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Ishmael (singer)

Ishmael (singer)

Rev Ian Smale (born 1950) better known by the stage name Ishmael is a gospel beat, Christian punk and children's music musician and evangelist from the United Kingdom. He has had an international ministry since playing in the acoustic duo Ishmael and Andy [2] with Andy Piercy starting in 1970. His innovative musical styles and enthusiasm for his faith have influenced many people of all ages to become Christians or to have a deeper experience in their Christianity such as being filled with the Holy Spirit or being healed.

Birth nameIan Smale
GenresPop, punk rock, children's music
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, pastor, evangelist, children's evangelist
Years active1970–present

Musical career

Ishmael started performing in his teens with his lifelong friend Andy Piercy forming the acoustic duo Ishmael and Andy when he first adopted his stage name from the similarity of his birth name to an Old Testament Biblical character. They sang provocative and challenging Christian lyrics to contemporary music. After producing two albums together Piercy joined the rock group After the Fire and Ishmael produced the album Charge of the Light Brigade intended to challenge Christians to live what they preach. Ishmael continues to work occasionally with Piercy although the main focus of his ministry for twenty five years has been on child evangelism. In the late 1970s he formed the band Ishmael United that produced two albums and as the music took on more of a punk style he changed their name to Rev Counta and the Speedoze [3] and brought out a further album. Since then he has concentrated on his ministry to children and recently returned to challenging people in the Church about how they live.

Pastoral career

He completed a couple of years training at a Pentecostal theological college, and was ordained into the Elim pastoral ministry where he served for several years.

Ishmael longs for children and adults to enjoy praising God together.

For this purpose his itinerant ministry is composed of both seminars for adults about the importance of children, and musical celebrations that he calls 'Praise Parties' for all ages to worship together. He also loves preaching and teaching both young people and adults from the Bible.

He is one of the few people to have ministered every year at Spring Harvest since its start in 1979. He runs a children's ministry on one of the sites (usually Minehead) called The Glorie Company.

For 16 years as well as his itinerant ministry he was part of a local church leadership team, but he has now been released from that responsibility to concentrate on what he believes God has asked him to do – working with children and other people who share his goal throughout the world.

Ishmael believes that children are a vital part of church life and he aims to teach people the value of both kids and youth Church as well as the importance of the whole family worshipping together.

Most of the time that Ishmael has worked abroad has been spent in the USA and Germany but he has also worked in Finland, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Gibraltar, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Czech Republic and South Africa.


Other activities

Ishmael has taken part in a number of national television programmes.

He was ordained a deacon in Chichester Cathedral in June 2007, and was appointed as part-time deacon in the nominal parish of the cathedral (which extends no further than the cathedral's own grounds).

Ishmael and his wife Irene worship at Chichester Cathedral and have recently been accepted onto the Cathedral electoral roll. They have three grown up children Joseph, Daniel and Suzy. Ishmael has been given a consultancy role with Evangelical Alliance and Kingsways Children's Ministry.

Medical condition

In 2008 Ishmael was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. An appeal for prayer, along with regular updates on the progress of his treatment, was launched by friends on his website.

In August 2010 Ishmael's doctors declare him free from cancer.

He is planning to 'be on the road' again in September 2010.


Ishmael has recorded nearly 400 songs written himself; released 36 albums of his and other writers' songs, 15 of which he also produced; and made two music videos.

Ishmael has written twelve books, some of which have been translated into German, Dutch, Danish and Romanian as well as seven songbooks.

