Fairfield native, founder of Christian rock band dies

Fairfield native Loyd Boldman, founding member of the Christian rock band Prodigal, passed away last week, just after the announcement that the band’s back catalogue would be reissued.

Mr. Boldman died in Orlando, Fla., on April 22 after a long illness. He was 59. He had been living in Florida since the late 1980s, but the band, which became well-known earlier in the 1980s, sort of got its start in Fairfield, said his wife, Carol.

“He was always interested in music. When he went to Fairfield, he was amazingly talented musically. He had an amazing voice, and he could play any instrument. He was in the marching band and stage band and the Choraliers,” said his wife, who is also a Fairifled native.

Boldman had played in other bands but wanted to start a Christian group, so in 1975, he put a flyer up in a music store in Fairfield looking for other members. Rick Fields, a guitar player, saw that ad and called Boldman, and that got the ball rolling. The group released three albums and went on to win at least one Dove Award, a top honor in the Christian music field.

“Things happen that you think are random, but when you look back on them, you see the hand of God,” Carol Boldman said.

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Fields said he and the other Prodigal members knew Boldman, who had liver cancer, didn’t have long to live, so they went to visit him in Florida, trading memories one last time earlier this month.

“We were a Christian rock band. In the middle 80s, that wasn’t a really easy path to travel … it was tough for us. It was hard to see the fruits of what we were doing. In later years, through social media, we discovered we actually had a fan base that has been with us through all these years and been crying out for a reissue of our stuff,” he said.

Boldman’s particular gift in Prodigal was both musical and lyrical, said Fields.

“He was our main lyricist. Loyd was very poetic, very astute and cerebral, and that came out in his lyrics … we would not write to the Sunday school market or the Christian radio market. But Loyd was such a creative force,” Fields said.

Boldman’s wife called him :the most incredibly talented person I ever knew in my life. I knew him for so long. He was my brother’s best friend. So I don’t remember when I first met him … but I will never forget the first time I heard him sing in a school assembly at Fairfield High School. When I heard him, I was just blown away.”

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