Urban Report

God's Call

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Yvonne Lewis (Host), David and Marian Lewis


Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000087S

00:01 He was a founding member of the world-famous pop
00:04 R and B group Atlantic Starr.
00:06 She traveled the world as a print and runway model
00:09 for the Ford Modeling Agency in New York.
00:12 Stay tuned to meet them and hear their incredible story.
00:15 My name is Yvonne Lewis and you're watching Urban Report.
00:41 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:43 My guests today are David and Marian Lewis:
00:46 singers, composers, and a loving couple in ministry
00:50 sharing Jesus. Welcome to Urban Report David and Marian.
00:54 Hi Yvonne... how're you doing? Hi... yeah!
00:57 I'm so glad you guys are here.
00:59 It's so wonderful that you've
01:00 taken the time out to be with us.
01:02 Thank you. Thank you for having us. Absolutely, Yvonne.
01:06 So you guys have such a rich history.
01:11 And some of our viewers might know you because you've been on
01:14 3ABN before but you've never been on Dare to Dream before.
01:17 So I'm really glad to have you on Urban Report
01:20 to tell your story. Our viewers love a great testimony.
01:25 So give us some of your background...
01:27 tell us your testimony.
01:29 Well, I was raised in a Christian home -
01:34 a God-fearing home - and I can't...
01:40 I don't know when... How can I say it?
01:43 It was... I always in my life...
01:49 being raised in the church all I knew was church.
01:55 My mom was a single mom. She raised us...
02:02 My dad died when I was 3 years old,
02:03 and she had to raise 6 kids by herself.
02:06 But very strong woman.
02:10 And a little while after that, Yvonne, my grandmother came
02:16 to help out. And she was a great inspiration
02:22 in molding and fostering us
02:25 as far as the things of God are concerned
02:29 and while my mom was out working.
02:32 And then I was introduced to music in the home as well
02:36 because there was always singing in our home.
02:40 You know... during devotion and prayer
02:45 and so forth. And so that's where I got my introduction.
02:50 But I started singing in church at the age of 7.
02:53 I sang a duet with my brother called Whisper a Prayer
02:57 and the church liked it so much that they made us do it over
03:03 twice... they made us sing it twice.
03:06 And from that point, you know, I started singing in the churches
03:10 in the New York and tri-state area.
03:13 And from that point I did a show
03:17 called the Ted Mack's Amateur Hour.
03:20 Oh yeah, I remember that. In the CBS studio.
03:24 And after I did that there was a write-up in the paper
03:28 about me. And a sweet lady - Jewish lady -
03:33 saw that article and she called my mom and said
03:37 "I saw your son in the paper and I would like to give him
03:41 piano lessons for free. "
03:43 So that started my classical piano training
03:48 or my formal music training.
03:51 And then after that...
03:53 Well how old were you at that point, David?
03:57 When I started playing piano I was 9 years old
04:01 and I took piano lessons for about four years.
04:06 And you know, some friends...
04:11 my brother and some friends... we wanted to start a group.
04:15 So what we did is we put together a band.
04:20 And, you know, I didn't want to take classical piano any more
04:24 because I was moving into that pop music or that R and B music
04:28 vein. I was being influenced by that.
04:32 So we played in the group from junior high
04:38 all through high school. And then after high school
04:42 in '76 I left to board a plane
04:48 headed to L.A. and played with my brothers
04:52 who were already out there because they left in the winter
04:56 of '75. But in the summer of '76 I went out to join them.
05:02 And we played in the L.A. area for about a year.
05:06 And at the same time we were making a demo.
05:08 And we shopped the demo... I'm sorry. That's OK, no no no.
05:13 So where were you in terms of God at this point?
05:16 By this point you're in your teens. You're heavily into
05:22 the kind of R and B feel, right?
05:25 Where was your spiritual life at this point?
05:28 Well as I said, being raised in a Christian home
05:32 I always knew about God, but there was that influence
05:35 outside of the home where you were always hearing
05:40 music that you didn't hear in your home.
05:43 I was hearing songs from The Temptations,
05:47 The Supremes, Jackson Five,
05:50 Sly and the Family Stone, The Beatles.
