2012 in Review: Top 10 Songs

We’ve already covered the year’s strongest albums. What were the strongest new Southern Gospel songs of 2012?

  1. “Good News from Jerusalem” (Dianne Wilkinson, Jerry Salley)—Our Anthem, Tribute Quartet, reviewed here.
  2. “I Want to Be That Man” (Lee Black, Ricky Free)—Nothing But Love, Brian Free & Assurance, reviewed here. It was also featured in our Song Snapshots column, here.
  3. “I Am a Vessel” (Amber Maxwell)— Precious Seed, The McKameys, reviewed here.
  4. “Fool’s Gold” (David Phelps)—Pure and Simple, Gaither Vocal Band.
  5. “Broken World” (Tery Wilkins, Bev Herrema, Sean Smith)—Love Won, The Talleys.
  6. “Travelers Protected by Grace” (Kyla Rowland)—Joy in the Storm, The Diplomats, reviewed here.
  7. “But He Did” (Kyla Rowland)—Make Mine the Real Thing, Barry Rowland & Deliverance, reviewed here.
  8. “The Song of Heaven” (Barbara Huffman)—Our Anthem, Tribute Quartet, reviewed here.
  9. “The Church Will Overcome” (Dianne Wilkinson)—Love Won, The Talleys.
  10. “Love Covers All” (Kenna Turner West, Marty Funderburk, John Lemonis)—Love Won, The Talleys.

Also worthy of mention are six particularly strong performances of songs that had been previously recorded. These six are so strong that they are the new definitive versions of their respective songs:

  1. “Through,” A Tribute to the Songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither, Booth Brothers, reviewed here.
  2. “Who is He in Yonder Stall,” Feels Like Christmas, The Collingsworth Family, reviewed here.
  3. “The King is Coming,” Lifetime, Mark Trammell Quartet, reviewed here.
  4. “Glorious Freedom,” Pure and Simple, Gaither Vocal Band.
  5. “When He Spoke,” Through the Night, Perrys, reviewed here.
  6. “Wonderful Time Up There,” Lifetime, Mark Trammell Quartet, reviewed here.

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16 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I agree that “I Am a Vessel” is a great song! Daniel, do you know if this will be the second single from Precious Seed?

    • The second single hasn’t been picked/finalized yet, at least as of yesterday.

  2. I must not be a true SG fan anymore 🙂 I only recognized one of your top 10 list! 🙂

    • From what you’ve mentioned as liking in the past, I really think you would enjoy “But He Did” and “Travelers Protected by Grace.” I think there are probably several others that you’d really enjoy, too.

      Referring back to my comments on Tuesday about this being a slump year, I’m afraid that a few of the groups who reliably come out with several songs worthy of this list most years didn’t this year.

      • I like the Diplomats, so I’ll have to check it out. Never heard the other group.

  3. Good lists, glad to see Pure and Simple at least represented here…or was it in your album list too and I missed it? 😉

    By the way, I’ve listened to Booth Brothers version of Through several times. Curious as to why you would call it the definitive version over the GVb on Give It Away?

    • The unison lines, the tight trio harmonies, the solos – it all seemed to be perfect for this song.

      • I guess the Brothers’ tender delivery is a little softer than Guy’s, so their solos might be considered a better fit for the song. But the unison lines sound very similar, and the harmonies were very tight with the GVB as well. Both are good.

  4. Interesting you should mention “Through” as a new definitive—I think since it uses the same track and matches the GVB note-for-note it’s really not that different (though it sounds great!)

  5. Daniel, I appreciate your incluing The Song Of Heaven in your Top Ten Strongest New Songs for 2012. That is very kind of you, and I thank you for the recognition. The song is very special to me because of its inspiration coming from my youth pastor at our church, and because of my dear friends, Tribute Quartet, delivering an outstanding performance enhanced by the masterful arrangement by Roger Talley. And you are absolutely accurate in placing “Good News From Jerusalem” at the top of your list. I have listened to a lot of songs this year, and this one co-written by my songwriting mama and Jerry Salley has to take top honors. I’ve used the description “jaw-dropping, show-stopping” and it truly is that. In concert, it never fails to bring folks to their feet. Josh Singletary is at his finest vocally to date on this song, and I hope “Good News” finds its way to radio very soon, because it sure sounds like a number one to me.

    • Thank you! Your song completely deserved making this list!

      I totally agree that “Good News from Jerusalem” sounds like a #1 to me, and that it is Josh’s best vocal performance to date.

  6. Your #1 is not my #1, but it’s pretty close. We definitely have some commonalities on this list too. Hopefully I’ll get them posted next week.

  7. Agreed on Numbers 1, 2, and 4 for sure. Haven’t heard #3, but good Top 5! I really liked “Homesick Angel” from “Our Anthem.” IMO, it is the second-strongest on the album. I think good fast-paced songs can be just as strong as ballads, and I take into account more than lyric. Will I listen to this song over and over?

  8. Interesting to me there are no songs by The Hoppers, Legacy Five, Greater Vision and many of the other top tier groups. Is this a shift?

    • Actually, it’s quite simple. Legacy Five’s and Greater Vision’s current mainline releases both came out in 2011, and a number of the strongest songs on the Hoppers’ current release had been previously recorded.

  9. Brian Free has announced on Facebook that “I Want To Be That Man” is rated #1 for February according to Singing News. I cannot think of a more appropriate song in light of today’s events in Connecticut.