He Touched Me - Bill Gaither
By: Elvis Australia
July 17, 2004 - 6:27:00 PM
Bill Gaither grew up on a farm in Alexandria, Indiana. He became a high school English teacher and part-time church music director. In 1962 he married fellow teacher Gloria Sickal. Over the years the two have collaborated on over 600 songs, numerous recordings, videos and books. They have three children and four grandchildren. Bill Gaither has been awarded many music accolades including Grammy awards, Dove awards and seven times being named the Gospel Music Association's Songwriter of the Year. Recently he and Gloria were named Songwriters Of The Century by the American Society of Composers and Publishers. Today they continue in their full-time music ministry through the popular Gaither Homecoming concerts and videos. One of the more popular Gaither television and video projects is a documentary focused on the profound part gospel music played in the life and career of Elvis Presley. It is entitled 'He Touched Me, The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley.'
Bill Gaither's inspiration for the writing of the song 'He Touched Me' came very late one night. He had been asked to play the piano for a revival meeting in Huntington, Indiana. He was accompanying Doug Oldham, who was providing the music for his father, Dr. Dale Oldham, the speaker for the evening. After the meeting, as the three rode back to Bill's home in Anderson, Indiana, they discussed how deeply they had felt the Spirit at the meeting. Dr. Oldham dropped Bill off at home and his parting words were, 'You should write a song that says, 'He touched me' oh, He touched me.'' Gaither couldn't sleep and he couldn't get the preacher's words out of his head. He remembered how many of the people at the revival meeting seemed to have come in heavy laden and had left uplifted with joy and hope. The next morning his wife Gloria awoke to find him still up and working on the song. Soon Doug Oldham began performing the song at revivals and concerts and he recorded it, as did the Bill Gaither Trio and many others.
Elvis recorded 'He Touhed Me' on May 18, 1971 at RCA's Studio B in Nashville. He was backed vocally by The Imperials, Millie Kirkham, Ginger Holladay and Temple Riser. It was first released in March 1972 as a single with 'Bosom of Abraham' as the B-side. Then it was released that April 1972 as the title song of the album 'He Touched Me.' Elvis received the second of his three Grammy awards for this album, which was named Best Inspirational Performance for 1972. The album includes the songs 'Amazing Grace', 'Lead Me Guide Me' and 'I John' among others.
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Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.
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