Thinking outside the box

It’s fairly well-known that the first major rendition of a song typically defines it…until someone thinks outside the box. Let’s think outside the box today and re-define some songs that we think we know.

  • “Plan of Salvation.” George Younce’s definitive version has tagged this song as a standard bass solo–but picture tenor David Sutton (Triumphant Quartet) doing it.
  • “I’ve Just Started Living” . . . by the Inspirations?
  • “I Know I’m Going There.”Β  This song was originally done by the Kingdom Heirs; imagine a Hoppers rendition.
  • “My Name is Lazarus.” Picture this as a fast trio song no more once the McKameys record a slightly slower mid-tempo rendition.
  • “Mary for a While.” If you don’t see the incongruity in an Oak Ridge Boys version of this Perrys song, it’s too early in the morning. Get another cup of coffee.

Your turn.


For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

22 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. “If We Are The Body” – Casting Crowns’ debut hit, as done by the [not new] Florida Boys (do you think Les could pull that off?)

    Actually, I HAVE wanted to hear the Vocal Band do a cut on “There Rose A Lamb,” but since Bill and Gloria didn’t write it, that may never happen.

  2. “Get Away Jordan” by the Singing Cookes

  3. I love it! πŸ˜†

    How about “The Blind Man Saw it All” by the Inspirations?

  4. I think somebody should record “Oh What A Savior” or “I Stand Redeemed” and turn it into a bass solo. That’d turn some heads!

  5. Aaron, someone already has followed your advice for “Oh, What A Savior.” Have you heard Ernie Haase sing the song? It puts me in the mind of Big Chief himself…

    Sorry… I couldn’t resist that one.

  6. “Happy Rhythm” by the Primitive Quartet

  7. I wonder how either how the Talley Trio would sound singing a Selah song like You Raise Me Up.I would like to hear the McKameys cover The Walk.Maybe Peg could kick her shoes in time to that one…

  8. #5: I was just waiting for that one! lol

  9. The Dove Brothers also sing “Get Away, Jordan.”
    Talley Trio’s “Orphans Of God” (from Selah).
    I know Ernie Haase wrote the song, but the Cathedrals sang “He Made a Change” and now Ernie Haase and Signature Sound redid it on the “Get Away Jordan” project.

  10. “How about β€œThe Blind Man Saw it All” by the Inspirations?”

    Can you just drop a hammer on my toe instead?

  11. The Hoppers singing that song? Two words: No bass.

  12. #10 – I wondered if anyone would have a reaction to that! Neither the Inspirations nor the Booth Brothers are on my top 10 list of favorite groups, but since I don’t care for progressive arrangements there’s an outside chance I’d like the Inspirations rendition more. πŸ˜› πŸ˜†

    #11 – That’s part of the idea of this song. I’m trying to push everyone a little (all in good fun, of course!) to imagine the songs out of their original context. Imagine the song as something other than a bass solo–suppose the soprano (Kim) takes the lead in that chorus instead. πŸ™‚

  13. I’d like to hear Gold City sing “Not In A Million Years” as made popular by the Bishops!

  14. Oh, I forgot! Mark Lowry sings “Untitled Hymn” originally done by Chris Rice. I rather prefer Chris Rice’s version, though…..

  15. What has already been done:
    ————————————
    The Rochesters have on a project their version of “If You Only Knew” (yes, the Inspirations’ song). I heard it on the radio a few weeks ago.

    Legacy 5 also recorded “He Made A Change”, on the video “Live At The Palace”. They actually did it better than the Cathedrals’ studio cut, with just Scott Fowler and Roger playing bass and piano, respectivley.
    The Carolina Boys’ song “Where Would You Go” sounds exactly like the type of song the Inspirations would do. It didn’t really fit with the rest of the CB’s release “Ready”.
    The Kingsmen, Brian Free & Assurance, and The Statler Brothers all have recorded “Hide Thou Me” with the lead singer featured.
    Tim Surrett has a great recording of “Tears Will Never Stain The Streets Of That City” on a bluegrass solo CD. Hard to imagine that.
    ————————–
    What has yet to be done:
    A good bass singing “Looking For A City”.

    The Dixie Melody Boys singing “I’m A Soldier”. Dixie Echoes singing “Long As I Got King Jesus”. (yes, those are extremely outside the box)
    Balsam Range staging “I Will Rise Up From The Grave”. That might actually work.
    The Hoppers singing “Ain’t No Grave”
    Better yet, Crabb Revival doing “I’ll Live Again” and “God Sits On High”.

  16. I think that the Carolina Boys lineup of Derrick Boyd, Tim Surrett, and Jason Selph had the vocal sound to be able to suceed in bluegrass gospel.
    Could you imagine “Stand Up” played with a banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, dobro, and upright bass??

  17. Be careful there, you’re insulting the Carolina Boys. πŸ˜‰

    BTW, Quaid, I would have figured that I was maybe the only one to prefer L5’s live version (of “He Made a Change.”) I also prefer (I think, at least a little bit) to their live version of “You’d Better Run” to their own studio version, which was done first.

    The Primitives did Hovie Lister’s “When He Calls Me I’ll Fly Away.”

  18. I don’t like the thought of the Carolina Boys doing bluegrass, but if any male quartet could have done it great, it would have to be that lineup.
    The Primitives doing “When He Calls” would be very interesting to hear. But I suspect that they would be challenged to end it like Jay and Tim did on Gold City’s live video.
    Here’s some more:
    The Isaacs singing ” Is That Footsteps That I Hear” (Lilly leading the chorus???)
    Inspirations singing “The One I’m Dying For” (the world isn’t ready for that!!!)
    Mark Bishop singing “Took It All Away”
    Whisnants singing “Jeursalem”

  19. The Imperials singing “The Heavenly Parade”
    The Pfeifers singing/playing “An Old Convention Song”
    The McKameys singing “I Know What Lies Ahead”
    Gold City singing “Sawdust & Folding Chairs”

  20. I have always wanted to hear someone else other than the Cathedrals do “We Shall See Jesus,” a song that definitely needs to stay alive out there on the stage, but instead of the lead singing the entire series of verses leading up to the chorus, separate them by part – perhaps the lead singing the first, the bass or baritone singing the second, more gloomy part about the crucifixion, and the tenor bringing it home with the resurrection and ascension verse – imagine if the Vocal Band with Guy and David had recorded that!

  21. Jermey, imagine the Perrys doing it like this:
    Nick-1st verse
    Tracy-2nd verse
    Joseph-3rd verse
    Libbi- leading the chorus after a key change.

  22. That would be good, but I think that putting Joseph on the first verse, Tracy on the second, and Libbi on the third might be even better.