Theresa and I had the distinct honor of meeting Vince Gill last week in Nashville while attending the National Funeral Directors Association Annual Convention. He was with a group of great country musicians that play together as ‘The Time Jumpers.’ (Thanks to his golf buddy and my high school classmate, Tom Provow, for orchestrating the event!)
The following day at the convention, we had the pleasure of hearing Vince sing “Go Rest High on That Mountain” at the service of remembrance. It was truly a moving experience for those attending as well as Vince himself, who says he always chokes up while singing it. He began writing it when country star Keith Whitley died in 1989, but did not complete it until his brother, Bob, died in 1993. It won the CMA Song of the Year award in 1996, a BMI Most-Performed Song award in 1997, and two Grammy awards for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song.
At the service in a conversation with the voice of the Grand Ole Opry, Eddie Stubbs, Vince told how the song was still difficult for him to sing. “It breaks my heart every time. But at the end of the day, people need to hear it. They need to cry.” Considered one of Nashville’s most philanthropic citizens, he sings the songs numerous times a year with no charge at funerals for Nashville area musicians because of the feelings it invokes. “I’m blessed to be a part of it.”
I previously ranked the top Rock and Roll songs of all time for funerals, and can assure you that at Hansen-Spear and at funerals home all across America, the most requested country song is “Go Rest High on That Mountain.” Someday it will be included in a religious hymnal along with the other greats.
Thank you Vince Gill!