Enjoy Some Of Our Favorite Hymns

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Peace In The Valley - Tennessee Ernie Ford

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"Peace in the Valley" is a 1939 song written by Thomas A. Dorsey, originally for Mahalia Jackson. The song became a hit in 1951 for Red Foley and the Sunshine Boys reaching number seven on the Country & Western Best Seller charts. It was the first Gospel recording to sell one million copies. Foley's version was a 2006 entry into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry.

Born in Bristol, Tennessee, to Clarence Thomas Ford and Maud Long, Ford began his radio career as an announcer at WOPI-AM in Bristol, Virginia. In 1939, he left the station to pursue classical music and voice at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in Ohio. First Lieutenant Ford served in World War II as the bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress flying missions over Japan. After the war, Ford worked at radio stations in San Bernardino and Pasadena, California. In San Bernardino, Ford was hired as a radio announcer. He was assigned to host an early morning country music disc jockey program titled Bar Nothin' Ranch Time. To differentiate himself, he created the personality of "Tennessee Ernie," a wild, madcap exaggerated hillbilly. He became popular in the area and was soon hired away by Pasadena's KXLA radio.

Ford also did musical tours. The Mayfield Brothers of West Texas, including Smokey Mayfield, Thomas Edd Mayfield, and Herbert Mayfield, were among Ford's warmup bands, having played for him in concerts in Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas, during the late 1940s. At KXLA, Ford continued doing the same show and also joined the cast of Cliffie Stone's popular live KXLA country show Dinner Bell Roundup as a vocalist while still doing the early morning broadcast. Cliffie Stone, a part-time talent scout for Capitol Records, brought him to the attention of the label. In 1949, while still doing his morning show, he signed a contract with Capitol. He also became a local TV star as the star of Stone's popular Southern California Hometown Jamboree show. RadiOzark produced 260 15-minute episodes of The Tennessee Ernie Show on transcription disks for national radio syndication.

The list of other artists who have performed the song is lengthy, with other popular renditions by Elvis Presley (with backing by The Jordanaires), Johnny Cash from his At San Quentin live album, Loretta Lynn, Screaming Trees, as a b-side to their "Dollar Bill" single, Ronnie Milsap, and most recently Faith Hill for a concert special.

When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder

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James M. Black (1856-1938) was a Methodist Sunday school teacher in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was caling roll one day for a youth meeting. Young Bessie, daughter of a drunkard, did not show up, and he was dis­ap­pointed at her failure to appear.

Black made a comment to the effect, “Well, I trust when the roll is called up yonder, she’ll be there.” He tried to respond with an appropriate song, but could not find one in his song book.

This lack of a fitting song caused me both sorrow and disappointment. An inner voice seemed to say, “Why don’t you write one?” I put away the thought. As I opened the gate on my way home, the same thought came again so strong­ly that tears filled my eyes.

I entered the house and sat down at the piano. The words came to me effortlessly. The tune came the same way - I dared not change a sin­gle note or word.  This song was sung in the Aca­de­my award winning movie Ser­geant York (1941).

Amazing Grace - Statler Brothers

Statler Brothers Amazing Grace

had read in Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ, Newton took the first step toward accepting faith.

These incidents and his 1750 marriage to Mary Catlett changed Newton significantly. On his slave voyages, he encouraged the sailors under his charge to pray. He also began to ensure that every member of his crew treated their human cargo with gentleness and concern. Nevertheless, it would be another 40 years until Newton openly challenged the trafficking of slaves.

Some three years after his marriage, Newton suffered a stroke that prevented him from returning to sea; in time, he interpreted this as another step in his spiritual voyage. He assumed a post in the Customs Office in the port of Liverpool and began to explore Christianity more fully. As Newton attempted to experience all the various expressions of Christianity, it became clear that he was being called to the ministry. Since Newton lacked a university degree, he could not be ordained through normal channels. However, the landlord of the parish at Olney was so impressed with the letters Newton had written about his conversion that he offered the church to Newton; he was ordained in June 1764.