05:53 That influence was out there and you can't really get away
05:57 from the influence outside of the home, so
06:00 although I knew about God that music was also influencing
06:05 my life as well. And you know, not having a relationship with
06:10 Christ growing up in the home
06:13 and having that be a part of your tradition and culture
06:18 was one thing, but having a relationship with Christ
06:21 came later on in my life.
06:24 So again I was influenced by that music and wanted to
06:28 actually get into that.
06:30 OK, so when you went out to California
06:34 and you started really like "gigging" as they as in the
06:39 music business - like really working and doing all these
06:42 different sets with your group. Right? Right.
06:47 Absolutely. So what happened after that?
06:49 Well, when I got to California the group was playing
06:54 in clubs all over the L.A. area
06:57 and all over the place... Santa Ana, Anaheim,
07:01 and different places. And what we'd have to do is
07:05 sometimes we would go... We played 3 sets at one club
07:11 and then we'd pack up the equipment and play 2 or 3 sets
07:14 at another club. And that went on for about a year.
07:18 But at the same time we were producing a demo
07:22 for the record companies to hear so that after we finished
07:27 the demo we would be able to start shopping a deal.
07:31 Because that was the reason why we were out there:
07:34 to try and see if we could secure a record deal.
07:40 Right. For those viewers that don't know, shopping a deal
07:44 means you're trying to... you're taking your demo around
07:47 to get a recording contract. That's the bottom line. Right.
07:50 Right... absolutely.
07:52 And so after we finished our demo
07:57 we shopped it to a couple of record companies.
08:02 ABC... I think my manager called ABC and they were out to lunch
08:07 so he called A and M Records.
08:09 And they set up an audition for us.
08:12 Well before they set up an audition we were playing
08:15 out at UCLA and the A and R
08:18 representative from A and M came out to see us.
08:22 And then he set up an audition with Herb Alpert
08:27 who was the CEO of A and M Records.
08:31 And we did the audition
08:34 and I could kind of see Herb Alpert in the back,
08:37 you know, kind of bobbing his head a little bit.
08:40 We could all see that he kind of liked the group.
08:43 And after the audition was finished we all went back,
08:47 packed up the equipment, went back into the van
08:49 and kind of waited for some kind of confirmation
08:53 or word of what was going to happen next.
08:58 And the A and R person who set up the audition
09:01 came out and said: "Welcome to the world of making records.
09:05 Herb Alpert wants to sign you guys. "
09:08 Wow! And what was the response when you found out that
09:11 Herb Alpert wanted to sign you?
09:13 Everybody was elated.
09:15 You know, everybody was very, very, very excited
09:18 about it and we just felt like this was a dream come true.
09:23 This is what we had worked for all these years.
09:28 For many years we dreamed to be recording artists
09:32 and now it had become a reality.
09:36 Isn't it interesting, David, how you can be targeting
09:42 and focusing all your efforts toward one thing
09:45 and then you get it. And tell us what happened
09:49 after you got it? How was your life after you got that
09:52 record deal? Well, initially
09:57 when you get the deal and you record the album
10:00 and you hear yourself on the radio for the first time
10:04 it's the most exciting thing. I can't even put into words
10:08 how exciting it is to hear yourself on the radio.
10:11 Yeah. And you know, you're travelling.
10:15 You're making more money than you ever made before.
10:19 You're doing TV shows and radio and making videos
10:24 and all these different things and it's very exciting.
10:27 But after a while you become disillusioned
10:32 because it's not what it's all cracked up to be.
10:35 It's, you know, we as artists we love writing songs.
10:40 We love being on stage.
10:42 We love doing the creative part.
10:44 But it's also a business, and you've got to hire
10:48 lawyers and managers and accountants
10:52 and all these different things.
10:54 And also, too, there's a part of the promotion part of it
10:59 that is not really creative.
11:03 Personally, I like being in the studio.
11:06 I like making the appearances and stuff.
11:09 But when we were flying all over the world
11:12 and you'd get into a city and you check into your hotel
11:17 and you take a shower. And they say you have 3 or 4
11:20 interviews here and then you have to do an appearance there.
11:25 You know, it starts to become more than just a notion.
11:30 It's a lot that goes into it.
11:34 You know, again, it's really interesting because
11:37 the world at large thinks that it's all glamorous.
