Even though Tammy Wynette made her name in the genre as the First Lady of Country Music for her renowned hits about the whims of young love and the sadness of heartbreak, she also lent her voice to some of the most treasured gospel songs and classic hymns – this includes “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.”
The traditional gospel ballad dates back to before the Civil War and gained greater popularity in the 1930s when African-American churches began holding musical conventions. It has since been covered by numerous country artists, including Patsy Cline, Randy Travis, Charley Pride, and George Jones. But Wynette’s version remains one of our favorites, and for a very great reason.
Wynette’s hauntingly beautiful voice and the passion she put into her performance makes her rendition stand out from all others.
Her Hopeful Voice Truly Shines Through Gospel Songs
In 1969, country music fans were surprised when Tammy Wynette released her sixth studio album called Inspiration, her first collection of hymns covers and other inspirational numbers. While the eleven tracks in the record were quite different from the earlier released songs of Tammy Wynette, it received positive reviews from various music critics – with one calling it “a riveting collection of gospel numbers.”
In addition to “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” the religious material also featured Wynette’s covers of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “How Great Thou Art,” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Make sure to listen to Tammy Wynette’s breathtaking rendition of “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” in the video below. Performances like this prove exactly why Wynette is considered to be a country music icon. There’s no one else out there that can sing quite as she can.