Albums and singles

Benedictus / Song of praise number 2Ishmael and AndyVinyl single1971
Ready saltedIshmael and AndyLP1973
The charge of the light brigadeIshmaelLP1977
Its amazin what praisin can doIshmael with After the FireCassette1978
If you can't shout savedIshmael UnitedLP, cassette1979
Crowd trouble / Song of the last generationIshmael UnitedVinyl single1979
Life begins at 30Rev Counta and the SpeedozeLP, cassette1980
The Glorie song / Return of the magnificent GloriesIshmaelVinyl single1980
Land of hope and GloriesIshmaelLP, cassette1981
Songs for bouncing GloriesIshmaelCassette1981
Power and the GloriesIshmaelLP, cassette1982
Ishmaels children praise party vol 1IshmaelLP, cassette1983
Ishmaels children praise party vol 2IshmaelLP, cassette1984
Ishmaels children praise party vol 3IshmaelLP, cassette1985
Ishmaels antique collectionIshmaelCassette1986
Ishmaels family praise favouritesIshmaelCassette1986
Ishmaels Scripture praise partyIshmaelCassette1987
As subtle as a sledgehammerIshmael compilationCassette1987
Land of hope and Glories / Power and the GloriesRe-released as a double cassette1987
Training up the troopsIshmaelCassette1988
Praise Party vol 1 / Praise party vol 2Re-released as a double cassette1989
Songs for little troopersIshmaelCassette1989
Training up the troops vol 2IshmaelLP, cassette1989
Training up the troops / Training up the troops vol 2Re-released on double CD1989
The charge of the light brigadeRe-released on CD1989
Hooked on IshmaelTim Jupp InstrumentalCassette1989
Praise Party vol 3 / Scripture praise partyRe-released as a double cassette1990
Ishmaels Christmas carol celebrationIshmaelCassette, CD1991
Gym Glories workout / Little Suzys hidden talentIshmaelcassette1991
Peaceful meadow / Melody faces the musicIshmaelcassette1991
Praise and GloriesIshmaelCassette, CD1991
Jesus is Topz / Everyday with JesusIshmaelCassette single1991
Training up the troops / Training up the troops vol 2Re-released as a double cassette1992
Children's hymn celebrationIshmaelCassette, CD1992
Ishmaels praise party videoMusic compilation video1993
Family praise favourites / Songs for little troopersRe-released as a double cassette1993
Ishmael USAIshmaelCassette, CD1993
A sting in the tale (Re-release of the antique collection under a new title)cassette1993
Joyful noise for girls and boysIshmaelcassette, backing tracks1994
25 years with Ishmael (50 track compilation )double cassette, CD1995
25 years of children's favourites (50 track compilation )double cassette, CD1995
If you can't shout saved / Life begins at 30Re-released as a double cassette, CD1995
Ready saltedRe-released on cassette, CD1995
Christmas carol celebration / Children's hymn celebrationRe-released as a double CD1995
Ishmaels video praise party vol 2Music compilation video1996
Ishs Bible BeltersIshmaelCassette, CD1996
Wakey wakey, sleepy sleepyIshmaelCassette, CD1997
Little songs for little childrenIshmaelCD1998
Worship songs for little childrenIshmaelCD1999
Praise songs for little childrenIshmaelCD2000
Bible stories for little studentsIshmaelProse2000
12 New children's praise songs vol 1IshmaelCD2001
12 New children's praise songs vol 2Ishmael and Dave BilbroughCD2001
52 Scripture songs (10 tracks re-recorded)Released as a double CD2002
12 New children's praise songs vol 3Ishmael and Aaron FrithCD2002
I know Jesus loves meIshmaelCD2003
12 New children's praise songs vol 4Ishmael and Geraldine LattyCD2003
Its ChristmasIshmael and Noel RichardsCD2003
Lord here we standNoel RichardsCD single2003
Its Party TimeIshmael and t-girlCD2004
Songs for little children (Little songs for little children / Worship songs for little children / Praise songs for little childrenre-release triple CD2004
Children of the voice vol 1Ishmaelprose triple CD2004
12 New children's praise songs vol 5Ishmael with Noel RichardsCD2004
12 New children's praise songs vol 6Ishmael with Andy BromleyCD2005
Ishmaels praise party videoRe-released DVD2005
Ishmaels video praise party vol 2Re-released onto DVD2005
The Glories storiesreleased onto DVD2005
Its Party TimeReleased onto DVD2005
Ishmaels cartoon karaokeReleased onto DVD2005
Its Tots praiseIshmael with Julia PlautCD2005
I know Jesus loves me tooIshmaelCD2006


TitleyearLanguage: Original TitleISBN
The history of Ishmael part one.1988
Ishmael's family worship songbook.1988
Angels with dirty faces.1989
Englebjørn med snavsede finger.1989Danish : 'Angels with dirty faces’
Children of the Voice.1990
Father God I wonder booklet.1990
Doamne, Tată, Mă Întreb.1990Romanian : 'Father God I wonder' booklet.
Children of the Voice – 2.1991
Lille ballade og stemmen.1991Danish: ‘Children of the Voice’.
Praise'n’Glories songbook.1991
Ishmael's once a week family time.1992
Kinder im Reich Gottes.1992German: ‘Angels with dirty faces’.
Children of the Voice – 3.1993
Joyful noise for girls and boys songbook.1994
Songbook for the troops.1990
Little Jim enjoys the family service.1992
USA songbook.1993
Loving memory.1995
Bible Belters / Wakey wakey, sleepy sleepy songbook.1997
Children of the Voice the trilogy.1998
What is a Christian booklet.1998
Songs for little children songbook.1999
Reclaiming a generation.2001
365 Devotions with Ishmael.2002
Nad Bibli bez nudy.2004Czech : '50 fun filled family activities'.
Deti a cirkev.2005Czech: ‘Reclaiming a Generation’.


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Citation Linkweb.archive.orgLink on archive.org
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Citation Linkfriends.afterthefire.co.ukthe original
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Citation Linkworldcat.org1524-7848
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Citation Linkwww.aruncc.org.ukArun Community Church history
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