First recorded (as “Happy Day”) by The Trinity Choir (1913).
Hit versions by The Edwin Hawkins Singers (recorded 1967 |US #4/UK #2/CAN #2/IRE #2/GER #1 1969), Glen Campbell (US #40/MOR #7/C&W #25/CAN #11 1970).
From the wiki: “The popular recording of ‘Oh Happy Day’ was a 1967 gospel music arrangement of an 18th-century hymn with an equally long long pedigree. It was written in the mid-18th century (‘O happy day, that fixed my choice’) by English clergyman Philip Doddridge, based on Acts 8:35 and set to an earlier melody (1704) by J. A. Freylinghausen. By the mid-19th century it had been given a new melody by Edward F. Rimbault, who also added a chorus, and the song was commonly used for baptismal or confirmation ceremonies in the UK and US. Hawkins’ new arrangement contained only the repeated Rimbault refrain, with all of the original verses omitted.
“The first known recording dates from July 17, 1913, on Victor 17499, by the Trinity Choir.
First recorded by The Paramount Jubilee Singers (1923).
Hit versions by Louis Armstrong (US #10 1939), The Weavers (US #27 1951), Percy Faith & His Singers (US #29 1951), Bill Haley & His Comets (as “The Saints Rock ‘n Roll” US #18/UK #5 1956), Fats Domino (US #50 1959).
Also recorded by The Million Dollar Quartet (1956), Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers (1961).
From the wiki: “‘When the Saints Go Marching In’, often referred to as ‘The Saints’, is an American gospel hymn. According to jazz critic Al Rose this tune was first published as a Baptist hymn in 1916 and credited to Edward Boatner, the man behind religious-classic ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’. Though it originated as a Christian hymn, it is often played by jazz bands. This song was famously recorded on May 13, 1938 by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra.
“The first known recorded version was in 1923 by the Paramount Jubilee Singers on Paramount 12073. Although the title given on the label is ‘When All the Saints Come Marching In’, the group sings the modern lyrics beginning with “When the saints go marching in”. No author is shown on the label. The earliest versions were slow and stately, but as time passed the recordings became more rhythmic. Louis Armstrong was one of the first to make the tune into a nationally known Pop tune in the 1930s. (Armstrong wrote that his sister told him she thought the secular performance style of the traditional church tune was inappropriate and irreligious.)
First recorded (as “Dis Train”) by The Florida Normal and Industrial Institute Quartette (1924).
Also recorded (as “This Train”) by Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1939).
Hit version adapted by Willie Dixon and recorded (as “My Babe”) by Little Walter & His Jukes (R&B #1 1955).
Also recorded (as “My Babe”) by Cliff Richard (1959), The Uniques (1969), Willie Dixon (1970).
From the wiki: “‘My Babe’ was based on the traditional Gospel song ‘This Train (Is Bound For Glory)’, first recorded in 1924 by The Florida Normal and Industrial Institute Quartette. It was also first recorded by Sister Rosetta Tharpe as ‘This Train’ in 1939; a second version would be recorded by Tharpe in 1947 with the Sam Price Trio.
“‘My Babe’ was written by Willie Dixon (‘Hoochie Coochie Man’, ‘Spoonful’, ‘Little Red Rooster‘) for Little Walter. Dixon reworked the Gospel arrangement and lyrics from the sacred (the procession of saints into Heaven) into the secular (a story about a woman who won’t stand for her man to cheat): ‘My baby, she don’t stand no cheating, my babe, she don’t stand none of that midnight creeping.’
“Released in 1955 on Checker Records, the song was the only Dixon composition ever to become a #1 R&B single, one of the biggest hits of either of Dixon’s or Walter’s careers. Backing Little Walter’s vocals and harmonica were Robert Lockwood, Jr. and Leonard Caston on guitars, Willie Dixon on double-bass, and Fred Below on drums.
First recorded by Anne Murray (1970).
Hit version by Ocean (US #2/MOR #4/CAN #10 1971).
From the wiki: “‘Put Your Hand in the Hand’ is a gospel-Pop song composed by Gene MacLellan (‘Snowbird’) and first recorded by Anne Murray for her third studio album, Honey, Wheat and Laughter. It was later covered by Canadian band Ocean and released as the title track to their debut album. Their version is arguably the most popular one of the song, peaking at #2 in 1971 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and kept from #1 by ‘Joy to the World‘ by Three Dog Night.”
Inspired by “Pains of Life” by Rev. Elijah Fair & The Sensational Gladys Davis Trio (1967).
Hit version by Aretha Franklin (US #2/R&B #1 1967).
From the wiki: “‘Chain of Fools’ was inspired by the gospel song ‘Pains of Life’, released earlier in 1967 by the obscure Houston, TX, Gospel group Elijah Fair & The Sensational Gladys Davis Trio. ‘Pains of Life’ has the same melody as the later song; the chorus, ‘Pain, Pain, Pain’, is echoed as ‘Chain, Chain, Chain’ in the Franklin recording.
“‘Pains of Life’ first appeared on the Feron record label almost a full year before Franklin belted out her big 1967 hit. ‘Chain Of Fools’ is credited to Don Covay and was produced by Jerry Wexler for Atlantic Records. (Covay’s father was a Baptist minister, so, he might have been familiar with the Gospel music scene in Houston.)”
First recorded by The Art Reynolds Singers (1966).
Also recorded by The Byrds (US #97 1969).
Hit version by The Doobie Brothers (US #35 1972).
From the wiki: “‘Jesus Is Just Alright’ is a gospel song written by Arthur Reid Reynolds and first recorded by Reynolds’ own group, The Art Reynolds Singers, on their 1966 album, Tellin’ It Like It Is.
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