RAD NIGHT HISTORY
In 1983 I presented an idea to the Catholic Diocese of San Diego, California; I wanted to produce a monthly stage show event for high school and college youth. Fr. Bud Kaicher who was the Diocesan Director for Youth and Young Adult activities agreed to "give it a shot". He supported my pulling together a team of presenters for what became known as RAD Night.
The name RAD Night came from a phrase used by kids in the early 1980's - "Rad" "That's Rad" meaning that's cool. We used Rad because it was a word they used but we inferred that Rad stood for Religious Adventure. RAD Night - Religious Adventure Night.
RAD Night's were held at a different parish in a and around San Diego and Imperial County on a monthly basis from 1983 through 1985. The 3 hour events/shows attracted 300 to 500 kids to every show. The name RAD Night came from a phrase used by kids in the early 1980's - "Rad" "That's Rad" meaning that's cool. We used Rad because it was a word they used but we inferred that Rad stood for Religious Adventure. RAD Night - Religious Adventure Night.
Each RAD Night had a theme. The themes ranged from Love to Parents to Drugs to Sex and many more. The first half of the show dealt with the theme in a fun way. The second half of the show brought the message home in a serious way.
The following is a typical RAD Night layout:
The RAD Night Band would open the show with a variety of music
The Rad Night Band would play the RAD Night theme song and the audience would sing along
Glenn Erath and I (we wrote and co-hosted all of the RAD Nights) would come out to introduce the theme for the evening. We acted as a comedy team and presented the evenings theme and guests in a fun way
Next would be a song
Then we presented RAD Night Bible Study. We took stories from the Old Testament and acted them out.
Then another Song
Then one of the youth groups would do a skit which connected to the nights theme
Then an intermission
After the Intermission we would start Act 2 with the RAD Night Band
We would then have a youth speaker giving a serious talk on the nights theme.
Then another song. This time a serious song with some connection to the nights theme
Then an adult speaker speaking seriously about the nights theme
We would conclude with Glenn and I Thanking our guests and announcing the next RAD Night location and theme.
The RAD Night Band would do one last song.
In addition to Glenn and I there were many other regulars. The RAD Night Band was at every RAD Night and were one of the main draws. They were a band that came together for the RAD Nights. I wish I had names and contact information to pass on to you. If any of the Band members are reading this please contact me with name and contact info so I can post it.
Other regulars who did solo singing performances were, Ken Stonecipher Bob Schrimpf Peter Rubalcava and Bob Murphy. All were excellent and loved by the kids. Sadly I have lost contact with most of the RAD Night regulars. Please let me know if you have any additional names and contact info.
I did learn that Bob Murphy, who was always a RAD Night hit, especially when he sang his version of The Centurian, at some point after the final RAD Night performance connected with the RAD Night Band and they became known as the Bob Murphy Band. The Bob Murphy Band became a phenomenal Christian band.
I was deeply saddened to learn that Bob Murphy in 2006 at 51 years of age died of a heart attack. I have provided a link below to his obituary.
In many ways I miss the RAD Night experience. I loved the kids, my fellow performers and the positive effect it had on so many. To this day I am approached by people at the store or at a parish or at a retreat and they stare at me and ask, "Hey weren't you Mark Price? Didn't you use to do RAD Night? I can't tell you how much those RAD Nights meant to me and how they helped me in my walk of faith."
Below in downloads is a recording of the RAD Night Theme Song which was written and in this clip performed by Glenn Erath:
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