Do you love the book of Revelation? Join guest Larry McCoy on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Air Date: April 23, 2017
Dr. Reagan: I have had a life-long love affair with the book of Revelation. And I am always thrilled when I find an artistic expression of the book, whether it be in some visual art form or in music. One of the most creative expressions of Revelation I have ever run across is one by Larry McCoy. He has actually put the entire book to music. Stay tuned for an interview with Larry and for samples of his incredible music.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. My special guest this week is Larry McCoy from Gallatin, Tennessee.
Larry McCoy: That makes me a Galatian by the way, Dave.
Dr. Reagan: From what?
Larry McCoy: Makes me a Galatian.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, that’s right, I had never thought about that. You know I’ve been to Gallatin several times, Larry.
Larry McCoy: Yes you have, actually that time–
Dr. Reagan: Held some meetings there back in the early ‘80s. Well Larry, you have accomplished a phenomenal feat by putting the entire book of Revelation to music. And I’ve seen a great number of artistic expressions of that book throughout my lifetime, but they’ve all be in visual art form, never in music. So tell us, how in the world did all this come about?
Larry McCoy: Well, Dave, it was quite by accident I have to admit that up front. My Dad was in a hospital in Georgia and he loved the old song “Sweet Lorraine” now it’s a secular song, and I just found joy, I’m as happy as a baby boy, and he loved that song. And so I’d visit him in the hospital and they’d roll a piano out in this hallway and they brought all these patients in wheelchairs and everything and my Dad says “Play Sweet Lorraine!'” And I’d play “Sweet Lorraine,” I just found joy. And then he’d say, “Well play ‘He Touched Me.'” I’d play “He Touched Me.” I’d do a couple others and he’d say, “Play Sweet Lorraine!'” And I said, “Well, Dad, I just played that.” He said, “Play it again.” So I’d play it again. And you know, I said, “Man, I wish I could just put Christian words to that.” He didn’t like the words as much as he liked the chord changes, it was pretty chord changes. So I went home and Dave, this is exactly the way it happened. My Bible, King James, Finis J. Dake Bible, you know was sitting on the piano. And big thing back in those days was writing Scripture songs. So I said “Well, I’m just going to put “Sweet Lorraine” chord changes to the 5th chapter of the book of Revelation.” So I started off, I saw a book in the right hand of God, it was sealed seven times. I saw an angel in a loud voice saying, “Who is worthy?” And it fit just, it just fit!
Dr. Reagan: It flowed.
Larry McCoy: Then at the end of it, I put a scripture song, “Thou art worthy” that’s four, but “Worthy is the Lamb of God to praise” you know. And so that’s how it started. I said “Well that’s a pretty good idea. Why don’t I do all the books that way?”
Dr. Reagan: So you started with chapter 5.
Larry McCoy: I started with chapter 5 and “Sweet Lorraine.” You know?
Dr. Reagan: But that’s a good chapter to start with because that’s a chapter of glorious worship.
Larry McCoy: That is. It sure is.
Dr. Reagan: Okay.
Larry McCoy: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: So did you go back and do it in order, or did you skip around or what?
Larry McCoy: But I had been listening to your theology, your preaching, a lot, Dave. And I realized that there’s a good possibility the Church wouldn’t be here after chapter 4 at that time.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, ok.
Larry McCoy: And so after that I looked to see, and so I said, “Well, I’ll just write 1 through 5. And then I’ll write, of course, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in 19, and finish it up with 22.” Well when I got to 22 Dave, it was like the writer’s block, mental block. I couldn’t get it. You know? And this still, small voice said, “Write the Tribulation.” I didn’t want to write the Tribulation. I’m not going to be here.
Dr. Reagan: That’s pretty heavy stuff.
Larry McCoy: Yeah it’s pretty heavy stuff and so I said “I don’t want to write that,” but anyway.
Dr. Reagan: But you’ve got a wonderful, some fellow with a wonderful bass voice.
Larry McCoy: Don Hoff.
Dr. Reagan: That just sound like the voice of God.
