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December 8

That Song about the Spirit on an Elvis Presley Concert

During a 1972 concert tour, Elvis Presley had JD Sumner and The Stamps Quartet give a special. They sang a hymn called “Sweet, Sweet Spirit.”

Years later, in one interview with JD Sumner, he revealed how the song impacted Elvis. The King of Rock and Roll was in effect saying that he needed the Spirit. Without him, he would not have the strength and the ability to do his concert/s.

Owing to his Pentecostal roots, Elvis Presley was much fascinated with either soul or spirit songs. He was brought up in the AOG (Assembly of God), a denomination under the Pentecostal umbrella. As we all are aware of, Pentecostals are known for their earnest emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s works. That said, we could safely say that this concert king sincerely sought for the Spirit’s help.

Here is Elvis introducing “Sweet, Sweet, Spirit” to his audience. We could see in the video clip below how Elvis was moved by the song. Sang by the mellow harmony of J.D Sumner and The Stamps Quartet, it is a song to be remembered.

ABOUT THE HYMN

Written by the affectionately dubbed, “Miss Gospel Music”, Doris Mae Akers. After its publication in a 1989 Methodist Hymnal, ‘Sweet, Sweet Spirit” has lingered for years in churches. The wordings are simple and it paints an uncomplicated imagery of the Spirit working in the midst of God’s people.

Miss Akers’ inspiration was from an experience she had personally witnessed. While directing the choir one Sunday morning, she felt the need to pray more. She told the singers that they are not ready to go in yet until they had prayed enough. The singers did so and there was much fervor in their praying. The spectacle was so glorious! Even Miss Akers had to compel herself to discontinue it for the waiting congregation’s sake. The next day, she wrote the song.

To date, “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” could be heard sung in Christian meetings not just on Sundays but every time there is a gathering particular prayer.


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