One Way Flight – 1975

This song, as you’d find it on my iPod, was recorded by New Ground, a trio I heard somewhere… at some point… and from whom I bought a cassette. I’m sure the reason this song stuck with me was because I’d heard my relatives, Rodney and Angalee Rushing and their children sing it in our church… Antioch Baptist Church in Rushing, Arkansas.

I could find no information on New Ground. Nor could I find who wrote this song.
This song was made most popular by the Telestials, a southern gospel group that began in the 1960s.

This song speaks the invitation to salvation given to all people, likening it to one’s final flight to Heaven.
Bible Reference… John 3:3; 5:24; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:1-4.

There’s a flight leaving here in the morning;
Destination was charted long ago.
Now, the Captain is ready and waiting,
but the engines are still idled low.
Waiting now for those who still linger,
with unclaimed tickets, free for every man;
reservations secured by the Savior…
for this one way flight to Gloryland.

CHORUS:
“All aboard!” the Master calleth from the runway,
for our leaving is almost at hand.
Make your way to the toll-gate called Calvary…
for this one way flight to Gloryland.

Now this flight is for all those believing,
and our Pilot is Jesus, God’s Son.
And the passengers are all boarded safely;
they’re prepared for that heavenly run.
My brother, don’t let this flight leave without you,
for soon all those who are on board will say “goodbye”.
Make your way to the toll-gate called Calvary,
and secure your reservations in the sky.

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Touring That City – 1975

The song you’d find on my iPod was recorded by the Inspirations, and was the title song of their album.

The Inspirations, a Southern Gospel quartet, formed in 1964, when Swain County High School (TN) chemistry teacher, Martin Cook, and 3 of his students began to meet weekly to sing gospel songs.
Since then, the Inspirations have been considered one of the most important groups ever to sing and record Southern gospel music.

The song, “Touring That City” was written and composed by Harold Lane and Ben Speer.
Ben Lacy Speer (June 26, 1930 – April 7, 2017) was a singer, musician, music publisher, and record company executive. He sang for The Speer Family for most of his career. Speer later became the music director of the Gaither Homecoming programs. He was born in Double Springs, Alabama, the youngest child of Lena and G.T. Speer (affectionately known as “Mom” and “Dad” Speer to most people in Southern gospel music). He died on April 7, 2017 after suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

This song speaks of taking a stroll through Heaven.
Bible Reference… Revelation 20,21.

CHORUS:
Some morning you’ll find me touring that City, where the Son of God is the Light.
You’ll find me there on the streets so pretty, made of gold so pure and so bright.
With Jesus, the One who gave me the victory, Who led me across the divide;
some morning you’ll find me touring that City where, with Him, I will ever abide.

Many times I have wondered ’bout the sights of that city,
and all that my eyes shall behold.
I will see all the wonders when I enter that City, there forever, be safe in His fold.
(CHORUS)

Here, on earth, we have troubles that to us seem so heavy,
but in Heaven no one will be sad.
Mom and Dad will be singing, Heaven’s praises will be ringing
for the dearest Friend I ever had. (CHORUS)

Give Them All – 1975

The version of this song on my iPod was recorded by the Imperials, and was included on their album, No Shortage.

The song was written by Bob Benson, Sr & Phil Johnson.

Bob Benson was born in Nashville, TN, in August of 1930. He was a pastor, ordained to the ministry by the Church of the Nazarene. He received a Bachelor of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Divinity from Trevecca Nazarene College. Bob was a writer of religious material and authored 6 books. He was also a collaborator on many sacred musicals. He joined the John T. Benson Publishing Company in 1961 and served as vice-president for 15yrs before being appointed president. He held that position for 3 years. He and his father, John T. Benson, Jr., established Heartwarming Record Company. He was named a lifetime member of the Gospel Music Association. Bob Benson died in 1987.
Phil Johnson wrote many songs that were recorded by Southern Gospel and Contemporary Christian artists.
This early contemporary Christian song has been covered by several artists, including Evie and Christy Lane. But, the Imperials took it farther than anyone else had.

The Imperials are an American Christian music group that has been active for over 50 years. Originating as a southern gospel quartet, the innovative group would become pioneers of contemporary Christian music in the 1960s. There have been many changes for the band in membership and musical styles over the years. A favorite of Elvis Presley, they would go on to win four Grammys, and be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

I was first introduced to the Imperials by Eddie Leslie at Formosa Youth Camp as a teenager in 1977. He was a huge Imperials fan… and I’d never heard music like theirs before.

