About the Gospel
An all-time gospel hymn written in the 19th century, “The Unclouded Day,” also known as Uncloudy Day was penned by American circuit-riding preacher Josiah Kelly Alwood in 1879. The song has become a standard gospel hymn in churches to which it has become popular across the world over time. Additionally, it has been recorded numerous times over the years ever since it was released.
In fact, “The Unclouded Day” went on to be a song of the American gospel, soul and R&B group The Staple Singers in 1956. Consequently, it led to the success of the group inspiring the young Bob Dylan one time he watched them. Later, Dylan expressed:
“[The song was] the most mysterious thing I’d ever heard.”
The Story Behind
In the late 1870’s, Rev. Josiah Kelly Alwood encountered an event that changed his life. As a result, he was so inspired by it that he related the story in crafting in what would be known as “The Unclouded Day,” a gospel staple around the world.
Below is an experience of Alwood that led him to write the classic gospel hymn:
It was a balmy night in August 1879, when returning from a debate in Spring Hill, Ohio, to my home in Morenci, Michigan, about 1:00 a.m. I saw a beautiful rainbow north by northwest against a dense black nimbus cloud. The sky was all perfectly clear except this dark cloud which covered about forty degrees of the horizon and extended about halfway to the zenith. The phenomenon was entirely new to me and my nerves refreshed by the balmy air and the lovely sight. Old Morpheus was playing his sweetest lullaby. Another mile of travel, a few moments of time, a fellow of my size was ensconced in sweet home and wrapped in sweet sleep. A first class know-nothing till rosy-sweet morning was wide over the fields.
To awake and look abroad and remember the night was to be filled with sweet melody. A while at the organ brought forth a piece of music now known as “The Unclouded Day.” A Day and a half was bestowed on the four stanzas. — A Rainbow at Midnight and A Song With Morning (1896)
The Hee Haw Gospel Quartet Version
As mentioned earlier, “The Unclouded Day” has since been covered by a number of artists. Most notably, Johnny Cash rendered his own version in 1970. In addition, Willie Nelson in 1977, Don Henley in 1982, Randy Travis in 2003, Brad Paisley in 2005, and Brenda Lee in 2007.
In 1994, in one of the episodes of the Hee Haw show, the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet performed their vivacious version of “The Unclouded Day.” With Roy Clark playing the guitar, Buck Owens, Grandpa Jones, and Kenny Prices commanded the stage with their heavenly voices. What a joy to praise the Lord and watch all the four sing in unison and harmony.
WATCH: The Hee Haw Gospel Quartet perform the 1879 gospel hymn, “The Unclouded Day.”
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