Song Snapshots #28: Ordinary Man

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

Several months after Joseph Habedank joined The Perrys, Joel Lindsey invited him to Nashville to co-write songs together. “Joel was the first person to bring me to Nashville to write,” Joseph recalls. “I was eighteen years old. It’s been almost ten years ago.”

One day, they met at Daywind to work on a different song. After they worked on it for a while, Joel said, “I’ve got another idea,” and brought up the idea for “Ordinary Man.” The Booth Brothers were looking for songs at the time, and Joel and Joseph wrote the song with them in mind. (They passed on the song.)

It ultimately took five or six years for the song to get cut. At the time Joel and Joseph wrote the song, it probably would not have occurred to anyone to pitch it to the Kingsmen. But in April 2008, they released a CD entitled When God Ran; its title track became a #1 hit in February 2009.

Joseph Habedank recalls that he was surprised when he heard that The Kingsmen had cut “Ordinary Man”; “It’s not what you think if when you think of the Kingsmen.” But, he added, it made more context in light of “When God Ran”—“That song was an old Contemporary Christian song from back in the ‘80s. In that light, I could understand why they cut it.”


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11 Letters to the Editor

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  1. This is the first I’ve heard of Joseph since his departure from the Perrys. Are there updates to what he’s doing?

    • Actually, I conducted the interview this came from while he was still with the Perrys; I’ve just spread the song stories from that interview over the period of quite a few months.

  2. What chart did this song reach #1?

    • I didn’t say this song reached #1, did I?

      • AHHH, I read to fast. Sorry! When God Ran was a number 1.

      • No problem. 🙂

  3. To my knowledge, the Kingsmen did not release this song to radio, but they certainly could have because it’s a great song! In fact, just about every song on that “Back to Grace” album is great. It’s my favorite album by the Kingsmen in the last 10-15 years!

  4. Maybe I did not understand your statement about “Ordinary Many” , but it was not on “When God Ran”. It was on the Kingsmen CD “Grace Says”

    • He didn’t say that the song was on the When God Ran CD. He said that after the Kingsmen released When God Ran, it made more sense that they would cut “Ordinary Man,” which they did on Grace Says.

  5. I love that song and the whole album “Grace Says”! Any idea when the Kingsmen are going to do an album with all-new material?

  6. “Ordinary Man” is still a favorite of mine. I was amazed at all the groups that passed on the song.
    I pitched it to the Kingsmen and to our record company; Crossroads and they all loved it.
    Stylistically, it fit well with “When God Ran” and lyrically it was phenomenal. Both songs spoke to

    I may cut it again with Soul’d Out Quartet or on a solo album (not planning a solo career- rumors! Haha)

    Thanks! Bryan