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Buddy Houghtaling – Discography / Bandography

I had been writing music and began performing that music in concerts in 1981. In 1985, my Dad knew that I needed to record these songs, and he offered to back my first professional recording. With this in mind, I called “The Barn,” a recording studio in Alexandria, Indiana, and talked with a wonderful man by the name of Steve Milliken. Steve agreed to produce my first recording entitled Family Reunion, and I sent him a very rough cassette recording of my songs. Musically there is nothing like hearing your songs come alive in the hands of studio musicians. I remember how my dads face just glowed as the band played the song called “Mr. Darwin”… he just loved it! When we got to work on the title track “Family Reunion”, Steve played the most beautiful piano part and later added the string section. At that point I had no idea that this song would minister to thousands of people at hundreds of funerals and end almost every concert that I would ever do. We as writers work very hard to get the message just right, but the song “Family Reunion” was a gift from God for which I will always be grateful. As an additional note, Family Reunion was initially released only on cassette tape, but the song “Jonathan,” the story of the love and friendship between King David and Jonathan, was added to the project when it was later released on CD in 1994.

I decided to record a second collection of songs in 1989. Having had such a great experience working with Steve Milliken, I naturally contacted him to see if he could help me again. By this time, he was very busy producing Ray Boltz, so I had to look in another direction. My second project, Little Lamb’s Song, was recorded at “The Barn” in Alexandria, Indiana and at River City Studios in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was great to be able to work with my Dad, Bob Houghtaling, and my brother in law, Rick Barrett, along with my sister Linda, her husband Ben, and their daughter Lynnette on this project. Also several of my friends, Judy McKelvey, Patti Wilson-Short and Kristy Bowman, were part of this more home-spun record. Songs off of this recording like “Miracle Man” and “I Am Your God” became concert staples. The recording ends with a piece titled “Zachary’s Song” in tribute to Zachary Steely. It was great to have his dad, Robin Steely, also sing on this record.
Up to this point, I basically had been doing local concerts by myself or occasionally with my Dad. In 1991, at first casually and then on a more regular basis, I was joined by bassist/vocalist Dan Grentz. We have a mutual passion of singing for God and our individual strengths compliment each other in concert and behind the scenes.

In 1992, I attended two Patricia White concerts. I loved her music and as I was able to talk with her, she suggested that I contact her brother, Tedd French, who had produced her recordings. Tedd was a producer based in Nashville, Tennessee. When my wife Tina and I met Tedd in January of 1993, it was the beginning of a wonderful and fruitful musical relationship. A new producer can add new life to an artist’s music, and that is exactly what Tedd did. Tedd brought to life all of the songs on the I Will Wait project and helped me develop further as a songwriter. He pushed me to never settle for lyrics that weren’t the best that I could write. This project was released in 1993 and it gained national attention primarily through the song “Here Kitty Kitty.” This song was played extensively on the Family Life Radio Network, caught on from there, and was played on many other radio stations across North America. My travel schedule started to go crazy as we criss-crossed the country singing and playing as the requests came in.

At this time the duo was expanded to a full band and “Holy Molar” erupted. Members over the years have included Buddy Houghtaling on keyboards and lead vocals, Dan Grentz on bass guitar and additional vocals, Gene Hook on percussion, Bob Houghtaling on guitar, Dave Martin on guitar, Bob Harrison on clarinet, Donna Hook, Natalie Hook-Patzer, Caren Hook-Onks and Linda Sears on background vocals and Greg & Melanie Sears with Rich and Bev Rowbotham helping with sound, lighting and video.

I continued to work with Tedd on two other solo projects, How Many Memories in 1997, and Mercy Road in 2002. In 1998, the title track “How Many Memories” was selected as one of the songs that would be performed live on NET98 with Pastor Dwight Nelson. This television series was broadcast world wide via satellite. Mercy Road featured my song called “Close Your Eyes”, which spoke of the life and death of my beloved Mom. It was a great honor to have my Dad and my band mates play on this record along with the studio musicians. The newest member of “Holy Molar” joined the band in 2000, guitarist Ramon Weber, from Lansing, Michigan. Ramon’s attention to detail and incredible sensitivity to the music has greatly enhanced our live performances and has made them more faithful to the original recordings.

In 2006, I was invited to write for and perform on the Kid’s Time CD that was produced by E. T. Everett of Three Angels Broadcasting Network also know as 3ABN. (This project is available exclusively through 3ABN and can be obtained at their website.)

In 2007, I was privileged to appear on a Christmas record with my band, “Holy Molar”, which we called Tell Me The Story. This CD was also produced by Tedd French, with my good friend, Dan Grentz, as the executive producer.

The most recent project, One of Those Clouds, was produced by award winning producer, Phil Naish. This CD was released in 2010 shortly after the passing of my Dad. I am so privileged to have his voice on this record. “One of Those Clouds” points us to the day that all of us are waiting for. Not just the day when we will be reunited with our loved ones, but the day that we will see our most gracious Lord and Savior, Jesus, in “One of Those Clouds” of glory.

The current “Holy Molar” band includes Buddy Houghtaling, Dan Grentz, Ramon Weber and Linda  Sears.