There is a long line of country and neighborhood artists who have recorded gospel albums, from Red Foley, Loretta Lynn and the Stanley Brothers to Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood. Beyond connecting on a spiritual level with fans of a certain faith, these collections meet the ever-present demand for songs about simpler times at home. After all, most of the artists featured on these albums grew up singing hymns with the local congregation, and many have similar ties to gospel music.
Country music history student, alan jackson should know the country gospel tradition like the back of his hand. He certainly sang many selections on precious memories (Arista Nashville, 2006) and Precious Memories Volume II (EMI Nashville, 2013) growing up in Newnan, Georgia, learning the Bible from his mother, Ruth Musick Jackson – the inspiration for Jackson’s fan favorite “I want to walk through heaven with you “.
Beyond that added sense of authenticity, Jackson’s sweet baritone voice and Georgian accent relay both earthly wisdom and heavenly hope through renditions of some of the anthem’s most sung songs. from the church.
Here are the 10 best country-gospel recordings of the 28 total tracks on Jackson’s precious memories scrapbooks.
10. “In the Garden”
In the rural space, “In the garden” is Dwight Yoakam‘s, if only because of his iconic performance at Buck Owens’ funeral. Jackson deserves to be considered a finalist for a recording that showcases his own sensitive and spiritual sides.
9. “Amazing Grace”
Jackson pours his heavenly soul into this rendition of one of the world’s most famous songs. It’s by far the streaming hit of both albums and has become a staple for funerals in Jackson’s home state.
8. “What a friend we have in Jesus”
A song about childhood faith, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” should remind listeners of their first Sunday School teachers. When sung by Jackson, it merges congregational singing with Don Williams’ songs with the family en route to the lunch buffet.
7. “Softly and tenderly”
It would have been an invitation song when Jackson was a child – meaning it was played and sung after the sermon as church members went about their personal business in prayer. As part of the precious memories collection, it slows things down and brings to the fore the emotive vocals that drive Jackson’s sweetest love songs and secular tales of love and family.
6. “How tall you are”
As is the case with “Softly and Tenderly,” “How Great Thou Art” slows down the often upbeat beat of gospel anthems, allowing Jackson’s storytelling gifts to shine.
5. “I’ll Fly Away”
Jackson’s camp reunion-ready performance of this old favorite reminds us that its author, Albert E. Brumley, has ties to country music history. His son, Tom Brumley, played pedal steel guitar for Owens’ Buckaroos.
4. “When we all get to heaven”
The church organ opens a recording of “When We All Get to Heaven” that can’t be so different from what it would have sounded in churches when Jackson was a child.
3. “There is power in the blood”
Some of the more upbeat songs in your conductor’s rotation translate well to bluegrass instrumentation and country harmonies, as heard on this rendition of “There’s Power in the Blood” that begins with a precise selection and turns into a choir of believers. Jackson’s equally moving versions of “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” and “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” prove the same point.
2. “Turn your eyes on Jesus”
Jackson delivered such a captivating rendition of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” for the second installment of precious memories this John Berry hesitated to compose his own version with Steve Dorff for 2022 find my joy.
1. “The Sturdy Old Cross”
Despite the popularity of Jackson’s “Amazing Grace” and the power of his country rendition of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” his finest moment as a gospel singer added extra emphasis to an anthem synonymous with old country churches. .