The Story

Jim Hill could not understand why a good woman like his mother-in-law had to get seriously ill. A newbie to Christianity, he just could not shake off that thought in his mind. Then as if to clear his confusion, God answered him as he was driving. The words in Revelations 21:4 popped up in his consciousness. The statement paints a beautiful picture that made Hill exclaimed, “What a day that will be!”

Excitedly, he immediately looked for something to write on once he reached home. He found a piece of cardboard and there he wrote the rest of the lyrics for “What a Day That Will Be.”

Listen to the following men’s rendition with a testimony at the beginning of the clip.

The Gospel Plowboys in “What a Day That Will Be”

The Hymn

Jim Hill wrote “What a Day That Will Be” in 1955. The Golden Keys Quartet first presented it in public.  Though it became one of their most requested songs to perform, it did not cause much stir until the 1970’s. By 2000, it has become popular among churches and itinerant gospel singers. Today, it’s considered a gospel standard fit for any occasion.

The first to hear Hill’s song was none other than the woman who inspired it. His mother-in-law’s face brightened after hearing the tune. Whatever came after her hospitalization, she and her family must have been at peace.

The Songwriter

A former salesman of shoes, he felt the call to do music ministry.
He was the first tenor and lead singer for the New Stamps Quartet in the 1960’s. Their recording of Hill’s song, “What a Day That Will Be” became the highest selling album in the gospel community. He then moved to the Statesmen Quartet and made huge breaks, as well.  In 2012, he won the Southern Gospel Music Award.

In his late years, he became part of Bill Gaither’s Homecoming. His singing and songwriting career spanned for decades until January 2018.