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How Great Thou Art
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How Great Thou Art

Released:Feb. 20, 1967

This was the focal point of the May 1966 sessions, which were themselves an outgrowth of several months of jamming at home with his friends Red West and Charlie Hodge. The pop recordings released to date were only an indication of the level of aspiration of these sessions; the gospel sides were their realization. Elvis originally had had the idea of recording with the great African-American bass singer Jimmy Jones and his quartet but, after searching for him fruitlessly for some time put together an all-star backup group of eleven singers, including one of his all-time idols, Jake Hess. So proud was Elvis of having Hess on his album that he featured him on a number of songs, bringing his voice up in the mix to the point that he had to be brought back down again afterwards by agreement of RCA and Colonel Parker. Elvis’ own voice was fuller than even his most operatic performances; the musicians delivered strong, imaginative performances; and the vocal arrangements only served to emphasize the grandeur (some might say the grandiosity) of approach and tone. The overall effect was of a scope and breadth that stood in direct counterpoint to the relative simplicity of 1960’s His Hand In Mine. It was a big sound, with an extended reach, as Elvis’ virtuosic performance of “How Great Thou Art” became one of his best-loved and most-requested standards, and the album won him his first Grammy.

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Tracklist

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  • How Great Thou Art

    Stuart K. Hine. Recorded May 25, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • In The Garden

    Charles A. Miles. Recorded May 26, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • Somebody Bigger Than You And I

    John Lange/Hy Heath/Sonny Burke. Recorded May 27, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • Farther Along

    Arranged by Elvis Presley. Recorded May 26, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanair
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  • Stand By Me

    Arranged by Elvis Presley. Recorded May 25, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • Without Him

    Mylon LeFevre. Recorded May 27, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • So High

    Arranged by Elvis Presley. Recorded May 26, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • Where Could I Go But To The Lord

    James B. Coats. Recorded May 27, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • By And By

    Arranged by Elvis Presley. Recorded May 26, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • If The Lord Wasn't Walking By My Side

    Henry Slaughter. Recorded May 27, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • Run On

    Arranged by Elvis Presley. Recorded May 25, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • Where No One Stands Alone

    Mosie Lister. Recorded May 25, 1966 at RCA's Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Scotty Moore, Chip Young. Bass: Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki. Bass, Harmonica & Guitar: Charlie McCoy. Drums: D.J. Fontana. Drums & Timpani: Buddy Harman. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Piano & Organ: Henry Slaughter, David Briggs. Steel Guitar: Pete Drake. Saxophone: Rufus Long, Boots Randolph. Trumpet: Ray Stevens. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, June Page, Dolores Edgin, The Imperials, The Jordanaires
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  • Crying In The Chapel

    Artie Glenn. Recorded October 30, 1960 at RCA’s Studio B, Nashville. Guitar: Hank Garland, Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley. Bass: Bob Moore. Drums: Buddy Harman, D.J. Fontana. Piano: Floyd Cramer. Saxophone: Boots Randolph. Vocals: Millie Kirkham, Charlie Hodge, The Jordanaires
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Credits

Artist
Credit
  • Elvis Presley
    vocals, guitar
  • The Jordanaires
    vocals
  • The Imperials
    vocals
  • Millie Kirkham, Dolores Edgin, June Page
    vocals
  • Boots Randolph, Rufus Long
    saxophone
  • Scotty Moore, Chip Young
    guitar
  • Charlie McCoy
    guitar, bass, harmonica
  • Pete Drake
    pedal steel guitar
  • Floyd Cramer
    piano
  • David Briggs, Henry Slaughter
    piano, organ
  • Bob Moore, Henry Strzelecki
    bass
  • D. J. Fontana
    drums
  • Buddy Harman
    drums, tympani
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How Great Thou Art
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