Rick Elias

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Richard Robert Elias (January 7, 1955 – April 2, 2019) was an American singer and songwriter based in Nashville.

Nashville, Tennessee State capital and consolidated city-county in Tennessee, United States

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city's population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2018 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 692,587. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 669,053 in 2018.


Elias is best known for being a founding member of Rich Mullins' A Ragamuffin Band, which recorded and toured from 1993 through 2000. [1]

Rich Mullins American christian musician

Richard Wayne Mullins was an American contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter best known for his worship songs "Awesome God" and "Step by Step". Some of his albums were also considered among Christian music's best, including Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth (1988), The World As Best As I Remember It, Volume One (1991) and A Liturgy, a Legacy, & a Ragamuffin Band (1993). His songs have been performed by numerous artists, including Caedmon's Call, Five Iron Frenzy, Amy Grant, Carolyn Arends, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, John Tesh, Chris Rice, Rebecca St. James, Hillsong United and Third Day. During the tribute to Rich Mullins' life at the 1998 GMA Dove Awards, Amy Grant described him as "the uneasy conscience of Christian music.”

A Ragamuffin Band was a musical group founded by Rich Mullins in 1993, when he gathered friends from other bands to back him on his A Liturgy, A Legacy, & A Ragamuffin Band album. The band continued to record and tour with Mullins, and even carried on after his 1997 death. The group's name is derived from Brennan Manning's 1990 book The Ragamuffin Gospel, which defines ragamuffins as "the burdened, the wobbly and weak-kneed, the inconsistent, unsteady disciples... the smart people who know they are stupid... the honest disciples who admit they are scalawags".


Elias was born in San Diego, California, eventually attending Azusa Pacific University outside Los Angeles. [2] In 1984, Elias moved to work full-time in L.A. and within a few years would be recording with producer, Niko Bolas.

Azusa Pacific University university in Azusa, California, USA

Azusa Pacific University (APU) is a private, evangelical Christian university in Azusa, California. The university was founded in 1899, with classes opening on March 3, 1900, in Whittier, California, and began offering degrees in 1939. The university's seminary, the Graduate School of Theology, holds to a Wesleyan-Arminian doctrinal theology. APU offers more than 100 associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs on campus, online, and at seven regional locations across Southern California.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California; the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City; and the third-most populous city in North America, after Mexico City and New York City. With an estimated population of nearly four million people, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

Niko Bolas is an American music producer, sound engineer, and consultant and business developer in the fields of virtual reality and Internet radio. In 1989, Bolas founded Fakespace Music with Mark Bolas, Ian McDowall and Christian Greuel, which, in 1995, developed the Soundsculpt Toolkit, a software interface that allowed music to communicate with the graphical elements of virtual reality.

Later Elias wrote and produced music in Nashville, Tennessee, while performing solo throughout the U.S. and internationally. His music was included in the 1996 movie That Thing You Do! , Dawsons Creek , My Big Fat Greek Wedding , as well as other albums, independent films, and TV shows. During his career, Elias produced for artists such as Rich Mullins, Amy Grant, Aaron Neville, Michael W. Smith, and Randy Stonehill. He released four solo projects. His work was nominated and awarded by the GMA, UCMVA, and the Nashville Music Awards. His first solo record, Rick Elias & The Confessions, was voted No. 58 in the top 100 greatest albums in Christian music, as listed by CCM Magazine in 2001. [3]

<i>That Thing You Do!</i> 1996 film by Tom Hanks

That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American music comedy film starring, written and directed by Tom Hanks in his directorial debut. It tells the story of the rise and fall of a fictional 1960s one-hit wonder pop band. The film also resulted in a musical hit with the song "That Thing You Do".

