Ten On Ten – Wilburns

This week’s ten on ten feature will conclude this series for 2012.  If there is an artist I have yet to feature that you want to see please let me know in the comments section.  If not, this will conclude the ten on ten feature and 2013 will re-visit current artists with new releases.

This final ten on ten feature of 2012 highlights the recording career of the Wilburns.  This family group rose to prominence in Southern Gospel music in the late 1980’s.  Jackie and Elaine Wilburn would retire from the road in 2005.

The top ten albums by the Wilburns are as follows:

  1. Alabama Lightning Live (1990)
  2. First Class (1992)
  3. Let It Rain (2003)
  4. We Will Stand (2001)
  5. Sing It Live (1988)
  6. Excellence (1991)
  7. Win The Lost (1993)
  8. Resting Place (1998)
  9. Where He Leads (1997)
  10. Trouble Free (1989)
  • The pinnacle in the Wilburns discography is the 1990 live album, Alabama Lightning.  This is the album that put the Wilburns on the map, so to speak.  The vocal line-up of Jackie Wilburn, Elaine Wilburn, Jonathan Wilburn and Tony Gore during this era was the group’s strongest.
  • The first mega-song of the group’s career, “God’s Promised Land”, is found on this album.  The listener is also treated to “Death Could Not Hold Him”, “Death Valley Days”, “I Found In Jesus”, “It’s Not So Hard To Praise Him” and “The Old Story Will Never Grow Old”.
  • The best studio album in the Wilburn’s discography is the 1992 album, First Class (ranked #2).  The group had another mega-song on this album, “Outside The Gate”.  This song was one of the best concert closer’s in Southern Gospel music.  Southern Gospel collectors should have this album in their collections.  It is a must have!
  • The group closed out their recording career with the #3 album among the group’s ten best.  The final studio album, the 2003 recording Let It Rain, gives the listener “Campmeeting Fire”, “Claim The Name”, “He Rose A King”, “Home At Last And Free From Sin” and “Let It Rain”.
  • The Wilburns first live album, Sing It Live, ranks #5 among the group’s ten best.  This album gave the group their first top ten song, “Coming Out Of The Wilderness”.
  • While the group had several mega-songs in the early 1990’s, it wasn’t until January 1999 that the group would get their one and only #1 song; “Resting Place”.  The 1998 album of the same name ranks #8 among the group’s ten best.  During this time period of the Wilburns career, Ricky Atkinson and Loren Harris spent time with the group.
  • Members of the Wilburns went on to have successful careers.  Tony Gore started Majesty and had huge success in the late 1990’s.  Jonathan Wilburn went on to be lead singer for Gold City.  Tony Peace ended up with Palmetto State Quartet for many years.  Loren Harris went on to the Perrys while Ricky Atkinson had success with own trio Compassion.  Finally, Gary Casto and Josh Singletary now have success with Tribute Quartet.
  • The Wilburns spent the majority of their recording career with Eddie Crook.  Eight of the group’s top ten albums were recorded with either the Harvest/MorningStar record labels.
  • In addition to the songs already listed, the Wilburns gave Southern Gospel music:  “Another Safe Crossing”, “Crowned With Glory Now”, “Hand Of The Lord”, “He’ll Walk On The Water For Me”, “Looking For A Place To Cross”, “Something In The Upper Room”, “Trouble Free”, “We Will Stand”, “When Dust Shall Sing” and “When The Shepherd Comes Home”.
  • This writer wants to take the time to thank Jackie and Elaine Wilburn for the years they gave to Southern Gospel music.  Their music made an impact in my life as a teenager.  Thanks!

One thought on “Ten On Ten – Wilburns

  1. Great analysis!

    As far as future features, I’d like to see a Ten-on-Ten for the Lesters or Ivan Parker or the Hayes Family. I have very little music from each of these and would appreciate an idea of which albums to look for.

    Is there a feature for the Ruppes?

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