Sunday Hymnal: Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down)

Powerful Brother Claude Ely is bringing the heat this Sunday:

A little more on Brother Claude from Wikipedia:

“Brother” Claude Ely (July 22, 1922 – May 7, 1978) was an American religious singer-songwriter and a Pentecostal Holiness preacher.

Brother Claude Daniel Ely, coined as the King Recording Label’s “Gospel Ranger” of the Appalachian Mountains, was born in Pucketts Creek, Virginia. He was the first Pentecostal Holiness recording artist to be signed to a major recording label for strictly sacred music and songs.[1]

Receiving fame for his song, “There Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down)”, Ely’s musical style and spiritual influence still exist today among both secular and sacred music enthusiasts. Although Bozie Sturdivant was the first to record Brother Claude Ely’s tune in 1941 with the help of the US Library of Congress’ field recordings, Ely had written the song in 1934. King Records of Cincinnati helped Brother Claude Ely copyright the song in 1953. Many Hollywood entertainers and musical artists have acknowledged their admiration and fascination for Brother Claude Ely. Often music historians attest that other musical artists cite Brother Claude Ely as having been a positive influence on their works as well. Elvis’ mother Gladys brought Elvis Presley to Ely’s tent revivals.[2] Artists recording Brother Claude Ely’s songs include Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Robert Duvall‘s self-produced movie entitled The Apostle also integrated Brother Claude Ely’s music on its soundtrack.

Here’s the less raucous Johnny Cash version:

Here’s another version that I like very much:


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