October 21, 2022

The Many Versions of “Where the Soul Never Dies” by Country Artists

A place where there are no sad farewells nor tear-stained eyes, only peace and joy and love – that is where the soul never dies. It’s such a comforting feeling to know that beyond the life that we are living, there is such a place where there are no sorrows or worries. There’s a place where all that we feel is love and happiness, where we will be spending eternity. That is what the song “Where the Soul Never Dies” tells us.

“Where the Soul Never Dies” gives us a glimpse of what’s in store for us in the place where our soul will never die: heaven. The song was originally sung by Rev. M. L. Thrasher and His Gospel Singers in 1928 and was written and composed by William Matthew Golden. Although there is no information on when Golden wrote the beautiful song, it was believed that he wrote most of his songs while serving an eight-year sentence in a state penitentiary.

The gospel song “Where the Soul Never Dies” has inspiring lyrics with a beautiful meaning that it was covered by several artists throughout the years, including many country musicians. With over 52 versions, let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular versions of “Where the Soul Never Dies” by country artists.

The Blue Sky Boys (1936)

The country duo, The Blue Sky Boys, had one of the earliest versions of “Where the Soul Never Dies” and possibly the earliest version of the song available online. 

Hank Williams & His Drifting Cowboys (1962)

Hank Williams Sr. and his backing group, the Drifting Cowboys, also made a version of the song with a faster tempo. The song was released ten years after it was recorded.

Jim & Jesse and The Virginia Boys (1964)

Bluegrass duo Jim & Jesse recorded their version of the gospel song, along with their backing band, The Virginia Boys. Their rendition included impressive bluegrass instrumentals and highlighted how the duo harmonizes in their songs.

Bonnie Owens (1970)

Bonnie Owens’ version also featured a distinctive country sound in the instrumentals and had backup vocals in the chorus that complimented her voice. 

Willie Nelson (1976)

Willie Nelson sang his version of “Where the Soul Never Dies” on his hit album, The Troublemaker, which also includes other gospel songs that he sang in a honky-tonk style.

The Oak Ridge Boys (1976)

The country and gospel quartet, The Oak Ridge Boys, gave the song a twist with a slower tempo at the beginning that suddenly changes and becomes faster in the middle part.

Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice (1980)

Award-winning neotraditional country and bluegrass singer Ricky Skaggs and guitarist Tony Rice made their version of the song in their collaboration album Skaggs & Rice. In their version, they changed the title and the lyrics to “Where the Soul of Man Never Dies.”

This list only shows a few out of the many versions of “Where the Soul Never Dies.” Which one is your favorite?


Bonnie Owens, hank williams, Jim & Jesse, Ricky Skaggs, The Blue Sky Boys, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Virginia Boys, Tony Rice, Willie Nelson

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