Steve Vaus has done it all in the music industry, or just about anyway.
He’s won a Grammy and has been nominated four times for the award. He’s won an Emmy. He’s created music for the Olympics, the Navy Blue Angels, America’s Cup and movies.
He’s worked with Willie Nelson, Billy Ray Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Kenny Loggins, Leann Rimes, Randy Travis and Kenny Rogers. He’s performed with the Billy Graham Crusades, at the Grand Ole Opry and at the White House.
He’s performed under his own name and created the Buck Howdy character to bring a new level of music to children.
But now he’s reaching for an entirely new goal; he’s telling the story of his family on a new CD called “Faith, Family, Revival,” and it’s nearly finished.
“It will have over 14 new recordings (original songs and timeless hymns) and it’s been in the works for nearly a year,” he said.
He has posted a video online to explain what the project is about: his family, his father and the family’s faith.
“When God touches a life, there’s a ripple effect,” he explains, noting that he’s experienced it.
He describes his father, Jim Vaus, as a “bad guy” who had numerous run-ins with the law. His dad was caught for armed robbery, spent time in prison, drained a bank account during college, went into the military and was caught for theft, then went behind bars again.
Eventually, his father was working with the mob, he said.
Then came a miracle. It was a tent revival meeting by a young evangelist named Billy Graham.
Jim Vaus made a decision in that tent and gave up his life of crime. His story was told in a movie, “Wiretapper.”
Years later, Billy Graham brought Jim Vaus back to a crusade event to tell how how he had sold his belongings and made restitution for what he had stolen.
Jim Vaus said at the event: “I recall the power I found in Christ. It wasn’t I got religion and decided to reform. Rather, I accepted Christ.”
Steve Vaus said his new CD is “the most important project I’ve ever done.”
He is using a novel approach to cover the recording costs and distribution requirements, asking supporters to become partners with him in the effort. He describes online how that can happen.
WND previously has reported on some of the ground-breaking musical work by Steve Vaus.
Vaus has written and sung about America’s current condition, asking whether it has lost its moorings in traditional Christian precepts.
The song begins with a description of the disarray in America because of issues such as unemployment and taxes. It includes a reminder that for generations America has been a blessed nation.
The song came after Barack Obama prominently proclaimed that America is “no longer” a Christian nation.
“Now, more than ever we need to be reminded of how far we’ve drifted from being a nation under God,” Vaus told WND at the time.
The song has God giving the State of the Union:
Now you act like you don’t know me
or remember who I am.
You turned away from me.
We haven’t spoken.
Now you’re lost, your dreams are broken
Don’t think it can’t get worse, it can
If you won’t remember who I am.
“My ‘State of the Union’ is a provocative ‘what if,’ what if God delivered the State of the Union? What would He say? Surely it wouldn’t be pretty. But He offers our only hope,” Vaus said.
Vaus said that the U.S. used to recognize and honor God. Revivals swept across the nation, with people seeking His presence. But news reports from recent months are replete with evidence that America has changed.
A major Christian denomination has voted to remove “God the Father” from its organizational documents, a longtime Christian ministry has announced plans to remove “Christ” from its name, Obama many times has left out “Creator” when quoting from the Declaration of Independence and a television network edited the Pledge of Allegiance to remove “under God.”
In contrast, when the Washington Monument was erected, God was recognized on its aluminum capstone 555 feet in the air, there are references to the God of the nation’s Founders at the U.S. Supreme Court building and at the Capitol. God is recognized on currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Creator is honored in the Declaration of Independence. Early meetings of the Founding Fathers opened with a time of prayer.
Vaus’ challenge now to America:
A previous song by Vaus, “We Must Take America Back,” drew massive attention when it was released in the 1990s.
“There’s an unspoken fear, We’re on our way down,” he penned. “We must take America back, Main Street to Wall Street, cities and states. Washington, D.C., before it’s too late:”
He’s also worked on satire, creating controversy with his look at the government’s decision to impose invasive body-scans and full-body pat-downs on airline travelers. Half a million viewed his work online in almost no time at all.
The song was a parody of “Help Me Make It Through the Night.”
That issue surged back into the headlines when Transportation Security Administration officials detained Sen. Rand Paul at the Nashville airport over an alarm that allegedly indicated something was attached to his leg.
Steve Vaus also has been handed the demanding assignment of creating a memorial to a dying child.
His song “Surrounded by Angels” now etches in history the hopes and dreams of Sophie Cooper, who died after inexplicably losing brain function.
According to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego, which facilitated the family’s request for a country song, the lyrics capture Sophie.
I wish I was a normal little girl,
Chasing butterflies, dressed in pink, my hair in shiny curls.
But I’m different and that’s all right with me,
‘Cause I’ve seen things that normal kids won’t ever get to see.
How we’re surrounded by angels every day and night,
And they hold our hands and wrap us in their arms so tight.
Sometimes they hide their wings and their haloes too,
Still I see angels watching over me and you.