Where's "Alpha and Omega?"
“Alpha and Omega” was written by Robbie Trice for Kinfolk in 1972 and was recorded on our first two albums, “Kinfolk” (1973) and “Clean” (1974). Through radio airplay, album sales, word of mouth and people recording concerts with handheld cassette recorders, it quickly became our most requested song. For the next eight years Kinfolk performed “Alpha and Omega” at almost every performance.
Skip ahead to 1982. Through an extraordinary sequence of events, a cassette tape got into the hands of Bill Gaither. Robbie and Martha were attending a Gaither Trio concert when Martha spotted musicians in the band that she knew from her days in The Spurrlows. She gave a cassette that included “Alpha and Omega” to drummer Roger Byrd. A year later, Roger finally listened to the tape, discovered Alpha and Omega and immediately passed the tape to Bill Gaither. Bill wanted the song for the newly formed Gaither Vocal Band's upcoming album, “New Point of View.” "Alpha and Omega" was already published with Wind and Fire Music, a publishing company owned by long time friend Jim Mikles. When Gaither's company contacted Jim about obtaining the publishing, he recognized that this could be the big break for Robbie and the song. Gaither Music didn’t want a mechanical license to release the song, they wanted to own 100% of the publishing or GVB wouldn’t record it. Jim graciously transferred control of the publishing to them, gratis. Because of Jim's unselfish act, "Alpha and Omega" was recorded and released on “New Point of View” in 1984.
Since recorded by The Gaither Vocal Band, “Alpha and Omega” has become their signature song. It has been released on seven different GVB recordings, has appeared on one gold and one platinum DVD, has been performed at an internationally televised Billy Graham crusade, and is still the GVB's opener at their sold out concerts. "Alpha and Omega" was performed at the nationally televised 2013 Dove Awards for a Bill Gaither tribute. It appears on over one hundred YouTube videos by groups and choirs from all over the world in many different languages.
So, since it started with Kinfolk and it's so popular, why in the world was it left off the first studio album in thirty-five years?
It's simple, really. Since the music is not being sold but given away, permission is needed from every writer to use their song in this project. Every writer needed to control the publishing of their songs in order to give permission.
Robbie has other songs on the album that he controls, but “Alpha and Omega” is now owned and administrated by Capitol Christian Music Group. That's right, Capitol Records. They are not in the business of giving away the licensing of their songs to indie folk-rock bands, even if the writer is in the band. However, Robbie is currently in negotiations with Capitol to see if they will grant permission for a future project.
So that's it. As of this moment, TKP doesn't have permission. Will it ever be recorded and released here for you? Possibly. We just don’t know. Perhaps we’ll once again rebel against the establishment.