Perhaps the most underrated band for “Catholic Idol,” would be the Callens family. A farm family from southwestern Minnesota, they’ve played county fairs and are famous for their barn dances. They are an amazing family. Here’s a news piece that profiles their family and also features a bit of their singing. You can support them by purchasing their honey. Read through the family’s blog and you’ll be amazed by everything this farm family does.
Two other groups include The Fannin Eleven and The Cimorelli’s. The Fannin Eleven (11 brothers and sisters) appeared on NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” Here’s a video from the show. You can listen to more of the Fannin Family’s songs here.
Finally, Cimorelli is an amazing group that’s received a great deal of attention lately. A week ago they reached #6 on the iTunes U.S. pop album chart. They’re a group of six Catholic home-schooled sisters (Lisa, Katherine, Christina, Dani, Amy, and Lauren) who sing a cappella covers of popular tunes. One thing that I, as a parent like, is that they clean up questionable lyrics in the pop tunes they sing. Their YouTube channel features 92 of their videos, and they’ve had more than 100 million views. Check out their CimFam CD and purchase it for a loved one this Christmas. Here’s a video of them singing “Dynamite.”