11:41 Right. It's all about glamour and glitz
11:44 and everybody just looks so happy
11:47 and all of that. But it's so much more than meets the eye.
11:51 And that's how Satan is, isn't it?
11:53 Isn't it? I mean, he presents something
11:56 looks good on the outside, but once you really find out
12:00 what's behind it and what's in there
12:03 it's not as beautiful as it might seem.
12:07 And that's one of the delusions that a lot of young people
12:12 are under that this is going to be just the be all and end all.
12:15 Marian, I want to get to you because I want to hear
12:21 your story as well, and then I want to tie you two together.
12:24 So we're going to come back to you, David,
12:26 because I want to find out how you navigated through
12:29 that world, but let's talk to Marian. Marian:
12:31 give us some of your background
12:32 'cause you have a very interesting life as well.
12:35 Tell us about yours. Well, I was raised in Denver, CO,
12:40 and I started modeling at a very early age.
12:46 I started working in the department stores as a high
12:48 fashion model by the time I was 16.
12:51 And then at 18 as soon as I graduated from high school
12:54 I went away to Ebony Fashion Fair.
12:56 And I did that for about 2-1/2 years.
12:59 I did several cosmetic ads and you know a lot of print work
13:03 for them as well. And then I went on to Paris
13:07 to do more of the high end, high fashion runway work.
13:13 I went to Paris and Italy and came back
13:17 and just continued to do fashion. I moved to California
13:23 and ended up doing music as well.
13:26 So I got with the group The Brothers Johnson.
13:29 I went on the road with them as a background vocalist.
13:34 And then I felt like "Wow, if I'm ever going to
13:39 really really make it big I've got to go to New York. "
13:42 And so I moved to New York
13:44 and started working for some really great designers.
13:48 You know, high fashion designers.
13:50 And I did that for a few years.
13:53 So were you doing music and modeling concurrently?
13:57 Well, no... it was either one or the other at the time.
14:00 So I finished singing with The Brothers Johnson
14:03 and then the modeling picked up. You know, it was kind of like
14:05 this picked up then that picked up.
14:07 You know, and so that's kind of how that went for me.
14:10 So while I was doing the high fashion work in New York
14:13 I'm doing print, I was doing commercials,
14:16 and I was doing runway.
14:18 And I did that for a few years and when I met David.
14:22 Where were you spiritually when you were doing the music
14:27 and the modeling? Where were you?
14:29 You know, it's interesting, Yvonne, because
14:31 you think... you really think that you
14:35 have a relationship with the Lord.
14:37 Because I was raised in the church as well.
14:40 I was raised in church, but my parents didn't
14:43 give me the same foundation that David had.
14:47 A whole history. You know, I mean...
14:50 He had... what's the word? you know, where...
14:55 Just for generations... Generations! That's the word
14:58 I was trying to think of. Just generations, you know.
15:00 His great grandfather... did Elder Cleveland baptize? Yes.
15:06 Really, like third, fourth generation in the church.
15:09 And for me it wasn't that way.
15:11 My father didn't attend church.
15:13 My mother took us to a little Japanese church
15:15 where I really didn't understand everything that was going on.
15:17 But I went, you know, 'cause mom took us to church.
15:20 So I really didn't have that relationship either.
15:22 And that's what we talk to our audiences and congregations
15:28 and young people about all the time.
15:29 It's really about the relation- ship, and when you don't have
15:32 the relationship this is what you get:
15:34 what you think and not what God wants.
15:37 And so that's why we went out.
15:39 That's why David went out; that's why I went out
15:41 into the world. And it wasn't until
15:45 actually we came together. But that was a "God-thing. "
15:49 Well tell us how you met. That was a "God-thing. "
15:53 How did you meet?
15:55 Well... thanks for asking.
15:59 Let's see, it was in 1980... It was way back in 19...
16:04 1988- right - the group Atlantic Starr was searching for
16:09 a new female vocalist because Barbara Weathers -
16:12 the young lady who sang Always along with David
16:14 and Secret Lovers - she went on to a solo career.
16:18 And I was living and working in Manhattan as a model.
16:23 Some friends of mine told me that the group Atlantic Starr
16:27 was searching for a new female vocalist.
