From the Vaults: Watch Loretta Lynn Shine on Cover of Beloved 1893 Hymn "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder"
Lynn joins The Wilburn Brothers and The Willis Brothers on a stirring rendition of this popular hymn in what appears to be the late 1960s or early 1970s.
Today at Southern Living, we're celebrating the release of our "Biscuits & Jam" podcast episode featuring the one, the only, the inimitable Loretta Lynn. Born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, Lynn catapulted into the country music spotlight in the 1960s and has stayed in it ever since. In the episode, we caught up with the musical great on cathead biscuits, her childhood in Kentucky, penning her mega-hit "Coal Miner's Daughter" — "When it comes to writing a song, I write about me a lot" — women in the music industry, and her new album Still Woman Enough. Listen on Apple Podcasts here or play the podcast on Spotify below.
With Still Woman Enough debuting on the top 10 of Billboard's top country album charts, and many of the tunes spinning on repeat in our head right about now, we spiraled into a walk down Loretta Lynn memory lane. Thanks to our friends at country music and lifestyle site, Wide Open Country, we landed on this great cover of James Milton Black's popular late 19th century hymn "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder." In this version, Lynn backs up Arkansas country music duo, The Wilburn Brothers, and Oklahoma country music siblings ensemble, The Willis Brothers. While the date of the performance isn't specified, given the years The Wilburn Brothers and The Willis Brothers were active, we would place it in the late 1960s or early 1970s. With musical accompaniment from drums, an accordion, acoustic guitars, and a violin, the smooth harmonies and Lynn's soaring upper register, the tune will fast become your new earworm. Watch below.
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"When the roll is called up yonder / When the roll is called up yonder / When the roll is called up yonder / When the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there." Not a bad ditty to have stuck in your head, huh?