Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  Southern Gospel #1 hits (looking only at the Singing News) in the 1970’s were dominated by songs that would spend upwards of six months or more at #1.  It started with “Jesus Is Coming Soon” (six months) in 1970.  Others that followed were “I Know” (10 months, 1971), “The Lighthouse” (6 months, 1972-1973), “When I Wake Up To Sleep No More” (8 months, 1974), “What A Beautiful Day” (11 months, 1975), “Learning To Lean” (15 months, 1976-1977), “Rise Again” (6 months, 1978), “I’m Standing On The Solid Rock” (9 months, 1978-1979) and “What Sins Are You Talking About” (6 months, 1979).  But, what about the songs that missed going to #1 because these songs spent so much time there.  One such song was the Hinsons, “I Won’t Walk Without Jesus”, which reached #2 in May 1977 while “Learning To Lean” was still dominating the top spot.

*Video Credit (rdc770777)

2 thoughts on “Southern Gospel Tidbits

  1. I noticed the dominance of certain songs in the #1 slot also, Steve. But having “Learning To Lean” in the #1 spot in the Singing News charts for 15 months was just ludicrous. Was the voting rigged? I know from an excellent source that one of the gospel Grammy awards was awarded to an individual during that same era of the 1970s because a whole lot of family members and church members joined NARAS. I don’t know – maybe they have more safeguards now, but there is no way some of those songs should have dominated the charts at #1 for a lengthy period of time when there were, very arguably, better songs rated lower.

    1. The 1971 Dove Awards were scrapped for the same reason; something to do with some Blackwood Brother shenanigans. I wasn’t around during that era so I don’t have all the details. I don’t know how much influence the group would have had on radio at that time though to put their song at #1, but again not being around then leaves me with no specific answer.

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