Bible Reference… Psalm 55:22; Luke 10:27; Philippians 4:6,7; 1Peter 5:7.

Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows?
Are you tired of spinning round and round?
Wrap up all those shattered dreams of your life
and at the feet of Jesus, lay them down.
CHORUS
Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus;
shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken toys.
Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus;
and He will turn your sorrows into joy.

He never said you would only see sunshine;
He never said there’d be no rain.
He only promised a heart full of singing
about the very things that once brought pain. (CHORUS 2x)

No Shortage – 1975

No Shortage

1975

This song was recorded by the Imperials, and was written by Gary Paxton.
It was the title song of their album released in 1975.

Gary Sanford Paxton (born Larry Wayne Stevens; May 18, 1939 – July 17, 2016) was an American record producer, recording artist, and Grammy and Dove Award winning songwriter. In the secular world of music, Paxton is most known for being a member of Skip & Flip and The Hollywood Argyles, and for being the producer of two #1 Billboard Hot 100 singles, “Alley Oop” for The Hollywood Argyles in 1960 and “Monster Mash” for Bobby “Boris” Pickett in 1962.
But, in the wake of his conversion to Christianity (late 1960s), Paxton focused his efforts on gospel music. He still kept one foot in the world of secular country during the early 1970s — writing and producing “Woman (Sensuous Woman)” for Don Gibson, along with two other country-chart hits, and at one point signing with RCA Records as a solo country artist — but gospel was now his chief priority. In 1973, he wrote and produced “L-O-V-E” for The Blackwood Brothers, who took home the Grammy for Best Gospel Performance. In 1975, Paxton won the Best Inspirational Grammy for his album The Astonishing, Outrageous, Amazing, Incredible, Unbelievable, Different World of Gary S. Paxton, which contained his oft-recorded devotional song “He Was There All the Time”. Appearing on his gospel album covers in a halo of facial hair and a tall-top cowboy hat, Paxton infused his religious work with the same eccentricity, individuality, and hippie humor that had characterized his 60s material in Los Angeles: acting the role of the Jesus freak, he likened himself to “an armpit in the body of Christ”.
Paxton’s gospel work was released through NewPax Records, another in his long series of labels, founded in 1975 as an outlet for his new ideas in songwriting and engineering. The label also released recordings by other Christian acts, including the Christian alternative rock band Daniel Amos. Paxton was inducted into the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1999 on the basis of his innovation and accomplishments in the field and his production and writing for numerous noted artists in the industry.

The Imperials are an American Christian music group that has been active for over 50 years. Originating as a southern gospel quartet, the innovative group would become pioneers of contemporary Christian music in the 1960s. There have been many changes for the band in membership and musical styles over the years. A favorite of Elvis Presley, they would go on to win four Grammys, and be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

The mid-seventies were a dark time here in the United States. In 1973, a Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for Americans to legally kill their own children in abortion clinics. In 1974, a president resigned after a bungled political burglary became a national obsession. Women were burning their bras because… well, we’re still not really sure. There was the energy crisis…economic stagnation and malaise…and don’t forget the shortages; there was a sugar shortage, a coffee shortage, a gas shortage, and a paper shortage. Oil, electricity and even onions were reported as being in limited supply. All of which created a “shortage psychology” among Americans.
This song, “No Shortage” by the Imperials, was, in many respects, ripped from the headlines.
These shortages – in gasoline and in some foods – caused long lines and, some situations, rationing. From that setting came this song… comparing the lack all around us to the unending supply of everything important that can be found in God.

I was first introduced to the Imperials by Eddie Leslie at Formosa Youth Camp as a teenager in 1977. He was a huge Imperials fan… and I’d never heard music like theirs before.

Bible Reference… Genesis 45:16-28; John 10:7-10; Romans 5:20,21.

There’s a shortage on corn, and there’s a shortage on wheat.
There’s a shortage on beans, and there’s a shortage on meat.
Things that we’re needing we just can’t hardly buy;
soon we’ll be asking if we’re all gonna die.
But I know a great thing that there’s no shortage of…
there’s no shortage on God’s mercy, there’s no shortage on God’s love.

There’s a shortage on fuel oil, and there’s a shortage on gas.
There’s a shortage on wood, and there’s a shortage on glass.
Things that we’ve wasted are now precious to buy;
you know there’s even a shortage on the air in the sky.
But I know a good thing that there’s no shortage of…
there’s no shortage on God’s mercy, there’s no shortage on God’s love.

