Don Francisco (musician)

Don Francisco (born February 28, 1946) is an independent American singer, songwriter, and musician, specializing in the field of contemporary Christian music. He has won two Dove awards, 1980 song of the year (for "He's Alive"), and 1980 Songwriter of the year.[1]


Don Francisco was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of a Christian seminary professor Clyde T. Francisco. Francisco's early career with the band Highway Robbery,[2] centered on the folk-rock music common during the mid-1960s, but after an experience Francisco believed was supernatural, he rededicated his life to God and changed his personal, musical direction.[3] Francisco is married and lives in Colorado with his wife, Wendy, also a recording artist as well as a graphic artist.

In 1977 Don Francisco recorded "I Don't Care Where You've Been Sleeping" for the album Forgiven. It is one of the most uncompromising songs he has ever written and it is considered by many to be one of his best songs.[4][5]

Benson Records re-released the original album Forgiven along with Got to Tell Somebody, and put them both on one CD in 1988. That re-release left the song "I Don't Care Where You've Been Sleeping" off in order to fit both albums on one 70-minute CD.[6] However, they did release the Forgiven album in the early 1990s with that song on it, along with all others, on their "Right Price" line of CDs.

Eventually after 1994, Don Francisco opted to operate independently, which, while affording him more control, seems to have had no ill effect on his musical output or quality. On the contrary, albums released after have gradually gained the use of further session work and demonstrate an even greater range of styles.

In 2003 Francisco released The Promises, which consists almost entirely of selected and paraphrased readings from the Bible. The disk is a collaboration between Don and Wendy Francisco.

Musical styleEdit

Francisco's style is fairly distinctive, focusing on acoustic instruments barren of modern production techniques and concentrates on the narratives of the songs, using ballad styles or speaking through the music that interprets Scriptural events or Biblical lessons.[7] This is specifically with respect to the teachings of Jesus Christ and his messages of "unconditional love" ("I Don't Care Where You've Been Sleeping"), salvation ("Give Your Heart a Home"), and a lesson against religious self-righteousness and pharisaic condemnation ("Beautiful To Me"). As is the case with many singer-songwriters advocating a specific religious belief or philosophical viewpoint through music, Francisco uses his adaptations and interpretations as the means to convey what he feels are the most important teachings of the JudeoChristian scriptures.

Some of Don Francisco's songs deal with what his site calls Churchianity where the habit of church life replaces actual Christianity.[8]

Views on copyrightEdit

Don Francisco retains full copyright on all of his work and holds a very liberal approach to sharing music. His original website used to provide free music downloads and actually encouraged copying with proper notice. The new website is still in development and doesn't yet have those pages, though Francisco still holds those views.[9]

This position is held on the basis of Christian love and a rare stand against the commercialization of Christianity. The updated website has a storefront as the landing page and is primarily used to market his merchandise. The free downloads are frequently done through his Facebook page, however, which has a following of 27,000 plus currently. The MP3s page does offer MP3s for any donation, however, if the shopper cannot afford the purchase price.[10]

Barred from the UKEdit

In March 2009, Don Francisco was scheduled to perform in an Easter music program in the English port town of Poole but was briefly barred from entering the United Kingdom. Francisco claimed that at London's Heathrow Airport he was detained and escorted by armed guards back to the United States, and was barred entry for listing his occupation as "gospel singer" and failing to obtain a religious worker visa, a new requirement under British law. That year the United Kingdom passed a new points-based immigration system that increased scrutiny for religious workers traveling to the country.[11][12]


Studio AlbumsEdit

  • 1976 Brother of the Son
  • 1977 Forgiven
  • 1979 Got to Tell Somebody
  • 1981 The Traveler
  • 1984 Holiness
  • 1985 One Heart at a Time
  • 1987 The Power
  • 1988 High Praise
  • 1991 Vision of the Valley
  • 1992 Come Away
  • 1994 Genesis and Job
  • 1999 Grace on Grace
  • 2001 Only Love is Spoken Here
  • 2003 The Promises (Spoken Word)
  • 2005 That I May Know You
  • 2007 The Sower
  • 2009 Let It Ride
  • 2012 Carols on Guitar
  • 2014 Forever My Friend

Live AlbumsEdit

  • 1982 The Live Concert
  • 1989 Live in the UK
  • 2017 Acoustic Live Concert (two-CD)


  • 1985 The Poet
  • 1991 The Early Works
  • 1996 Word Pictures
  • 1999 Balladeer Tales
  • 1996 He's Alive, Collection Vol. I
  • 1998 Beautiful To Me, Collection Vol. II
  • 2004 The Package, Collection Vol. III


  1. ^ "42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards on gmc". Archived from the original on March 23, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Don Francisco - Biography & History - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 5, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Called "one of the best folk gospel ballads of all time" by Cashbox Magazine.
  5. ^ "Don Francisco". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  6. ^ Original double CD pressing, dated 1988
  7. ^ "He's Alive by Don Francisco Songfacts". Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  8. ^ "Endorsements - Reimagining Church". October 14, 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  9. ^ "Free MP3s". Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Don Francisco". Don Francisco. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "Immigration rules throw churches into confusion". Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  12. ^ "Customs Confusion". Christianity Today. Retrieved April 20, 2014.

External linksEdit