16:30 And so I thought: "Well, I'd like to audition. "
16:33 So I called the studio where they were recording
16:36 and David Lewis answered the phone.
16:39 And I didn't know who David was as an individual.
16:42 I knew the group Atlantic Starr
16:44 but I didn't know the individual. So...
16:46 when I found out that he was actually the lead singer
16:50 doing this interview I thought that, you know,
16:53 it would be nice if I could come up to the studio
16:56 and audition for them.
16:58 So to make a long story short...
17:00 David drove down... I convinced him to drive down to Manhattan.
17:04 To come pick me up and kind of interview me.
17:07 And you know, I had all my materials. I had a demo tape
17:09 and my picture and all these things.
17:12 And so we rode around New York City
17:14 and he listened to my demo tape.
17:17 And at that time they were looking for someone
17:20 who was really like a Whitney Houston.
17:22 You know, who could carry their own.
17:24 And you know, I had a nice voice... a pleasant voice...
17:26 but I think they were just looking for a really really
17:28 strong vocalist. But David and his brothers were
17:32 producing solo artists, and so they considered producing me
17:36 as a solo artist. And that's how our work relationship began.
17:40 And then you know, like I tell people all the time in our
17:44 testimony, we started spending so much time together that
17:46 you know, naturally we would have lunch
17:48 and naturally we would have dinner.
17:51 And then, of course... And then, you know, we fell in love.
17:56 And it just kind of just went from there.
17:58 It's just real interesting because... you know...
18:01 David and I come from two different backgrounds.
18:04 You know, you're living these two different lives
18:07 and then God sees fit to bring you together.
18:11 You know, it's totally a "God-thing"
18:13 because - yes, yes - we weren't trying. We didn't expect it.
18:16 We thought we were going to do music together
18:19 but God had a bigger plan all along.
18:22 Absolutely. That's how great our God is.
18:25 He has so many different ways that He accomplishes
18:29 things. He's just such an awesome God.
18:32 Tell us how you came to know Jesus Christ
18:37 and then we want to find out what you're doing now.
18:39 OK. Well, as Marian said after we got married
18:45 we joined a Bible study.
18:48 And my sister was going to a church in Peekskill, NY.
18:52 And she said: "There's a Bible study up there that we do
18:56 every Wednesday night so if you want to come
18:58 and be a part of it you can do that. "
19:01 And I said: "OK. " And I truly feel that it
19:05 was the right time in my life
19:06 because for me to actually say: "OK, I'll do that"
19:10 wasn't something that I would have normally said.
19:15 So I believe everything has a time and a season,
19:21 Yvonne. Yes. And that was my time
19:24 and I started taking Bible studies. I joined a Bible study
19:28 and started reading the Word.
19:33 We were... Marian had actually started
19:37 the Bible study... or joined a Bible study as well.
19:40 Started reading the Word, and the Holy Spirit has a way
19:45 of as you get into the Word of God
19:49 opening your eyes to really see what you can't see.
19:54 He allows you to put on those specs
19:58 that allow you to have a perspective of life
20:04 that is real. Yes! The perspective that we have
20:07 in life before God finds us is jaded. That's right.
20:11 That's what John Newton said.
20:14 "I once was lost but now I'm found;
20:16 once blind, but now I see. " That's right.
20:18 And that's what started to happen.
20:21 As we started to
20:25 associate with people of like mind
20:28 who were into the Word, who had a relationship
20:32 with the Lord, that started to rub off on us.
20:36 And although I hadn't completely left the business
20:40 I at least started going back to church again
20:44 on the Sabbath. And wherever I was
20:48 in the world: if I was in L.A., if I was in Japan,
20:52 wherever I was I would find a church to go to.
20:55 And slowly but surely... God has a winsome way,
21:00 a loving way of just gradually getting you
21:04 to the point where you become...
21:10 what you're doing - if it's not in line with Him -
21:14 starts to become foreign - that's right -
21:16 and uncomfortable. It started to become uncomfortable
21:19 because the Holy Spirit was constantly enlightening me
21:24 as to what I should do as opposed to what I was doing.
21:28 Yes, yes. God has His ways of
21:32 drawing us to Him at the right time and in His way.
21:36 Absolutely. You are now writing songs
21:40 and you have written a song that we're going to show
21:45 the video to. Set this up for us...
