Country gospel or often called “Christian gospel” had its share of unique tune that never failed to amaze many of its fans. Guided by faith, several country music artists embarked on creating songs depicting their spiritual experiences and transformation. Here’s a list of 20 best country gospel songs that fans of this genre come to love time and again.
20. Louvin Brothers: ‘The Christian Life’
Contrary to the album’s title track, this country gospel song by the Louvin Brothers is not about the threat of hell or damnation. Instead, it is centered on how we can morally lead a “Christian Life” The Byrds came up with a modern version of the song in 1968 with their “Sweethearts of the Rodeo” turning into a country-rock breakthrough at that time.
19. Merle Haggard: ‘Pray’
Without quoting the scripture, Merle Haggard mainly pleads everyone in his song “Pray” to contemplate more on others’ difficulties and less of their own daily concerns. With the singer-songwriter Greg Brown’s fascination of the song’s message, he had it covered in concerts.
18. Tammy Wynette: ‘Precious Memories’
The gospel standard “Precious Memories” was given an ultimate account by Tammy Wynette. At the background was the Masters V gospel group backing Wynette’s winning vocals up.
17. Billy Joe Shaver: ‘If I Give My Soul’
Shaver’s “If I Give My Soul” comprises of a line meant to break every father’s heart. The song perchance was more recognized in Billy Joe Shaver’s 1998 collection of religious songs called “Victory.” Though, he had it recorded prior to his guitarist son Eddy Shaver for “Tramp on Your Street”.
16. Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt: ‘Farther Along’
Despite having the song recorded by various renowned country stars like Brad Paisley, Jonny Cash, and others, Trio’s version of “Farther Along” is extraordinary. A fusion of powerful voices Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt results in a sparkling rendition of the song.
15. Willie Nelson: ‘Uncloudy Day’
Sounding like a gospel standard, “Uncloudy Day” was originally written by William Nelson and was recorded in 1973 for the album “The Troublemaker.” Release of the song didn’t materialize until 1976 due to doubts concerning its commercial prospects. But with Nelson’s persistence, both “The Troublemaker” and “Uncloudy Day” topped the charts in that same year. This made Nelson proved otherwise the wrong notions about this song.
14. Johnny Russell: ‘The Baptism of Jesse Taylor’
This Johnny Russell’s 1973 song has inspired a town hell-raiser. The feeling of restoration conveyed in this song, as the narrator projected Jesse’s certainty in changing his ways, made it land a No. 14 spot on the country charts. The Oak Ridge Boys and Tanya Tucker had it recorded on a later date.
13. Red Foley: ‘(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (for Me)’
Red Foley’s remarkable performance of this song made it an unmatched hit in 1951, with over a million copies sold. Elvis Presley’s more popular version of the song, which was recorded later, owed much of its success to Foley’s cover of “(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (for Me)”.
12. Garth Brooks: ‘Unanswered Prayers’
Garth Brooks wanted to convey a very important message derived from his song “Unanswered Prayers” – Sometimes prayers that appear to have been unanswered really aren’t. Regardless of its quite trivial element, the song rocketed to No. 1 on the country charts. Furthermore, the song gained a lifetime adaption into a Lifetime TV movie in 2010.
11. Gerlin Husky: ‘Wings of a Dove’
Using a dove to symbolize hope, Ferlin Husky managed to take his “Wings of Dove” to the top of the country charts holding such spot for 10 weeks. Meanwhile, the crossover hit ranked at No. 12 on the pop charts making it Husky’s best-known song.
The continuation of the list is coming up in the second part of this article.