GRAMMY® Award-winning and Country Music Hall of Fame members, The Oak Ridge Boys, started as a Gospel music quartet. Over the years, they have recorded their share of Gospel songs on their country music albums. They have even recorded full-Gospel music albums. When they were recording their forthcoming new album Front Porch Singin' (which releases on June 11th), they wanted to record a Gospel song to give the new album a sense of hope. Therefore, they recorded the classic "Swing Down Chariot."
"There's nothing like a spiritual to bring hope, to bring optimism and solace during troubling times," says Oak Ridge Boys' Joe Bonsall. "Keeping with the Front Porch Singin' attitude, we must credit producer Dave Cobb for the album direction. Cobb challenged us to come up with an old gospel song that we have known for years but never performed. When we gathered behind the microphones and gave him 'Swing Down Chariot' we all knew it was the one," shares Joe Bonsall, Tenor of The Oak Ridge Boys.
"Swing Down Chariot'' was first recorded and popularised by the Golden Gate Quartet in the 1940s. It was later recorded by Elvis Presley for his 1960 album His Hand in Mine and was re-recorded for his 1969 film The Trouble with Girls. The 1960 version featured backing vocals by The Jordanaires, and the re-recording featured the Mello Men on backing vocals. The version of the song from The Trouble with Girls was reissued in the 2010 boxed set The Complete Elvis Presley Masters, but this time, it features an all-female group singing background vocals.
"Swing Down Chariot'' is the third track to be released to fans, paving the way for the Oak Ridge Boy's new album, Front Porch Singin'. Previously, the group released "Love, Light And Healing'' and "Life Is Beautiful," songs from their upcoming album that leave listeners with a feeling of sitting on a porch swing in the breeze of a midsummer's afternoon.