21:46 tell us about this song.
21:49 OK. The song that we're about to listen to
21:52 is called "I'll Pray For You. "
21:54 And it's a song about my mom.
21:58 She passed away in August of 2012.
22:03 And just going through the grief process of it all.
22:07 And one day I was in our kitchen
22:10 I think after devotion, and God gave me the melody
22:15 to this song or the melody in the song.
22:20 And I went to the piano and started playing it
22:22 and it kind of just came together. Wow.
22:26 And what I did is I contacted a friend...
22:29 a long-time friend named Jeff Prusan...
22:33 who was actually our producer's assistant for our first album.
22:38 And we talked on the phone a lot about my mom
22:44 and who she was. And he just asked us a lot of questions
22:47 about her because he said: "Before I write this song
22:50 I just want to know who I'm writing about. "
22:54 So we got together and put it together.
22:55 And it's a beautiful song... a tribute to her.
22:59 But also it's a tribute to all the mothers - yes, yes - who
23:04 sacrificed for their children and planted those seeds of love
23:09 in them to make them the people that they are today.
23:12 That's awesome. Let's hear the song.
23:14 I'd love to.
23:22 My grandfather used to pray for my whole family.
23:27 Even the children... some of them before they was born
23:32 he prayed for the children that would come.
23:42 When you have family and the older ones
23:48 that believe in prayer
23:50 and pray for your children, that helps to keep them
23:54 together... keep them going in the right direction
23:57 too, you know.
24:04 The measure of true leadership
24:10 can only be described as one
24:16 who plants the seeds of love
24:21 inside the child's heart.
24:28 The matriarch of our family tree,
24:34 a voice that shaped our destiny:
24:40 You have brought the Lord
24:44 into our lives.
24:50 She would always say: "I'll pray for you;
24:58 you pray for me.
25:03 Together we shall overcome
25:09 each obstacle. You'll see
25:14 that your darkest hour
25:20 will turn into a sun shower... "
25:41 "Jesus, I feel spiritually cleansed
25:46 from the superficial things... "
25:52 Is that beautiful or what?
25:54 And we couldn't even play the whole song.
25:57 It is beautiful! Thank you, Yvonne.
26:01 Praise the Lord! You guys... what do you want
26:05 our viewers to know? We have just like 30 seconds
26:08 for you to say. What do you want our viewers
26:11 to know about what you're doing? About how to get the song.
26:14 Tell us.
26:16 Well, first of all just want them to know that
26:19 we have a ministry that we like to go out
26:23 and we like to just share the good news.
26:25 We tell this testimony; we do concerts.
26:30 Anywhere anyone wants to hear a story
26:32 of deliverance we do that.
26:35 This song "I'll Pray For You" like we said it's dedicated
26:38 to everybody. It's all mothers; all women,
26:41 all aunties; big-mamas... everybody who just went that
26:45 extra mile to sacrifice for their children.
26:48 This song can be found... I mean, you can go
26:50 onto iTunes and Amazon
26:53 and all of the online stations.
26:56 Yeah, it'll be first released from our CD entitled One...
27:01 O- N-E. So yeah, we believe people will really be blessed
27:05 by it. And it's I'll Pray For You.
27:08 That's right. I'll Pray For You.
27:10 Yeah, and then we can be found on the Net.
27:12 David and Marian Lewis. You can find us.
27:15 We're easy to find. If you Google us
27:17 you'll see everything. David and Marian Lewis.
27:20 Awesome, awesome. I want to thank you guys so much
27:23 for coming. Thank you, too. I wish I had a whole hour
27:27 with you. Yeah, we appreciate it.
27:30 We appreciate the time that we had with you.
27:32 You're doing a great job... a wonderful job.
27:35 Praise the Lord! David and Marian have shown us
27:38 that money and fame aren't the way to happiness
27:41 and fulfillment. Jesus is the only one
27:45 that can fill that hole in your soul.
27:48 So why not give Him a try today?
27:50 Just ask Him to come into your heart
27:52 and watch what happens.
27:54 God's got a plan for you.
27:56 Well, that's the end of our program.
27:58 Thanks for tuning in and join us next time.
28:00 It just wouldn't be the same without you.


Revised 2023-09-27