Song Snapshots #27: That’s All I Need

Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs.

Joseph Habedank had the idea for “That’s All I Need” on a Singing at Sea cruise in 2009 or 2010. “I just had this chorus going in my head,” he recalls, “and I thought, ‘Nothing will ever come of that. It’s too traditional, it’s too quartety.’”

He sang the song for his fianceé Lindsay. (She is now his wife). She said, “I actually think that could be good.”

He said, “Yeah, but it’s so traditional!”

She replied, “Well, just keep working on it.”

So he kept working on the song; he would write it while driving from his home in Nashville to visit Lindsay at her home in Kingsport, Tennessee.

He wrote it with his own group, The Perrys, in mind. “Troy Peach was with us at the time,” Joseph remembers; “He wanted to cut that song. And it just didn’t work out; he couldn’t convince the rest of the group to cut it. And then the Kingsmen cut it, and had a #1 with it!” It was his second #1 hit, and the first he’d written by himself.

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20 Letters to the Editor

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  1. “Too traditional”?! Glad he didn’t let that stop him. We need more traditional!

  2. I’ll echo Brian in questioning the “too traditional” comment. When did traditional become a negative?

    • I think his point was that it fell outside of the style he usually writes – his comfort zone – not that traditional is a bad thing.

    • To be fair, I think Joseph was really thinking “too traditional quartet” for the Perrys…not necessarily that “traditional” was a bad thing. And he was probably right…it definitely went to the right group. I just hope people keep on writing “traditional” stuff!

  3. Love this song! The first version was with the Kingsmen with Bryan Hutson and Harold Reed. But after they departed and were replaced by Bob Sellers and Chris Jenkins, they kept singing this great song. So glad they did!! 🙂

  4. Which title does Joseph prefer and/or what is the official published title?

    _Grace Says_ and the Crossroads accompaniment products list it as “He’s Everything I Need (That’s All I Need),” but _Front Row Live_ lists it simply as “That’s All I Need.”

    • The official title is “That’s All I Need.” The other has been filed with BMI as a recognized alternate title, though, I believe.

    • Yea, and hope people don’t mix this song up with the song the kingsmen did year ago, called “He’s All I Need”.

  5. Is it the best uptempo song the Kingsmen have recorded since “God Sits on High”? In my opinion, it just might be. What others would be in that conversation?

    • do you mean what song that went to #1 ?

      • The only other uptempo song in that time frame that I would mention is “God Can Save Anybody, Anywhere, Anytime”. I really love that song as well!

      • There were tons of uptempo songs recorded since god Sits on High. You need to go back and search thru your library boys!

      • David, I think you didn’t read the actual question asked. 🙂 The question wasn’t whether the Kingsmen recorded any uptempo songs between “God Looks on High” and “That’s All I Need.” The question was whether there were any better.

        Also, whether or not you think “That’s All I Need” is the strongest in the last 10 years, it’s not safe to assume that anyone who has a differing opinion has not heard their other fast songs.

      • Yes, David…I’m just not sure there is any better in that time frame than “That’s All I Need”. That’s how strong a song I think it is.

    • A conversation in a thread on a different blog reminded me of “I’ll Not Turn Back,” which is another one of my favorite songs they’ve recorded in the last 10 or so years.

      • I thought about “I’ll Not Turn Back” but I don’t really consider that one an uptempo song. It is more of a medium tempo in my opinion.

  6. Ok, i guess since it went to #1 is what you mean. it is a very good song.

  7. Love this song by the Kingsmen. I had forgotten that Joseph had written it. Keep on writing these traditional quartet songs, Joseph.

  8. Love the song, love traditional quartet music and love that is ended up in the hands of the Kingsmen. Nice job, Joseph.

  9. Kingsmen or Perrys, that was going to be a hit, regardless.