CHORUS:
God is love and mercy unending;
His precious love will leave you no doubt.
When from Satan you need defending,
God has supply that will never run out.

There’s a shortage on friendship, there’s a shortage on smiles.
There’s a shortage on neighbors, though there’s millions for miles.
Thank Heaven for one thing that there’s no shortage of…
there’s no shortage on God’s mercy,
there’s no shortage on God’s love. (CHORUS)

There’s no shortage… there’s no shortage… [ad lib]

Green Pastures – 1974

Green Pastures

1974

The other version of this song may be more popular, but I’ve always liked this version better. You’d find this song (actually titled Going Up Home To Live In Green Pastures) on my iPod as recorded by Susie McEntire (Reba’s sister).
It is considered a bluegrass song, made famous by Ralph Stanley (and, later, Emmy Lou Harris & Ricky Staggs).

I don’t remember the first time I heard this song, but it was sung by a Southern Gospel group… possibly the Nelons.  I would have been in Junior High.
This is a song that speaks to salvation and the relationship one has with God after salvation.
Bible Reference… Psalm 23; John 10:1-18.

Troubles and trials often betray us, causing the weary body to stray.
But we shall walk beside the still water with the Good Shepherd leading the way.

CHORUS
Going up home to live in green pastures where we shall live and die never more.
Even the Lord will be in that number when we have reached that heavenly shore

Those who have strayed were sought by the Master;
He who once gave His life for the sheep.
Out on a mountain still He is searching, bringing them in forever to keep.
CHORUS

We would not heed the voice of the stranger, for he would lead us into despair.
Following home with Jesus, our Savior, we shall all reach that country so fair.
CHORUS

I’m Standing On The Solid Rock – 1973

I’m Standing on the Solid Rock

1973

The version of this song you’d find on my iPod was recorded by the Florida Boys.

This song was written by Harold Lane. Harold Lane was known for his time spent with the Speer Family. He was a mainstay in the group for over 20 years. He wrote many great songs while a member of the Speers.
Recorded by several artists during the late 1970’s, it was the Florida Boys version that became the standard. “I’m Standing On The Solid Rock” went on to win Southern Gospel song of the year in both 1978 and 1979.
Harold Lane received the honor of being inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Even though his tenure with the Speers will be most remembered, Harold was also a member of Homeland Harmony and the Gospel Harmony Boys.

The first time I heard this song was at youth camp at Camp Formosa at Formosa, Arkansas; the year would have been about 1978. It was sung by a local group of guys who were about 10 years older than me (I was about 13)… and they seemed so cool at the time. It stuck with me then… and has ever since.
Bible Reference… Matthew 7:24-27; 2Peter 1:19-21.

Through my disappointments, strife and discontentment,
I cast my every care upon the Lord.
No matter what obsession, pain or deep depression,
I’m standing on the solid rock.

Chorus:
I’m standing on the solid rock of ages
(standing on the rock, on the rock of ages);
safe from all the storm that rages
(safe from every storm, all the storm that rages);
rich, but not from Satan’s wages
(rich in love, I’m rich, not from Satan’s wages);
I’m standing on the solid rock.

Now I’m pressing onward; each step leads me homeward.
I’m trusting in my Savior day by day.
And close is our relation, firm is its foundation;
so on this solid rock I’ll stay. (Chorus)

Even though He’s gone now, I don’t feel alone now;
with comfort came the Spirit of the Lord.
Now, with His word to guide me, from temptations hide me,
I’m standing on the solid rock. (Chorus)

I’m standing on the solid rock. I’m standing on the solid rock (the solid rock).

Why Me, Lord? – 1972

Why Me, Lord?

1972

This song was written, and recorded first, by Kris Kristofferson… but it has been covered by many since. It was included on Kristofferson’s album, Jesus Was a Capricorn.

