On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
The Orioles – Crying in the Chapel (1953)
” Crying in the Chapel” is a song written by Artie Glenn for his son Darrell to sing. Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie’s band the Rhythm Riders. The song was rejected by Hill and Range Songs and Acuff-Rose Music.
Staying on in the US for the moment and we’re having ourselves some R&B today. Today’s group – The Orioles – are considered one of the earliest pioneers of the doo-wop sound which puts greater emphasis on group vocal harmonies as opposed to the music itself. The Orioles were popular in the 1940s and early 1950s and today’s number, a cover version of Crying in the Chapel is regarded as one of their best.
Crying in the Chapel may sound like a bleak song with that title but it is anything but. The Orioles take on the narrator who sings of being lost in the wilderness of the outside world where there is confusion and little meaning. Entering the chapel and finding sanctuary in the Lord changes all of that. No longer lost, the narrator has meaning and purpose, and with that the tears flow in the chapel, not of sorrow but of contentment and happiness for they are home.
I wasn’t familiar with The Orioles prior to listening to this but I am familiar with this song. Many cover versions have been recorded, with the King – Elvis Presley – being one of them and that is where I have heard it before. The vocal harmonies in The Orioles are delightful and wherever you stand on religion and faith, there is a lot to appreciate with this song. The Orioles, sadly, would not last much longer as a group but songs such as this ensured their legacy.
Favourite songs so far: