It all started at a swimming pool…
Lisa and Spencer met at the Bloomington public swimming pool in the summer of ’78. Well, they didn’t actually meet. But that’s the first time Spencer saw Lisa. It was from a distance. She was jumping in off the medium diving board. Dark tan, blonde hair, her swimming suit a fluorescent lime green.
Spencer asked a friend about Lisa and she quickly cautioned him “Don’t even bother. She’s not interested in dating.”
“Oh, ok..” he responded. End of story. Well, almost the end of the story.
Spencer finally got to know Lisa via music when they were both in their High School’s show choir. Lisa sang and danced wearing white, knee-high vinyl boots ( part of the stage outfit.-plenty cool at the time ) and Spencer, in his shaggy, Keith Partridge hair-do, was the “rock star wanna-be” on guitar.
They said “hi” every now and then. They were acquaintances.
But that changed after graduation when they were in a band together playing clubs and corporate events. It changed even more when Lisa heard Spencer’s songs. The first time they performed as a duo was in the early eighties, when Lisa sang one of Spencer’s compositions at the Minnesota State Fair talent contest. They even won their night, splitting the $100 prize.
They gigged in various Minneapolis bands during the 80’s. Spencer was determined to become a professional songwriter, and Lisa sang his demos. In 1986, they caught the ear of local producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Spencer’s song “He Doesn’t Know I’m Alive” was included on Janet Jackson’s multi platinum “Control” album. The superstar producers used Lisa for background vocals on most of their projects during the 80’s and early 90’s.
In 1990, they married. About time..!
In 1993, Lisa (as “Lisa Keith”) released her solo album called “Walking in the Sun.” She scored the top ten hit “Better Than You” which she co-wrote and Spencer helped produce. They toured together promoting the album, even visiting Japan were Lisa’s record was doing extra well. Here they are from 1993:
As Lisa’s career was gaining momentum, she unexpectedly contracted hepatitis. This put her career on hold, and they were unable to promote her album for several months. After her recovery, she and Spencer decided to move to Nashville, where she could work as session singer and Spencer could work on songs with other writers for her next album.
In 1996 they decided to take a step back from their music careers and start a family. By 1998, they moved back to Minneapolis from Nashville to be near their extended family. Lisa became a devoted stay-at-home homeschooling mom, while Spencer became a pastor at Evergreen Church in Bloomington, MN. Both he and Lisa also served as musicians in the church.
Now with their kids older, Lisa and Spencer have gotten more active in music again. In 2012 they released their first kids music album “WORDology – Bible Songs for Kids.” In 2015 they began recording and gigging around town with their jazzy duo “Married to the Music.” Now, in 2018, they have added their country-folk sound to their duo “Gather in the Rambler.”