Novelty songs have always had a home in Southern Gospel music. They can be traced as far back as the quartet classic, “First Day In Heaven”. Novelty songs have even found a home a top the Southern Gospel radio airplay charts (see the Kingsmen; “Excuses”).
But before “Excuses” made its way to listening audiences, the Imperials topped the charts with the song, “Oh Buddha”. This Mark Farrow song relays to listeners that Jesus Christ is the only way by pointing out that other religions are just that, religions. Running the spectrum from Buddha to Mohammed to even Krishna’s.
The second verse then brings it home to Christianity and the idea that Heaven will not be made up of denominations, no matter how much your particular denomination thinks they are right.
The Imperials took this song to the top of the Southern Gospel charts in September 1979. The song would go on to spend eight months at #1, making it the biggest Imperials hit on Southern Gospel radio. Here is a YouTube clip (published by GambittMA) of the Imperials #1 hit, “Oh Buddha”.
Novelty song; yea or nay? Would a song like “Oh Buddha” be accepted among today’s Southern Gospel listening audience?