February 14

“I’ll Fly Away:” A Gospel Song with Different Versions

There are many gospel songs known already, such as “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” and more. All of these songs are commonly recorded by many artists from different genres, but do you know what the most recorded gospel song is?

The Most Recorded Gospel Song

“I’ll Fly Away” is considered to be the most commonly recorded gospel song. The exact reason may not be known, but maybe it could be because of the beautiful words of it.

The Composer

The words to this popular hymn were written by Albert E. Brumley in 1929. He was inspired to write the song when he was working on his father’s farm in Rock Island, Oklahoma. The inspiration came to him while he was humming “The Prisoner’s Song.”

Different Versions

We present to you the list of artists who covered this gospel song.

The Selah Jubilee Singers

In 1941, a group of singers called The Selah Jubilee Singers recorded the song. However, the exact date of the release was unknown.

i'll fly away gospel song george jones selah jubilee singers
Photo Credit: The Selah Jubilee Singers/ brumleymusic.com

The Chuck Wagon Gang

The group Chuck Wagon Gang released their version in 1950, and it sold millions of copy. Their cover was chosen by The National Recording Registry for being artistically and culturally significant.

George Jones

Of course, we should not forget George Jones’ version. Jones grew up listening to gospel songs, therefore, it’s not a surprise if he covered “I’ll Fly Away.” Jones included his cover in his 1965 album Old Brush Arbors.

Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch

The version that sells the most was by Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch. In addition, Krauss and Welch’s version won in the 2002 Grammy award. They brought home the award for Album of the Year and The Best Soundtrack Album.

Krauss and Welch’s cover became part of the American film O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson released his first gospel album Precious Memories in 2006. The album became a hit, reaching the top of the Country Album, and Christian chart. In addition, it secured a spot on the Billboard 200. His top-performing album included this inspiring gospel song.

Which version of “I’ll Fly Away” do you like the most? Why do you think that this is the most recorded gospel song?


Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, chuck wagon gang, George Jones, gospel song, i'll fly away, Selah Jubilee Singers

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