In Olney, the new curate met the poet William Cowper, also a newly-converted Christian. Their friendship led to a spiritual collaboration that completed the inspiration for "Amazing Grace," the poem Newton most likely wrote in Kineton, Warwickshire[citation needed] around Christmas 1772. The lyrics are based on his reflections on an Old Testament text he was preparing to preach on, adding his perspective about his own conversion while on his slave ship, the Greyhound, in 1748.

Newton's lyrics have become a favourite for Christians, largely because the hymn vividly and briefly sums up the doctrine of divine grace. The lyrics are based on 1 Chronicles 17:16-17, a prayer of King David in which he marvels at God's choosing him and his house. Newton apparently wrote this for use in a sermon he preached on this passage on New Year's Day 1773, and for which he left his sermon notes, which correspond to the flow of the lyrics. (He entitled the piece "Faith's review and expectation.")

 

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Amazing Grace By The Statler Brothers

Statler Brothers Whispering Hope

John Newton, the author of the lyrics to Amazing Grace, was born in 1725 in Wapping, London, England. Despite the powerful message of "Amazing Grace," Newton's religious beliefs initially lacked conviction; his youth was marked by religious confusion and a lack of moral self-control and discipline.

After a brief time in the Royal Navy, Newton began his career in slave trading. The turning point in Newton's spiritual life was a violent storm that occurred one night while at sea. Moments after he left the deck, the crewman who had taken his place was swept overboard. Although he manned the vessel for the remainder of the tempest, he later commented that, throughout the tumult, he realized his helplessness and concluded that only the grace of God could save him. Prodded by what he had read in Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ, Newton took the first step toward accepting faith.

These incidents and his 1750 marriage to Mary Catlett changed Newton significantly. On his slave voyages, he encouraged the sailors under his charge to pray. He also began to ensure that every member of his crew treated their human cargo with gentleness and concern. Nevertheless, it would be another 40 years until Newton openly challenged the trafficking of slaves.

Some three years after his marriage, Newton suffered a stroke that prevented him from returning to sea; in time, he interpreted this as another step in his spiritual voyage. He assumed a post in the Customs Office in the port of Liverpool and began to explore Christianity more fully. As Newton attempted to experience all the various expressions of Christianity, it became clear that he was being called to the ministry. Since Newton lacked a university degree, he could not be ordained through normal channels. However, the landlord of the parish at Olney was so impressed with the letters Newton had written about his conversion that he offered the church to Newton; he was ordained in June 1764.

In Olney, the new curate met the poet William Cowper, also a newly-converted Christian. Their friendship led to a spiritual collaboration that completed the inspiration for "Amazing Grace," the poem Newton most likely wrote in Kineton, Warwickshire[citation needed] around Christmas 1772. The lyrics are based on his reflections on an Old Testament text he was preparing to preach on, adding his perspective about his own conversion while on his slave ship, the Greyhound, in 1748.

Newton's lyrics have become a favourite for Christians, largely because the hymn vividly and briefly sums up the doctrine of divine grace. The lyrics are based on 1 Chronicles 17:16-17, a prayer of King David in which he marvels at God's choosing him and his house. Newton apparently wrote this for use in a sermon he preached on this passage on New Year's Day 1773, and for which he left his sermon notes, which correspond to the flow of the lyrics. (He entitled the piece "Faith's review and expectation.")

 

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Amazing Grace - Il Divo

Il Divo Amazing Grace

The idea behind Il Divo's creation came to Cowell after listening to Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman's rendition of Con te partirò. Aware of this new appreciation for lyrical voices and classical music, he decided to form a multinational quartet (the members hail from Spain, Switzerland, France, and the United States, and the name being in Italian) that tried to recreate the style of The Three Tenors.

