Something Old, Something New

Stephen Bock
Stephen Bock serves as President of Fred Bock Music Company, a job he completely enjoys. After graduating from Occidental College, Mr. Bock spent fifteen years in the television and film business, working as a writer, producer, and editor on many award winning documentaries and network specials. Following the untimely death of his father, Fred, Stephen returned to the family business in 1999 and has been there ever since. He says that his tenure in the music publishing business has been a “thrilling ride and I’m glad to be working with such universally talented and nice people.” He served as the President of the Church Music Publishers Association from 2009-2010.

We’ve all heard the rhyme that brides repeat for their weddings:

Something old… Something new

Something borrowed… Something blue.

It’s hard to imagine, but someone actually wrote those words.  It’s been around forever, and now its just part of our collective cultural DNA.  

It’s the same thing with church music.  Some of our favorite songs have been around for centuries.  In some cases they’ve even been sung for over 1,000 years!  The challenge for arrangers and publishers is to find new and innovative ways to take those older songs and melodies and refresh them in ways that they’ve never been heard before.  From the beginnings of Fred Bock Music Company, this has been a challenge that we’ve readily accepted.

One of the most successful efforts in our catalog has been my father’s piano arrangement of Jesus Loves Me.  Here’s a song we’ve probably all been singing since before we could speak.  How can you take a song that well known and make it new?  What Fred did was to take another melody that’s almost as well known, Claud Debussy’s Clair de Lune, and married them together.   The result was truly magical, and it quickly became his signature piano arrangement.  He was always asked to play it wherever he went.  Below is a link to an audio file so you can hear it.

When my dad died in 1998, he left behind a great legacy of music.  That is a statement that no one would contest.  Unfortunately, his death did bring to an end the creative output that had been his hallmark for almost forty years.  We all thought that the door to “new” music from Fred Bock had been shut forever.  However, our friend, Lloyd Larson, didn’t think that was true.  He called me one day and suggested that he thought a choral setting of Jesus Loves Me (with Clair de Lune) could be created.  What we thought was impossible became reality a few weeks later.  A “new” Fred Bock choral piece (with some help from his pal, Lloyd) was created and sent out into the world.  Something old had been transformed into something new.  Here’s a link to an audio file so you can hear what Lloyd did.  I think you’ll agree that all of that special magic in the original piano arrangement is present in the choral. Enjoy!

08739844Editors Note: Click the titles below to experience the two versions of this classic Fred Bock concept.

Jesus Loves Me  (piano version)

Jesus Loves Me with (Claire De Lune) SATB version adapted by Lloyd Larson

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