I attempted to start a series several years ago, that took a look at forgotten/overlooked Southern Gospel songs. The only two posts in the series covered Gold City’s, “The Search Is Over”, which was overshadowed by the more popular song from recording, “Midnight Cry” (Movin’ Up; 1987). The second post took a look at the Kingsmen’s “Nearing The Shore” from the 1981, Live…Naturally album. Of course, songs like “Excuses”, “Beautiful Home”, “When My Feet Touch The Streets Of Gold” and “Love Lifted Me” are the songs most listeners remember.
Today, I wanted to take a look at the Cathedrals 1985 recording, Especially For You. Songs that will immediately come to mind are “Who Can Do Anything”, “His Tomb Is Empty Now” and covers of “He Didn’t Come Down” and “Shout All Over Heaven”.
The forgotten song from this particular album, is one that I consider to be the best on the recording; the Danny Funderburk penned, “He’s My Lighthouse”. This up-tempo song is the Cathedrals at their prime. Play it again. Play it again, indeed.
*Video Credit (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)
Back in February I started a series, land of the lost songs. I took a look at Gold City and the song, “The Search Is Over”. The song was found on the 1987 recording Movin’ Up and overshadowed by the mega song, “Midnight Cry” and in my opinion forever lost to the Southern Gospel listening audience.
Today, I wanted to feature another ‘lost song’; this time by the Kingsmen. The group’s 1981 recording, Live…Naturally is considered one of the group’s best recordings. The sad truth is a novelty song, “Excuses”, became the biggest song from the album and was a major #1 hit during this era.
While there are many memorable Kingsmen songs found on this recording (see “Beautiful Home”, “I Made A Covenant With My Lord”, “I’d Rather Be An Old Time Christian”, “Love Lifted Me”, “Shake Hands With The Poor Boy” and “When My Feet Touch The Streets Of Gold”), there is one in particular that I feel was lost forever to today’s listening audience.
The Squire Parson’s penned, “Nearing The Shore” was always a favorite of mine while listening to this album as a kid. I actually preferred Wayne Maynard’s performance of “Nearing The Shore” than I did his more notable feature that would come a couple of years later, “Child, Child”.
*Video Credit (SG Classics)
As I had my music library on shuffle again the other day, another new series was born. How many times are great songs overlooked on a specific album because a much more popular song garnered all the attention.
Today, starts a new series titled Land of the Lost….Songs. It came to be when my music library decided to play Gold City’s “Midnight Cry” and “The Search Is Over” back to back. It just so happens both songs are found on the group’s award-winning 1987 recording, Movin’ Up.
Any long time listeners of Southern Gospel know the song “Midnight Cry”. Some may not realize it spent six months at #1 on the Singing News chart in 1988. It became the song of the year in 1988 as well. The song still seems as popular today, some 27 years later.
What I am about to say many readers will consider heresy, but after hearing both of those songs back to back that day, I believe “The Search Is Over” is a better song than “Midnight Cry”. Ronny Hinson and Mike Payne had come together several years earlier to pen one of the biggest Southern Gospel songs of the 1980’s with “When He Was On The Cross”. “The Search Is Over” happened to be another collab from this songwriting duo, that if not for “Midnight Cry”, could have been another big hit.
*Video Credit (MusicScribeBlog)
As is the case with most individuals, Southern Gospel music begins for them at the time they start listening. I have a firm belief that a majority of new listeners (who became associated with Southern Gospel in the last 5 to 10 years) don’t really care about what happened in Southern Gospel prior to their introduction.
This new series will try to shed light on some forgotten hits of Southern Gospel’s past. These songs had impact at the time of their success, but have since been forgotten by today’s listening audience.
The first song in the series was a hit radio single in 1988. Quinton Mills was a solo artist touring at a time when solo artists were few. He had a powerful testimony of being pronounced dead after a fatal car accident but being brought back. He would follow-up his powerful story with his signature song, “I Found The Lily In My Valley”.
The song was penned by Mills and was a huge radio hit in 1988. If not for the huge success of Gold City’s “Midnight Cry”, “I Found The Lily In My Valley” would have been a #1 song. Instead it settled at #2 for a couple of months. The song went on the be #2 for the entire year.
Quinton recorded a live album in 1994 at the LJVM Coliseum in Winston-Salem NC in front of 12,000 people. His performance of “I Found The Lily In My Valley” was one of the most powerful Southern Gospel live performances caught on video. Here is a YouTube clip of that performance (published by QuintonMills). Enjoy!