Kristofferson had become the toast of Nashville in the early 1970s, with the massive success of songs he’d written.
“Why Me” was recorded by Kristofferson in 1972, and features backing vocals by soon-to-be wife, Rita Coolidge, and up-and-coming singer-songwriter, Larry Gatlin. This song became the biggest hit of Kristifferson’s career.
According to country music historian, Bill Malone, Kristofferson wrote the song during an emotionally low period of his life… after having attended a religious service conducted by the Rev. Jimmie Rogers Snow. Malone wrote: “‘Why Me, Lord'” – as the song is sometimes known – may seem greatly out of character for Kristofferson, but it can be interpreted as his own personal religious rephrasing of ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down.’ In this case, he is ‘coming down’ not from drugs, but from the whole hedonistic euphoria of the (1960s).” Malone also described Kristofferson’s gruff vocal styling as “perfect” for the song, since “he sounds like a man who has lived a lot, but is now humbling himself before God.”
Kristofferson said he went with friends to the church service where he was moved by Larry Gatlin’s song, “Help Me (Lord)”. He said that he had never thought of needing help, but he was at a low point in his life. When the pastor asked the congregation, “Is anybody feeling lost?” “Up goes my hand,” Kristofferson says. The Pastor then asked, “Are you ready to accept Christ? Kneel down there.” “I’m kneeling there,” Kristofferson continues, “and I carry a big load of guilt around… and I was just out of control, crying. It was a release. It really shook me up.” Kristofferson later said, “It was just a personal thing I was going through at the time. I had some kind of experience that I can’t even explain.”

This song is a prayer… the kind of prayer you might expect a new Christian to pray.
Bible Reference… Acts 15:11; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 2:11.

Why me Lord?
What have I ever done to deserve even one… of the pleasures I’ve known.
Tell me, Lord
what did I ever do that was worth loving You… or the kindness You’ve shown.

CHORUS
Lord, help me, Jesus, I’ve wasted it so.
Help me, Jesus, I know what I am.
Now that I know that I’ve needed You so,
help me, Jesus, my soul’s in Your hand.
Tell me, Lord,
if You think there’s a way I can try to repay… all I’ve taken from You.
Maybe, Lord,
I can show someone else what I’ve been through myself…
on my way back to You. (CHORUS)

Put Your Hand in the Hand – 1971

Put Your Hand in the Hand

1971

The version of this song on my iPod was recorded by Lynn Anderson. I still have the album (Uptown Country Girl) I played over and over as a kid… and this song was on it.

Lynn Rene Anderson (September 26, 1947 – July 30, 2015) was an American country music singer known for a string of hits throughout the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, most notably her 1970 worldwide megahit, “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden.” Her crossover appeal and regular exposure on national television helped her become one of the most popular and successful country singers of the 1970s.

This song was a gospel pop song, composed by Gene MacLellan. It was first recorded by Canadian singer, Anne Murray, from her third studio album, Honey, Wheat and Laughter.
It became a hit single for the Canadian band, Ocean, released as the title track to their debut album. The single peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and went on to become 22nd best-seller of 1971. The song also reached number 4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
MacLellan suffered from depression throughout his life. During his later years, his condition worsened, leading to hospitalization at Prince County Hospital in Summerside. Shortly after his release from the hospital, MacLellan died at his home in Summerside, on January 19, 1995, due to suicide.

This song was a favorite of youth choirs in the early 1970s; it sounded like the songs they listened to on the radio, but had enough references to Jesus that it allowed them to sing the song in worship services.

Bible Reference… Matthew 8:23-27; 21:12-17; Mark 4:35-41; John 2:13-22.

CHORUS
Put your hand in the hand of the Man Who stilled the water;
put your hand in the hand of the Man Who calmed the sea.
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently;
put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee.

Momma taught me how to pray before I reached the age of seven;
when I’m down on my knees, that’s when I’m closest to Heaven.
Daddy lived his life, with two kids and a wife; well, you do what you must do.
But, he showed me enough of what it takes to get me through. (CHORUS)

Every time I look into the Holy Book, I wanna tremble…
when I read about the part where a Carpenter cleared the temple.
See, those buyers and the sellers were no diff’rent fellas
than what I profess to be;
and it causes me shame to know I’m not the man that I should be.

The Lighthouse – 1971

The Lighthouse

1971

This song was first recorded by the Goodmans, and then – later in the same year – the Hinsons.

