Dr. David R. Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy interviews musician Larry McCoy who also sings the Book of Revelation.
Last aired on February 14, 2010.
Dr. Reagan: I have had a life-long love affair with the book of Revelation. And I’m 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.
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 Loraine 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 Loraine!” And I’d play Sweet Loraine “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 Loraine!” 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, Finis Dake Bible, was sitting on the piano, and big thing back in those days was writing Scripture songs. So I said “Well, I’m just gonna put Sweet Loraine 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! It flowed. 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 book that way?”
Larry McCoy: So you started with chapter five.
Dr. Reagan: I started with chapter five and Sweet Loraine. But that’s a good chapter to start with because that’s a chapter of glorious worship.
Larry McCoy: It 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: I did, but I’d been listening to your theology, your preaching, a lot. And I realized that there’s a good possibility the Church wouldn’t be here after chapter four at that time. And so after that I looked to see, and so I said, “Well, I’ll just write one through five and then I’ll write, of course, the marriage supper of the Lamb in nineteen, and finish it up with twenty-two.” Well when I got to twenty-two 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.” [Dave laughs] I didn’t want to write the Tribulation! I’m not gonna 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 some fellow with a wonderful bass voice that just sounded 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, 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, you know. But anyway, I started on that and wrote the Tribulation down through eighteen. And then twenty-two just came to me. I mean, you know, it was like God gave me the, if I hadn’t, if I’d written twenty-two 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. He wanted you to do the whole thing, and he forced you to do the whole thing, before he was gonna let you do twenty-two! Right?
Larry McCoy: That’s exactly the way it is.
Dr. Reagan: And then twenty-two is to me, the greatest one of all.
Larry McCoy: 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 1, would you sing that for us? I will do that! Okay, so here is Larry McCoy, singing chapter 1 of the book of Revelation.
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 hear that the very first time, it wetted 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 and you heard it and called me and I did your very first prophecy conference.
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 Dave. I’m glad you even know my name! Oh come on! It’s the truth.
Dr. Reagan: Well, speaking of names, 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 seventies 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 that said, “Come and audition for Johnny Cash.” And so, this is true Dave, I wouldn’t tell you—I went over there and I sit down at this piano and he came in and said, “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: You’re 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 “Larry,” he says, “do you know how to play Peace in the Valley?” And I said, “Absolutely.” I played peace in the valley. He said he didn’t need a piano player on I Walk the Line, it’d 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, religious songs.
Larry McCoy: I tell you, I’ve had some great experiences with that.
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 be 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, 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!”
Dr. Reagan: Holy Spirit convicted him.
Larry McCoy: The Holy Spirit, come as you are to the Lord. And then the Ruach Hakodesh, the Holy Ghost, begins to mold you – 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. And then I began to write the Revelation when – the first time I recorded it, 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…” 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 I started on one, and 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 three, the one you’re gonna hear in a few minutes, I played that and he said, “Do you know twenty-one? 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, and I was back in the flesh again. He grabbed my hand and held it like this and he said “Lord.” 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 we’re gonna 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 20. There was a place in four 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. 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. 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. Now very quickly I want to ask you what are you doing today? How are you serving the Lord today?
Larry McCoy: Dave, the way God allows me to pay my electric bill and keep my water cut on, is by selling audio Bibles. And I’ve brought some for you and I’d like for you to give them away, or for your ministry or however.
Dr. Reagan: So you produce these?
Larry McCoy: I produce them. It’s not me speaking, folks. It’s Anders Otterland, he’s from Sweden, it’s an impeccable King James Cersion. And I’ve done, Dave, every Bible out there from Alexander Scourby on down in my little studio there in Gallatin, Tennessee. And I promise you, this technically and scripturally is the finest King James Bible out there.
Dr. Reagan: Well what a wonderful way to use your time and talents.
Larry McCoy: And it tripped me into doing what I do in Jerusalem now. I kept in the thousands of hours I did editing and this kind of thing on the Bible. I’ve got to admit that a lot of it wasn’t in studying the Bible, it was technically listening to it, but God’s Word is supernatural. And I kept going here across Leviticus 23 where God is talking about His appointed days. And in there, first off I believe God’s Scripture is inerrant. I don’t believe there’s errors in there. Now there may be an error in the translation but in the original Hebrew Scriptures there are no errors, in my viewpoint, and I know that’s controversial but that’s the way I see it. And in Leviticus 23 God is speaking about His appointed days, his moeds. And He talks about, “These are my appointed days, you shall keep them eternally.” And I wasn’t keeping one of them, ever. And we’re talking about Passover, we’re talking about First Fruits, about the Hamotzi, the Unleaven Bread. We’re talking about Shavuot, Tabernacles, Yom Kippur. And I wasn’t keeping one of those. That was my first little baby step. And now, I have a radio program that’s broadcast in Shabbat from Jerusalem, fulfilling prophecy, Isaiah 2, and also Malachi.
Dr. Reagan: Is this a weekly program?
Larry McCoy: Weekly program.
Dr. Reagan: And it’s about the Hebraic roots of Christianity?
Larry McCoy: Yes it is. It’s called Rolling the Scroll Forward.
Dr. Reagan: And how can people find this?
Larry McCoy: It’s harder to find it on Dominion Sky Angel, it’s more spiritual than it is natural in that realm, but it is on Dominion Sky Angel in an audio form. But you can find it on the internet at Biblevoice.org, search for English language, and then search for my name, Larry McCoy or Rolling the Scroll, and they have the pod casts on there for the last three weeks. And you know, Scripture says, “And the law shall go forth from Zion and the Word shall go forth from Jerusalem.”
Dr. Reagan: Wow there it is.
Larry McCoy: And you know, I’m saying, “Hallelujah.” I may not be in the exact one, but I’m one of them.
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: I’d love to Dave.
Dr. Reagan: Okay, so here’s Larry McCoy singing chapter four of the book of Revelation.
Dr. Reagan: Well Larry, you have been a great blessing to us. So much so that I want to invite you to come back next week and continue singing the book of Revelation.
Larry McCoy: I will do it!
Dr. Reagan: Alright great! Folks, next week we’re going to skip to the end of the book and have Larry sing chapters 19-22. The chapters that tell about the return of the Lord, His Millennial reign, and the eternal state when we will be living in glorified bodies in a new Jerusalem, on a new Earth. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries saying “look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”
End of Program