<i>My Big Fat Greek Wedding</i> 2002 film by Joel Zwick

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a 2002 independent romantic comedy film directed by Joel Zwick and written by Nia Vardalos, who also stars in the film as Fotoula "Toula" Portokalos, a middle class Greek American woman who falls in love with non-Greek upper middle class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Ian Miller. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and, at the 75th Academy Awards, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Amy Grant American musician

Amy Lee Grant is an American singer, songwriter, musician, author and media personality. She is known for performing contemporary Christian music (CCM) and for a successful crossover to pop music in the 1980s and 1990s. She has been referred to as "The Queen of Christian Pop".

In 2018 it was revealed that he had cancer. [4] A benefit concert was held by members of A Ragamuffin Band and performers from The Jesus Record on February 2, 2019 to raise money for his medical bills. [5] Elias died on April 2, 2019 from brain cancer. [6]

<i>The Jesus Record</i> 1998 studio album by Rich Mullins

The Jesus Record is the ninth and final album by American singer and songwriter Rich Mullins, released posthumously on July 21, 1998, ten months after his death.


Alarma Records

Alarma Records was an imprint of Newpax Records and Frontline Records. Alarma! Records and Tapes was formed in 1983 by the band Daniel Amos with musician Tom Howard for the release of their Doppelgänger album. The name of the label comes from the band's 1981 album ¡Alarma!.

KMG Records

KMGRecords was a Christian record label. The label was established in 1997 by Buddy Killen as a subunit of the Killen Music Group / Buddy Killen Enterprises and sold in late 1998 to Cal Turner III, who is related to the Cal Turner of Dollar General stores. Following the sale Buddy Killen continued to consult for the firm.

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"Awesome God" is a contemporary worship song written by Rich Mullins and first recorded on his 1988 album, Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth. It was the first single from the album and rose to the number one spot on Christian radio and subsequently became a popular congregational song. Its title is inspired by a biblical expression, variously translated as "Awesome God",, "great" (KJV), among other alternatives. Due to the popularity of the song it became Mullins' signature song.

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<i>A Liturgy, a Legacy, & a Ragamuffin Band</i> 1993 studio album by Rich Mullins

A Liturgy, a Legacy, & a Ragamuffin Band is the seventh album by American singer and songwriter Rich Mullins, released in 1993. The album was very well received, and received the third place in the book CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music (2001).

<i>Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth</i> 1988 studio album by Rich Mullins

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Ragamuffin or Raggamuffin may refer to:

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Chris Rodriguez is an American Contemporary Christian musician and singer/songwriter.

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<i>Here in America</i> 2003 compilation album by Rich Mullins

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Mark Robertson (bassist) American musician

Mark Robertson is an American musician and record producer. Robertson is most well known for being a member of Rich Mullins' backing band, A Raggamuffin Band, the frontman of This Train, and bass player and producer of Legendary Shack Shakers. He has also played bass for Brighton, Altar Boys, Flesh Vehicle, JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers, The Dixiecrats, The Eskimo Brothers, Derek Hoke, and his newest band Prayer Flags, in which he is the frontman. His primary instrument is upright and electric bass, though he has performed lead and backing vocals for notable projects, including Rich Mullins' final album The Jesus Record and This Train. He co-produced Rich Mullins' Canticle of the Plains album, Mitch McVicker's first solo recording, Without Looking Down, as well as albums by This Train and The Legendary Shack Shakers.


  1. Beal, Jr., Jim (September 11, 1998). "Ragamuffin buddies to salute Rich Mullins". San Antonio Express-News . Retrieved January 11, 2011. Rick Elias, known in the secular music world for his work on movie scores, including "That Thing You Do", plays guitar and sings in A Ragamuffin Band...
  2. "Richard Robert Elias Obituary". legacy.com. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  3. "CCM (USA) – The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music (01) – Acclaimed Music Forums". acclaimedmusic.net. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  4. "Rick Elias Health". Classic Christian 247. October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  5. "Benefit Concert: Support for Rick Elias, now diagnosed with brain cancer". crossrhythms.co.uk. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  6. Sanford, Jay Allen. "RIP Harlequin and Vision guitarist Rick Elias". sandiegoreader.com. Retrieved April 3, 2019.