Elvis Presley absolutely shook the world with his irresistible brand of rock ‘n’ roll, but he also brought the world to church with his stunning, poignant gospel music – like this very popular Southern gospel song, “Farther Along.”
Elvis Presley’s Love For Traditional Sacred Music
Elvis Presley‘s love for traditional sacred music has always been as big as his love for soul, country, and rock – perhaps even more so. After all, it is where everything began! He had grown up singing gospel songs at church in Tupelo, Mississippi. While his early success in rock and roll changed his musical direction, he never stopped singing those hymns.
In 1967, the King of Rock and Roll released the gospel album How Great Thou Art.
After the initial success of Elvis Presley songs, his movie career started to decline by the mid-1960s. However, he achieved continued success on his earlier gospel recording, His Hand in Mine. Meanwhile, his 1965 single “Crying in the Chapel” surprisingly became a major hit. As a result, Presley’s record label finally accepted his proposal for a follow-up release.
So, in the spring of 1966, Presley embarked on a four-day recording of How Great Thou Art. Presley’s friend, who was present at the session, noted that the singer was drained and almost fainted on the first day. Still, he went on the next day! He recorded “Farther Along” on the third day, in which he made some adjustments. It kicked off with a choir singing in a well-delivered manner, and the moment Presley began to sing – it never fails to send chills to your spine.
“Farther Along” sings about a Christian’s disappointment at the seeming prosperity of the wicked. It looks forward to that time and place where there will no longer be any deaths, grief, and torment.
While its origin is unknown, its oldest known print edition can be found in the 1911 Church of God hymnal Select Hymns for Christian Worship and General Gospel Service. Throughout the years, the hymn has been recorded by different artists, including Hank Williams, Glen Campbell, and Brad Paisley, among others.
You can listen to Elvis Presley’s mesmerizing rendition of “Farther Along” in the video below.