Carman Domenic Licciardello is an enigma in Christian music, often described as part evangelist, part Vegas Showman. His concerts were more like a rock and roll Billy Graham Crusade than a Christian music event. After all the singing, dancing, clapping and preaching, throngs of people would stream down to the counseling area to accept Christ-many times as many as 5,000 in an evening. Admission was usually free, a simple offering taken, similar to 30,000 churches on Sunday mornings. And he filled the largest stadiums the world over. In fact, Carman holds the record for the largest Christian concert ever in Dallas, Texas. But it even goes beyond that. If you take the Mega Stadium acts that played the famed landmark such as Pink Floyd, U 2, Madonna, The Jackson Five, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks and even Metallic, you'll see that, as the newspapers noted, the one act that drew the highest attendance in Texas Stadium was Carman, with 71,132. This is more than just an A-list artist-this man is a Cultural Phenomenon.
So how can we classify his music? Is it pop, comedy, Broadway, rap, country, rock or soul? The answer is yes--to all. There's no way you can classify a Carman song by its style but rather by the shear blunt-force impact delivery in a persons life, with an unmistakable Gospel message.
If there is any original trademark to Carman's repertoire, it is what we could only identify as a 'story song'. A combination of drama, rock, comedy, funk, satire, acting, singing, and preaching, all woven together by an unpredictable wit that can only be described as a full length feature film in 7 minutes. A style not duplicated or even attempted by any other artist in any other musical genre. With compositions like "Sunday's on the Way", "The Champion", "Lazarus Come Forth", "Revival in the Land", "Witches Invitation", "This Blood" and even "The Courtroom", simply put, Carman is a true American original.
As a boy, Carman played the drums at 5, the guitar at 15 and he began singing at 16. His aggressive, spitfire nature landed him in Bordentown Military Institute for two years. As his talents developed, Carman studied acting at the Abbey Playhouse in Philadelphia. Still under aged, he played the club circuit starting in Atlantic City, then throughout New Jersey and Philadelphia clubs. Soon following, Carman was approached by a Capo in the real life Sopranos The DeCalvcante' Crime Family to 'represent his interests and help his career', only to say, "I'll decide when I get back from Vegas." In his 1973 green Chevy Vega, Carman drove off to begin his journey. In this short season of time, Carman attended an Andrae Crouch concert and was so moved that he became a Christian, enraging those left behind waiting on a decision.
Music, Ministry, Achievements and Accolades:
Carman released his first LP, "God's not finished with me", which garnered the attention of CBS, following in 1982 with the "Some-O-Dat" LP. A string of CCM chart successes began with his song "Sunday's On the Way" from the live album of the same name in 1983. Soon after, he would establish two major non-Profit organizations. Carman Ministries and Carman World Outreach.