This song was written in 1970 by Ronnie Hinson, who was a teenager at the time. He and his siblings were at “The Pentecostal Tabernacle” rehearsing for an upcoming concert and were searching for new material. Ronnie went to the downstairs bathroom with the intention of coming back with their new original hit song, and they all had a good laugh. He was gone for several minutes and returned to the sanctuary with a long piece of toilet paper… and a song titled, “The Lighthouse.” As he begin to sing what he’d written, someone grabbed it, wadded it up, laughed and told the family quartet to get back to the hymnals. His brother, Kenny, their guitar player, collected that piece of toilet paper out of the trash. When he started playing and singing, the presence of the Lord filled the sanctuary. A hit was born.
At the time Ronnie had written this song, he’d never laid eyes on a lighthouse. He truly did not understand what was so special about his song, until he jumped on his bicycle and rode 30 miles to find a lighthouse. He parked his bike and climbed up on a sand dune and, for the first time to his knowledge, saw the Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Santa Cruz, California. As he sat staring at the lighthouse that was so desolate looking, he thought, “What a scene.” There stood the lighthouse filled with hope in the middle of all that dreary hopelessness of the gray ocean. He then looked at the words written on that piece of toilet paper and with tear-filled eyes. No matter how many songs he wrote or how many awards he received for writing them, he always remembered that trip to the lighthouse.
Ronnie, along with his siblings Kenny, Larry, and Yvonne, sang as a gospel group for the first time in 1967, during a revival service at a small church in Freedom, California. They were first known as the Singing Hinson Family, but, as they got more popular, just The Hinsons.

This song reminds us that our churches are to life-saving stations for those shipwrecked, lost souls around us.

Bible Reference… Matt. 5:14-16; Mark 4:21-25; Luke 8:16-18; John 1:4,5a.

 

There’s a Lighthouse on the hillside that overlooks life’s sea;
when I’m tossed it sends out a light… that I might see.
And the light that shines in darkness now will safely lead us o’er;
if it wasn’t for the Lighthouse my ship would be no more.

CHORUS
And I thank God for the Lighthouse; I owe my life to Him.
For Jesus is the Lighthouse, and from the rocks of sin
He has shown a light around me that I could clearly see.
If it wasn’t for the Lighthouse (tell me) where would this ship be?

Everybody that lives about us says, “Tear that Lighthouse down;
the big ships don’t sail this way anymore… there’s no use of it standing ‘round.”
Then my mind goes back to that stormy night when, just in time, I saw the light.
Yes, the light from that old Lighthouse that stands up there on a hill.  (CHORUS 2x)

Turn Your Radio On – 1971

Turn Your Radio On

1971

The version of this song on my iPod was sung by the Hee Haw Quartet.

This song has been covered by many artists, but was written and first sung by Albert E. Brumley. Brumley was born near Spiro, Oklahoma on October 29, 1905. Pre-Dustbowl Oklahoma was primarily made up of sparse agricultural communities; Brumley’s family setting no different. He spent much of his early life chopping and picking cotton on his family’s farm. In 1926, he enrolled in the Hartford Musical Institute (in Hartford, Arkansas), and studied there through 1931. The Institute was led by Eugene Monroe Bartlett (1884–1941), owner of the Hartford Music Company and composer of the well-known gospel song “Victory in Jesus”. Brumley purchased the Hartford Music Company in 1948.
Brumley lived on the banks of Big Sugar Creek in Powell, Missouri, where he and his wife raised six children.
“I’ll Fly Away,” “Turn Your Radio On,” “If We Never Meet Again (This Side of Heaven),” “I’ll Meet You In The Morning,” “Rank Strangers,” and “He Set Me Free” are among a host of favorites written by Albert E. Brumley. He wrote over 800 songs. He established the Albert E. Brumley Sundown to Sunup Gospel Sing (now Albert E. Brumley Gospel Sing) in 1969 in Springdale, Arkansas. Brumley has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
Albert Brumley was a member of the Church of Christ and is buried at Fox Church of Christ Cemetery near Powell, Missouri. He died November 15, 1977.

I have no idea why I’ve always liked this song so much… other than the great harmony (especially the bass part).

Come and listen in to a radio station… where the mighty hosts of heaven sing;
turn your radio on (turn your radio on), turn your radio on (turn your radio on).
If you wanna hear the songs of Zion… coming from the land of endless spring;
get in touch with God (get in touch with God)… turn your radio on (turn your radio on)

CHORUS
Turn your radio on (Turn your radio on) and listen to the music in the air.
Turn your radio on (Turn your radio on); Heaven’s glory share.
Turn the lights down low (Turn the lights down low)
and listen to the Master’s radio
Get in touch with God (Get in touch with God);
turn your radio on (turn your radio on).

Listen to the songs of the fathers and mothers… and the many friends gone on before;
turn your radio on (turn your radio on), turn your radio on (turn your radio on).
Some eternal morning we shall meet them… over on the alleluia shore;
get in touch with God (get in touch with God), turn your radio on (turn your radio on).
(CHORUS 2x)