Simon Cowell conducted a worldwide search for young singers who were willing to embark on the Il Divo project, which lasted two years, from 2001 until December 2003, when the fourth member of Il Divo, American tenor David Miller, was signed. The well-established formation of Il Divo comprises a renowned Spanish opera and Spanish baritone, Carlos Marín; two classically trained tenors, Swiss Urs Bühler and American David Miller; and a French pop singer, Sébastien Izambard.

Il Divo sings in English, Italian, Spanish, French, and Latin. Il Divo was named the Most Multinational UK No.1 Album Group in the 2006 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

 

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John Berry- That Old Rugged Cross

John Berry - The Old Rugged Cross

"The Old Rugged Cross" is a popular Christian song written in 1912 by evangelist and song-leader George Bennard (1873-1958).

George Bennard, was a native of Youngstown, Ohio but was reared in Iowa. After his conversion in a Salvation Army meeting, he and his wife became brigade leaders before leaving the organization for the Methodist Church. As a Methodist evangelist, Bennard wrote the first verse of the gospel song, "The Old Rugged Cross" in Albion, Michigan, in the fall of 1912.[1] Charles H. Gabriel, a well-known gospel-song composer helped Bennard with the harmonies.[The completed version was first performed on June 7th, 1913, by a choir of five in Pokagon, Michigan. Published in 1915, the song was popularized during Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns by two members of his campaign staff, Homer Rodeheaver (who bought rights to the song for $500) and Virginia Asher, who were perhaps also the first to record it in 1921. The Old Rugged Cross uses a sentimental popular song form with a verse/chorus pattern in 3/4 time, and it speaks of the writer's Christian experience rather than his adoration of God. Bennard retired to Reed City, Michigan, and the town maintains a museum dedicated to his life and ministry.

"The Old Rugged Cross" remains enormously popular and has been performed by some of the twentieth century's most important recording artists, including: Al Green, Anne Murray, Brad Paisley, Chet Atkins, Elvis Presley, Floyd Cramer, George Jones, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash and June Carter, Kevin Max, Mahalia Jackson, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price, Ricky Van Shelton, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Statler Brothers, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, and George Beverly Shea. British television dramatist Dennis Potter has used the gospel song prominently in several of his plays, most notably Pennies from Heaven (1978); and the song also played a major part in "Gridlock" (2007), an episode of the long-running sci-fi drama series Doctor Who. In early 2009, the song was covered by Ronnie Milsap on his gospel album Then Sings My Soul.

 

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Oak Ridge Boys - What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Oak Ridge Boys - What A Friend We Have In Jesus

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" is a Christian hymn originally written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. Scriven originally published the poem anonymously, and only received full credit for it in the 1880s. The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Crozat Converse in 1868. William Bolcom composed a setting of the hymn. The hymn also has many versions with different lyrics in multiple languages, such as the Japanese version "Itsukushimi Fukaki" (いつくしみ深き?, lit. "Deep Affection"), or a version sung during World War I with the line "When this bloody war is over" in place of the original title. The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal notes, "In spite of the fact that this hymn, with its tune, has been criticized as being too much on the order of the sentimental gospel type, its popularity remains strong, and the hymn retains a place in modern hymnals." Aretha Franklin recorded the song for her album Amazing Grace (1972) and Ronnie Milsap for his album Then Sings My Soul (2009).

 

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What A Friend We Have In Jesus

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" is a Christian hymn originally written by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. Scriven originally published the poem anonymously, and only received full credit for it in the 1880s. The tune to the hymn was composed by Charles Crozat Converse in 1868. William Bolcom composed a setting of the hymn. The hymn also has many versions with different lyrics in multiple languages, such as the Japanese version "Itsukushimi Fukaki" (いつくしみ深き?, lit. "Deep Affection"), or a version sung during World War I with the line "When this bloody war is over" in place of the original title. The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal notes, "In spite of the fact that this hymn, with its tune, has been criticized as being too much on the order of the sentimental gospel type, its popularity remains strong, and the hymn retains a place in modern hymnals." Aretha Franklin recorded the song for her album Amazing Grace (1972) and Ronnie Milsap for his album Then Sings My Soul (2009).

 

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