This week I want to embark on a new series of posts spotlighting the songwriter. Southern Gospel, or any musical genre for that matter, would cease to exist if there wasn’t that master composer to pen a lyric that ultimately speaks to the listener. There is no better place to start in Southern Gospel music than with one of the industry’s most prolific writers, Kyla Rowland.
I want to use this series to spotlight some songs by our greatest writers that are not as familiar with the listening audience. Who can forget “There Rose A Lamb”, “One Scarred Hand”, “Landing Lights”, “I Rest My Case At The Cross” and “God Handled It All” from the pen of Kyla Rowland?
In this songwriter spotlight I want to feature four Kyla Rowland songs that are favorites of mine that you may not be familiar with.
In order of release, the first song comes from the Kingsmen. Kyla has been writing Southern Gospel music since the 1970’s. In 1981, the Kingsmen released one of the biggest live recordings of their career, Live…Naturally. On that recording was a song by Kyla Rowland featuring tenor Ernie Phillips titled “I’ll Drop My Anchor”. Take a listen to the first verse and chorus.
Next up is a song recorded by Kyla’s group, the Rowlands on a 1992 recording Where Is God. It is always nice to hear the songwriter tell of how a song came about. That is what I always enjoyed about the songwriter’s showcase at the National Quartet Convention. It is also nice when the songwriter also records their own music. Listen to the group perform the second verse and chorus to a song titled “Sounds Like The Truth To Me”.
Third on the list is a Kyla Rowland song recorded by the Whisnants on their 2001 recording Anthem Of Praise. Off all the songs on that recording, “Under Grace” is a song I still go back to when listening to music. Listen to the Whisnants on the second verse and chorus.
Finally, to wrap up my first songwriter spotlight feature is a song co-written by Kyla Rowland and Gerald Crabb. “When He Says Arise” was recorded by the Bowlings. This is not the Bowling Family that you are familiar with now but a group that was put together by Mike’s brother Jeff Bowling. The group released one recording in 2005 that featured this song. This is the type of song that needs to be re-recorded by another artist to put the song in the spotlight.
What is your favorite Kyla Rowland song? Is there a Kyla Rowland song that many may not be familiar with that needs to be mentioned here?