I began my youth ministry career as a club director for Ventura County (California) Youth for Christ in 1963. Folk music was getting real popular about that time (Joan Baez, the Kingston Trio, Bob Dylan, the New Christy Ministrels) so we formed our own folk groups as a way to be “relevant” with teenagers. The first group I had was a trio patterned after Peter, Paul and Mary called “The Accidents.” I played the upright bass in that group. Then, after hearing the Dillards (who were playing folk clubs around Southern California and appearing on the Andy Griffith TV show), I learned to play banjo and formed a bluegrass group with my brothers called “The Rice Kryspies.” My wife Marci played the bass.
Harry White, who was Ventura YFC’s sound engineer, recently unearthed some old tape recordings of early YFC rallies, several of which featured The Rice Kryspies. The recording below was made on May 10, 1969–exactly 40 years ago. The introduction is by Ventura YFC director Roger Cross (who later became the president of Youth for Christ/USA). The song you’ll probably recognize. Just keep in mind that the Beatles were still together in 1969. This was very cutting edge stuff back then![audio:https://waynerice.com/audio/rice_kryspies.mp3]
The Rice Kryspies were my firat introduction to Bluegrass back in Dec of 71 (I believe) in Portland,Or at a Christian Youth Rally. I loved it then and still do. I still have your album from then. I thought Joe was so cute then! I just returned from the Bluegrass Festival in Darrington, Wa and made me decide to look you all up to see what you were up to now. Seems you are all doing well and still playing music and sharing the Gospel. Lots of fond memories when I listened to the song.
You played at my church (First Baptist Church of Granada Hills, Ca) in the late 60’s. My folks still have the album, and “Reasons” is still one of my favorites. It came up in a conversation with my Dad the other day, he was just diagnosed with myeloma (a blood cancer) and we were talking about faith.
I hope and pray that you are blessed.
Thank you for the great memories!
Thank you for the nice note. I wrote the song ‘Reasons’ after my father died in an auto accident. It just seemed the best way to respond to something so random and unexplainable. “Reasons now are hidden in the fullness of God’s Plan; they’re secrets that are kept from you and I.” Some people said I had my grammar wrong on that line — it should have been ‘you and me.” But that didn’t rhyme with “But I know someday I’m gonna ask Him ‘why?'” Poetic license, I guess.
I’m sure sorry to hear about your father’s illness and we will join with you in prayer for him.
Thanks again for writing and may God give you his grace and peace.
Dear Wayne: My father Charles, then pastor of the Oxnard Church of the Nazarene was a dear friend of your dad as you know. I remember clearly that day we heard the news of the accident that took your dad. Can you tell me when this was? My father and I lost a precious man that day, and we were so sad for all of you.
Thank you for your countless contributions over the decades. Your family is one of a kind and are a consistent blessing to many.
Greg McKinney (now 56!)
Hi Greg. Nice to hear from you. I do remember your family and all the kind folks at Oxnard Nazarene Church, the church I grew up in. To answer your question, my dad died on July 28, 1968.
Hello Wayne! My wife and I were high schoolers at First Christian in Thousand Oaks. You played there and numerous youth events (you were just up the road in Ventura after all). We remember your family fondly and your music allowed our faith to blossom. Cindi and I are ministering in Atlanta Illinois now and God is very, very good! Is there any chance that you still have the music on mp3? Somehow along the way your records left our possession and we would love to have a copy of it somehow.
God’s richest blessings on you and yours!
Skeet and Cindi
Thanks for the post on my “Rice Kryspies” page on my website. It’s fun to hear from people who still remember us. I do remember playing quite often in Thousand Oaks. In fact the guy I learned to play banjo from lived there, Don Gerber. I’d go to his house and he would show me how to move my fingers. Fond memories. Wish I could still move them like I did way back then. To answer your question, no I don’t think any Rice Kryspies stuff has ever made its way to iTunes or anywhere else. I do have a few tunes from the “Reason to Believe” LP that I could send you if you’ll give me your email address. I didn’t know there was an Atlanta in Illinois! Must be confusing.
Thanks again for the kind note
I REMEMBER THOSE DAYS….I STILL HAVE THAT FIRST ALBUM!!!!!