BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Ken Mansfield on 'The Long and Winding Road' to Christ
By Scott Ross and Shannon Woodland
The 700 Club
Scott Ross [reporting]: In 1965, the Beatles' tour of the United States set the country on its ear. The album, Help, was an instant hit.
Ken Mansfield: In 1968 when they decided to set up Apple Records, America was the market. You had to have America, and I was the only executive they knew. They sent for me. We set up Apple Records, and I came back and ran it for them in America.
Ross [reporting]: Ken Mansfield was in the right place at the right time -- at least that’s how he sees it. Propelled into the center of "Beatlemania", Ken was the man in the U.S. for the Beatles’ Apple Record label.
Ross: Wow. Pretty heavy stuff, buddy. For people who remember those years and for those you don’t, you were at the vortex of the Beatles phenomenon.
Ross: How did you respond to this? There had never been anything like this except for Elvis.
Mansfield: I didn’t get it. I wasn’t a fan of the band. I didn’t realize that they were that great. I had been working with so many bands -- a big splash and then they’d go away. I thought the Beatles would have their time. I wasn’t in awe of them, and I think they sensed that.
Ross: It also opened the door to a lot of things in your life. What happened to you?
Mansfield: It’s just the way the devil works. Little by little, you give up another little piece. "It’s okay if I do this." Pretty soon, I was immersed in it, like anybody else. It became a part of my life. In the 1960s, it became very hip to do drugs. Marijuana wasn’t addictive, cocaine didn’t really hurt you, [and] if you did the acid, you got closer to God.
Ross: How did it affect your work?
Mansfield: I think you start making bad decisions. You think everything is going to last forever. It doesn’t matter if you’re a little late for this. You sluff this off or you don’t give this person the consideration that they deserve, because you’re with a star. You’re a big deal.
Ross [reporting]: Ken moved upward and onward after sensing the Beatles break up. He became president of MGM Records. Still wanting more, Ken left the corporate world and started Hometown Productions, Inc., signing on some of the biggest names in show business.
Ross: Ultimately where did this lead you? This lifestyle?
Mansfield: It led to an incredible downfall. It’s an amazing thing, Scott. Nobody had a better resume in the record business, because not only did I have the Beatles but all the other famous people. I was vice president and president of major companies, all these hit records, all this success, never been fired, never failed. All of a sudden things just started falling apart. George Harrison had turned me on to the metaphysical things. I had my guru, and I was doing all that. But one day I found myself just totally bottomed out [and] broke, lost everything.
Ross [reporting]: Losing everything meant Ken’s summer estate on a quarter mile of California ocean front and a mansion in the Hollywood Hills. Servants, money, power -- you name it, Ken lost it.
Mansfield: I ended up in Nashville, Tennessee, with three cardboard boxes and three suit cases, broke, and out of work. I couldn’t get a job in the mailrooms of the company I use to run. I mean, God had the doors so closed on me. So this young lady walks into my life. Green eyes and a southern accent... and she just set me straight.
Ross: How did she do that?
Mansfield: She said, "Jesus is the way." I said, "I agree with you, honey, but He is a way. There are many paths up to the top of the mountain." She said, "No, He’s the way." We had more fights over that. I said, "I’ll change gurus for you, if you’ll just get off this Jesus thing a little bit. We’ll meet in the middle." She wouldn’t do it.
Ross [reporting]: This green-eyed southern girl named Connie made it clear to Ken that she chose Jesus over him.
Mansfield: I thought, if she loves Jesus that much maybe she has a better idea than I do. She brought me to the Lord.
Ross [reporting]: Married for 20 years, Ken and Connie have an interesting life together ministering all over the country using Beatlemania as a platform.
Ross [reporting]: What is it that you’re doing? You’re running all over the country talking about the old days?
Mansfield: I wrote a book called The Beatles, the Bible and Bodega Bay. Plus I use my testimony. It’s very unique.
Ross: Another major event in recent years is that you were diagnosed with an incurable cancer. You shouldn’t be here.
Mansfield: I was diagnosed in 1996 with an incurable bone marrow cancer. It was so rare that there was no research. They gave me one to three years to live.
Ross: But that was 10 years ago?
Mansfield: Well, you’re good at math.
Ross [reporting]: After much prayer, a Word from God and experimental cancer treatments, Ken is going strong today. He’s still often in the right place at the right time -- especially this one time, when a women let him know she’d been praying for him since the 1960s.
Mansfield: She said, "I don’t have a question, but I have a comment. When I was 15 years old and I was on a youth retreat, my youth pastor said we’re going to pray for a group of people that are leading a very decadent lifestyle. They need our prayers for salvation." This youth pastor gave them a list of names. It was the Beatles and the guys in their group. She said, "Me and five of my girlfriends picked the name Ken Mansfield. We didn’t know who you were. It was just a name. I prayed for you all through junior high, all through high school, through college until I went off into the world for a while. I saw your name that you were appearing at this church, and I’ve come here to see the answer to prayer."
Ross: So you’re using the Beatles... God’s using the Beatles?
Mansfield: He’s using us all (laughs).
Watch Ken Mansfield's testimony online.
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