YouTube via Grand Ole Opry
Originally penned by George Bennard in 1912 and sang first in a revival serve in 1913, “The Old Rugged Cross” is today a staple of many church services. It was first introduced to the country world by legendary Ernest Tubb in the early ‘50s but has since been recorded countless artists throughout the years. In 2005, the great Alan Jackson became one of those artists, only he put his own take on the piece, garnering much acclamation from all who heard the song. The video below features this song, so you can see what we mean for yourself.
Alan stuck closely to the original intent of the song. You hear his rich voice, accompanied by a piano and some backup singers, must like you would expect to hear the piece performed at any church service on Sunday morning. This more than any other aspect probably makes his version well liked, that you can simply hear the honesty and authenticity in his voice when singing this song.
“The Old Rugged Cross” was featured on Jackson’s “Precious Memories” gospel album. This was Jackson’s first gospel album and his first attempt yielded unprecedented results. “Precious Memories” earned the top spot on both Billboard’s Top Country Album chart as well as their Top Christian Album Spot. Jolene Downs, who offered an extensive review of the album said this about Jackson’s “Precious Memories” offering:
“It is one of the most reflective gospel albums she’s ever had the pleasure of listening to and is a definite must-have for gospel lovers.”
“Precious Memories” also has been certified platinum by RIAA and has sold millions of copies since its release. Suffice it to say, Jackson’s first attempt at singing classic gospel favorites was a successful one. We can’t wait to see what his next attempt could bring.