Digital Recordings

The archives at the Winona History Center includes an extensive collection of Homer Rodeheaver’s Rainbow Records. Unique to The Winona History Center are a number of Rodeheaver’s personal test recordings, music classes, and live radio broadcasts of the Winona Lake Christian Assembly. All of the archives are accessible through vinyl recordings and many are in the process of being digitized to MP3 form, to be even more accessible for our patrons. The following are a samples of the variety of music archives available at the Winona History Center.

Old Rugged Cross” Homer Rodeheaver and Virginia Asher

The Old Rugged Cross, was one of the most popular songs Homer Rodeheaver ever recorded. He recorded the song alongside Mrs. Virginia Asher, a prominent 20th century woman, evangelist, and vocalist. Their duet of The Old Rugged Cross sold over one million copies in 1915*.
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WMBI Live Recording” Featuring Homer Rodeheaver with Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Brock

This segmented recording is a live broadcast of a session at the Winona Lake Christian Assembly. The recording opens with Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Brock singing the classic hymn, With Thy Spirit Fill Me. Upon the song’s ending chorus, Rodeheaver invites all in the Billy Sunday Tabernacle to join in song together as well as thank radio stations like WMBI who broadcast Christian media throughout the nation. WMBI continues as the radio broadcasting company of Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, IL.
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Beyond the Sunset” Homer Rodeheaver and Virgil Brock

Beyond the Sunset, written by Virgil Brock, was a popular gospel song in the early 20th century and was sung by many, including popular big band era singers Jo Stafford and Gordon MacRae. Brock was said to be inspired to write the song while at Homer Rodeheaver’s Winona Lake residence, Rainbow Point. Rodeheaver also popularized Beyond the Sunset by making it one of his most signature songs**.
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Excerpt from William Biederwolf Sermon

Before Billy Sunday, Homer Rodeheaver was the song leader for Dr. William E. Biederwolf. Biederwolf was a famous evangelist at the turn of the 20th century and had connections to Winona Lake, as he served as the president of Winona Lake School of Theology. This specific excerpt is from his sermon on the resurrection of Christ. Biederwolf’s fundamentalist preaching style inspired many evangelists that followed in his footsteps including, Billy Sunday.
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"Some Golden Daybreak" by Rev. Carl. A Blackmore

Reverend Carl A. Blackmore was a prominent evangelical pastor during the height of Rodeheaver’s career. Like Rodeheaver, Blackmore also invested in the growth of gospel music throughout America in the early 20th century. He composed many classic hymns of the time, his most famous being Some Golden Daybreak. Rev. Blackmore’s messages, both through his sermons and music, placed heavy emphasis on eschatology. The second coming of Christ, for example, was Blackmore’s inspiration for the popular hymn in the following file. Rodeheaver often invited well-known gospel singers to his summer school and conference of sacred music held each year in Winona Lake and the following is an audio file from one of Rodeheaver’s music lessons featuring Rev. Blackmore as a guest instructor. Also heard in the audio is an unidentified woman (probably a student of the class) singing Blackmore’s song, Some Golden Daybreak.
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Rainbow Records

“Rainbow Records is more of a mission than a business.” Such was Homer Rodeheaver’s sentiments about the purpose of his recording label, Rainbow Records. In the following audio file, Rodeheaver’s passionate sense of mission can be felt as he highlights personal testimonies that illustrate the wide reach of Rainbow Records around the world -- in countries such as Japan, Korea, and numerous cities in the United States. Thanks to Dr. Douglas Yeo, Professor of Trombone at Arizona State University, for making this file available to the Winona History Center.
Click here to listen.

* Terry White and Steve Grill, Winona at 100: Third Wave Rising, The Remarkable History of Winona Lake, Indiana (BMH Books, 2013), 122.
** White and Grill, 131