Larry McCoy: “I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, I heard thunder and a beat.” You’ve gotta have a big bass voice to sing that stuff. And I did, he was about 6′ 5” and he had red hair and he stuck out like this. I’m not sure he didn’t resemble God sometimes, you know. But anyway. I started on that and wrote the Tribulation down through 18. And then 22 just came to me. I mean, you know, it was like God gave me the, if I hadn’t, if I’d written 22 Dave we wouldn’t be sitting here talking today about anything in the middle. But you know, divine coincidence allowed me to go back and write the Scripture.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I don’t believe in divine coincidence when you’re working in the will of God.
Larry McCoy: Well, I used that-
Dr. Reagan: I believe it’s God’s guiding.
Larry McCoy: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: He wanted you to do the whole thing, and he forced you to do the whole thing, before he was going to let you do 22. Right?
Larry McCoy: Amen. That’s exactly the way it is.
Dr. Reagan: And then 22 is just to me, the greatest one of all.
Larry McCoy: Yeah, even so come Lord Jesus, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all amen.
Dr. Reagan: So how long did it take you to do all this?
Larry McCoy: Well, it took me about two years. And all this time I was playing piano with Johnny Cash.
Dr. Reagan: Well, hey, we want to talk about that in just a moment. But before we get to your personal background, and what happened to you before you did all this. I want to give our viewers a feel for what you have accomplished so I want to ask you just to start off with chapter one, would you sing that for us?
Larry McCoy: I will do that, happily.
Dr. Reagan: Okay, so here is Larry McCoy, singing chapter 1 of the book of Revelation.
Larry McCoy: In the year 96 AD, on the Island of Patmos, the beloved Apostle John was praying on the Lord’s day.
Dr. Reagan: What a blessing that song was! I tell you, I just love that first chapter, the way you put that to music. And when I heard that the very first time, it whetted my appetite and I could hardly wait to hear the rest of the music of that album.
Larry McCoy: You know Dave, you were one of the men that gave me my first break in doing the Revelation.
Dr. Reagan: Is that right?
Larry McCoy: You sure were. You mentioned earlier that you had come to Gallatin.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Larry McCoy: Well, some lady gave you my recording.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Larry McCoy: And you heard it and called me. And I did your very first prophecy conference in Plano, Texas.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right, conference. And I talked about that on the radio and we sold copies of that over the radio.
Larry McCoy: And it really launched me, you know. And I appreciate it Dave. I’m glad you even know my name.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, come on.
Larry McCoy: It’s the truth.
Dr. Reagan: Well, speaking of names, now you just dropped a big one right before we had you sing that chapter, and that was Johnny Cash. Tell us about your relationship with him.
Larry McCoy: Well, I played piano with him in the 70’s. And John actually means a great deal to me, he and June. I had the best playing job in the world. And I’ll tell you a funny story about how I got that job. I was playing there in town you know. And I got this audition phone call said, “Come and audition for Johnny Cash.” And so, this is true Dave, I wouldn’t tell you. And I went over there and I sit down at this piano and he came in. “Well, hello there, Larry.” He said, “Can you play “I Walk the Line?” And I said, “No, I’ve never heard that song before.” I said, “But if you’ll hum it, I can play it. I’ve got a really good ear.”
Dr. Reagan: And he’s talking about his number one song.
Larry McCoy: I know! And that’s what he said. He says, “Let me get this right. You want to play piano for me and you’ve never heard my hit song?” Today it’s funny. Then it wasn’t so funny.
Dr. Reagan: You were squirming out there!
Larry McCoy: I was squirming. And I said, “Well, you see.” And he sung it. And it changes “I keep my eyes–” And it changes keys three or four times. And I got all that. But then he said. He says, “Larry.” He says, “Do you know how to play “Peace in the Valley?” And I said, “Absolutely.” I’ve played peace. He said he didn’t need a piano player on “I Walk the Line.” It had been a hit for twenty years. But he needed a piano player on “Peace in the Valley” and he was starting to do those type songs.
Dr. Reagan: Oh yes, some religious songs.
Larry McCoy: I tell you what I’ve had some great experiences with that one.
Dr. Reagan: So he hired you even though you didn’t know his hit song?
Larry McCoy: Yeah, and I learned it real quick!
Dr. Reagan: Larry, were you always a Christian? Were you born in a Christian family?
