Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

The Inspiration Behind Alan Jackson’s “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder”

by

How does it make you feel when the Lord calls upon each one of us, and you found out that some of the people you love were not mentioned? Does it bother you that some names may not be called when Jesus returns? This thought haunted the man behind the song “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder,” written by James Milton Black.

The Inspiration Behind “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder”

Black was a Sunday school teacher and hymnal composer. The song was born from an experience he encountered in his life. He met a young girl and invited her to join his Sunday classes. One day when he was doing a roll call, the girl was absent. He was worried about what had happened to her. So he went to the girl’s house and found out that she was sick.

Thinking about the girl who was not in his class made Black thought what if God is calling us and one of us is not present. This thought troubled him that he went home and search for a song related to this topic. Sadly, he couldn’t find one, and that is when he decided to write something about it.

Aside from the girl being Black’s inspiration, he was also inspired by the Book of Life. This is a book known to contain the names of all the people who are destined to enter the gates of Heaven.

Different Versions

This hymn became incredibly popular that it has been translated into different languages, and covered by numerous artists such as Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and many more.

Alan Jackson’s Album

Alan Jackson released his first gospel album Precious Memories. The album entered the top of the Country and Christian chart. It featured fifteen gospel songs that are known by many. Since it was a hit, Jackson decided to make a part two album. Therefore, he released his album Precious Memories Volume II in 2013. He included his cover of the song “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder.”

Jackson maintained the original tune of the song and made it purely magical. His rendition sounds nostalgic, making you bring back the memories of your childhood as you listen to the choir sing on a Sunday morning service.

Chart Performance

Precious Memories Volume II also reached the top of the Christian chart. In addition, it secured a spot on the country album and Billboard 200 chart.

You can listen to Alan Jackson’s version of “When The Roll is Called Up Yonder” below.

Latest Stories

Keith Urban Still Tries to 'Impress' Wife Nicole Kidman with His Concerts

Keith Urban Always Aims to Impress Wife Nicole Kidman Onstage

To anyone who said love is dead hasn’t surely met Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. The longtime couple of almost 18 years –with two kids, Sunday and Faith – is ...

Martina McBride + God's Will

Martina McBride’s “God’s Will” is a Message of Hope

Released in November 2004, “God’s Will” is a faith-filled country song that will lift up your spirits. Martina McBride’s chart-topping songs such as “A Broken Wing” and “Wrong Again” have ...

The Lumineers + Cleopatra

Unravel a Nostalgic Feeling with The Lumineers’ “Cleopatra”

Written by Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, The Lumineers’ “Cleopatra” is a notable record for its raw and acoustic sound. Released on March 25, 2016, the song was a track ...

Montgomery Gentry + Lucky Man

“Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry is Indeed a Lucky Song

Kentucky natives Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry released a single, “Lucky Man,” in January 2007 to express gratitude and appreciation for life despite its negativities. It was the second single ...

Mo Pitney + Duct Tape and Jesus

Story Behind Mo Pitney’s Hit Song “Duct Tape and Jesus”

It seems that Mo Pitney has stayed true to his words and kept traditional country music relevant with his new song, “Duct Tape and Jesus.” American country singer Morgan Daniel ...

Dolly Parton + Power in the Blood

Dolly Parton’s Cover of “Power in The Blood”: A Gospel Classic Reimagined

With a career in the country music scene for over 50 years, Parton is known for singing several gospel songs, like “The Seeker,” “I Believe,” and “Daddy Was An Old ...

Al Dexter Death

Al Dexter: Honky Tonk Pioneer’s Legacy After Death

American country musician and songwriter Al Dexter has written and recorded numerous Western country songs like Pistol Packin’ Mama, which have become big hits. That is why the world was ...

The Statler Brothers + Rock of Ages

Believe in God’s All-Powerful Ability with The Statler Brothers Cover of “Rock of Ages”

In 1992, The Statler Brothers released a cover of the hit gospel song “Rock of Ages” on their album Gospel Favorites. The song was originally written as a hymn by ...

Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson + Everything's Beautiful (In Its Own Way)

Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson’s Amazing First Duet with “Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way)”

In 1982, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson released their first-ever collaboration song, “Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way),” as part of Dolly Parton’s studio album, My Favorite Songwriter, Porter Wagoner.  ...

Crazy Horse + I Don't Want to Talk About It

Meaning Behind Crazy Horse Song “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”

In 1971, known American country rock band Crazy Horse released “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” as part of their debut album of the same name.  The band consists ...

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.