The Definitives: “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now”
April 30, 2012 3 Comments
My first post of this series dealt with one of the classic ballads in SG. Now let’s tackle one of the quintessential uptempo numbers in our genre. Of course this song will be forever associated with The Happy Goodmans, but my choice for the definitive version of this tune goes back to a 1964 Skylite album by the Oak Ridge Boys. Personnel on this album were Willie Wynn – Tenor, Smitty Gatlin – Lead, Jim Hamill – Baritone, Herman Harper – Bass, and Tommy Fairchild – Piano.
The song starts off with an electric guitar playing some lead lines over piano, bass and drums before leading into the chorus. The first verse is performed by Smitty Gatlin, and after the chorus Herman Harper takes the second verse as a bass solo. There’s a little instrumental break with the electric guitar featured again before the key changes and Willie Wynn takes the lead for two final choruses and a high power tag.
To me, this is the feel that the song needs. It’s sped up a bit from the Goodmans version, and becomes a great, male quartet barn burner. Smitty Gatlin and Herman Harper are two of our largely forgotten, but very talented vocalists in the history of Southern Gospel. Both get an opportunity to shine on this song and make the best of it. If you’ve got this LP, spin up track one, and then let the thing play. I’ve always thought this was a great quartet LP, and the title track starts it off in fine fashion. No one has done it better.