Larry McCoy: I was raised in a Christian family. But, Dave I don’t want to give too much credit to my life away from the Lord. But I tell you what, June Carter and Johnny Cash were instrumental in allowing me to see that I didn’t have to be a preacher’s kid in order to live a life dedicated to the service of the Lord. And be the manifest presence of God in this earth. And John started holding Bible studies. It was the Oakridge Boys, Larry Gatlin, Carl Perkins, you know, June and we would hold these Bible studies. And noticeably I saw Carl Perkins throw his cigarettes away. Now we didn’t say, “Okay everybody quit smoking!” You know?
Dr. Reagan: You just let the Holy Spirit convict.
Larry McCoy: The Holy Spirit. Come as you are to the Lord. And then the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Ghost, begins to mold you, and calls your conscious. It’s a renewing of your mind.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Larry McCoy: By the washing of the Word.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Larry McCoy: You know and so that’s how it began. You know? And then I began to write the Revelation when it was here. And the first time I ever recorded it, I told John. I said– am I running over time?
Dr. Reagan: No keep going.
Larry McCoy: I told John I said, “I’ve put the book of Revelation to music John.” And he says, “Well, I know a guy that put Timothy to the book.” In other words, “It’s not a big deal to me man.” You know? Wait a minute aren’t you supposed to pat me on the back and tell him how good of a boy I am? Anyway, I took it to play for him. And so I started on one, one we just heard. And I played it and when I finished Dave, I looked around and John had his hands up in the air like this. And I said, “I know I’ve got him now.” So I hit 3, the one you’re going to hear in a few minutes and played that. And he said, “Do you know 21? That’s my mother’s favorite.” I did 21. I did 22. You know? And I was expecting him– you know he stuck out his hand at the end of that and I was expecting him to shake my hand. You know I was back in the flesh again. He grabbed my hand and held it like this and he said, “Lord.” Like I’m plugged into a wire. And he says, “Help me get this work out to the world. If I’m not the source, close this door, and open another door.” And boy, it was an amazing prayer. And when he finished that prayer he said, “Have you got this on tape?” I said, “No.” He called Pete Drake Studio right then, and says, “I’m bringing a man down there, and we’re going to do this.” And so I went down there and he went with me. The man cut the tape machine on, and except for when he changed the reels, I did it straight through all 22. There was a place in 4 when I went nu-nu-nu-nu. You’ll hear it in a few minutes, and it’s a long run down the piano, I sort of goofed it up. If I had said, “Hold it, we’ll back it up and do it again.” I didn’t even do that. It’s on the original recordings, it’s still the same way. But I tell you, it was electric. It was absolutely electric.
Dr. Reagan: Well that’s what I call an anointing brother, an anointing.
Larry McCoy: Well, hallelujah.
Dr. Reagan: Thank you for sharing that story with us.
Larry McCoy: Yeah.
Dr. Reagan: What I’d like for you to do now is to sing one of the letters to the churches. The one that is my favorite is the one to the Church at Laodicea. Would you sing that one?
Larry McCoy: I would definitely sing that one.
Dr. Reagan: OK, folks, here is Larry McCoy singing the letter to the Church at Laodicea.
Dr. Reagan: Well, once again Larry I want to thank you for a great blessing. I tell you that just blessed my socks off, as we say here in Texas.
Larry McCoy: Thanks.
Dr. Reagan: Well listen, in the Old Testament, the book of worship is Psalms. In the New Testament the book of worship is Revelation, a lot of people don’t realize that. But in chapter 4 it really starts breaking out in worship as John is taken up to heaven. So how about singing that chapter?
Larry McCoy: Amen. I’d love to Dave.
Dr. Reagan: Okay, so here’s Larry McCoy singing chapter 4 of the book of Revelation.
Dr. Reagan: Now what I’d like to do right now is to jump from the beginning of the book to the end of the book.
Larry McCoy: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: And have you start with chapter 19; the chapter about the return of Jesus Christ in glory and majesty. To come back to this earth and reign over this earth. That the earth may be filled with truth, and you know, peace righteousness and justice as the waters cover the sea.
Larry McCoy: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: So would you be willing to sing chapter 19 for us?
Larry McCoy: Absolutely. Hallelujah.
Dr. Reagan: Okay brother. Then folks, here is Larry McCoy singing chapter 19, about the return of Jesus Christ on that majestic white horse.
Dr. Reagan: Well, folks, that’s our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope, the Lord willing, you will be back with us again next week. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”
End of Program