Song Snapshots #37: When It Hurts So Bad I Call the Great Physician (Original Couriers)

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

On their final recording, the original Couriers (Dave Kyllonen, Duane Nicholson, and Neil Enloe) recorded a new song written by Neil Enloe, “When it Hurts So Bad.”

To understand the song, Enloe recalls, you have to understand where he comes from: “I was raised in classic Pentecostalism; very, very, conservative, none of that holy roller stuff. I never saw anyone roll. I never saw anyone very holy, actually.”

“Along with other churches in the area,” he continues, “our church would sponsor a tent meeting every summer. We were bringing these healing evangelists, and they would pray for people. They’d have a ramp going up one side, the evangelist at the top, and then the ramp going down the other side.

“When someone got healed, everyone’s glorifying God, and it was really great. But I always felt bad for the ones that went down the other side, not getting anything. It always bothered me.”

One day, he realized that “there is a better healing than just having the pain go away. Paul calls it the fellowship of His suffering. And I think that pain, in and of itself, gives you a little more insight into what Jesus went through in our behalf.”

This inspired the line “When it hurts so bad I call the Great Physician.” The song’s narrator never ends up getting healed; “the actual punch line,” Enloe shares, is, “I can always count on Him to gently lift me upward, and I rise above my pain and misery.”

“I believe in healing,” he clarifies. “But the song doesn’t promise healing. I’m not going to say, ”Tis Done.'”

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Friday News Roundup #224

Worth Knowing

Worth Watching

Matt Fouch, known for both his On The Couch With Fouch series and for singing bass for Legacy Five, recently launched a podcast and video blog. In last week’s episode, here, he mentioned that he will include a news section each week. This provides one more option for fans wondering where to keep up with the latest news once this site retires.

Also worth watching: This the first video I’ve seen of the Down East Boys with new bass singer Joe Brinkley:

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Bobby Clark passes away

Bobby Clark, original tenor for the Cathedral Quartet, passed away this afternoon at 12:10 P.M. He had suffered a stroke in February. A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, May 31 at 11:00 AM at the Temple Baptist Church in Flower Mound, Texas.

Clark was the last surviving member of the original Cathedrals lineup; lead singer Glen Payne passed away in 1999, bass singer George Younce in 2005, and baritone/pianist Danny Koker in 2008. This is the 50th anniversary of the quartet’s 1964 start; he was the only alumnus to make live to see that fifty-year mark.

Here is a video of Clark at the Cathedrals Reunion videotaping:

That doesn’t quite do justice to the Cathedrals’ delightfully tight blend when Clark was with the group and in his vocal prime. Though this is audio only, it comes closer:

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Song Snapshots #36: Give Me Jesus (Couriers)

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

One day, the Couriers were in downtown Philadelphia. They were visiting a long-time supporter of the group who had invited them over for a meal. “She has gone on to be with the Lord now, but she would come to our concerts for years,” Couriers lead singer Neal Enloe recalls. “She had us come to her house, saying, ‘We want to fix a meal for you.’”

He recalls that her house was on a narrow street and had a tiny porch. “The food wasn’t ready,” he recalls, “so I went out to the front porch just to sit down and think a little bit.”

“All of a sudden,” he says, “the idea for ‘Give Me Jesus’ came to me,” and he wrote it in no time flat.

The song’s message of submission still resonates deeply with him. “I like songs that put me on the altar, because that’s where the most meaningful part of my life has been lived. That’s one of them.”

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