Elvis Presley

Crying In The Chapel

Add to Song Favorites ♥

Song Review by

The inspirational song "Crying in the Chapel" was written by Artie Glenn. It is a first-person statement of faith in which the narrator describes his search for peace of mind and his discovery of it in religious devotion as represented in a "plain and simple" chapel. If he has been crying, "the tears I shed were tears of joy," and he assures his listeners that they too will find "the way" if they "take your troubles to the chapel." The song was introduced by Glenn's son, Darrell Glenn, on Valley Records in the summer of 1953. Darrell Glenn's recording reached both the pop and country Top Ten and quickly brought a flurry of cover records. June Valli's version on RCA Victor also hit the pop Top Ten, while Rex Allen's on Decca got into the pop and country Top Ten. The Orioles' recording on Jubilee just missed the pop Top Ten, but it hit number one on the R&B charts in August and went gold. A fifth version by Ella Fitzgerald on Decca was also a pop chart entry. One of the charts, combining the Glenn, Valli, Allen, and Orioles versions, listed "Crying in the Chapel" as the country's number one pop song in October 1953.

"Crying in the Chapel" became a much-performed and recorded song, especially among gospel groups, and a reissue of the Orioles' recording charted in 1959. On the night of October 30-31, 1960, Elvis Presley held a recording session to cut the inspirational album His Hand in Mine. Though "Crying in the Chapel" was not one of the scheduled songs, after midnight Presley began working on it with his vocal backup group the Jordanaires and modest instrumentation led by Floyd Cramer's piano. An acceptable take was not deemed to have been made, however, and the song did not appear on the album. In early 1965, Adam Wade revived "Crying in the Chapel" with a recording on Epic that made the lower reaches of the pop charts for a few weeks. That spring, four and a half years after it had been recorded, RCA Victor fished one of the Presley takes out of its vaults and released "Crying in the Chapel" as an Easter single, with a sleeve note describing it as being part of a "gold standard series," presumably to distinguish it from new Presley releases like the recent "Do the Clam." The record took off, peaking in the Top Five and eventually going platinum, thus becoming Presley's biggest single in two and a half years and the biggest hit he would score for the next five years. It gave his career a shot in the arm at a time when he was mired in bad movies and soundtracks. The renewed exposure given "Crying in the Chapel" led to a fresh spate of covers, making it one of the most successful gospel songs of its time.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
How Great Thou Art 1967 RCA 2:24
Elvis' Gold Records, Vol. 4 1968 BMG 2:24
Elvis' 50 Worldwide Gold Award Hits, Vol. 1 1970 RCA 2:23
No Image 1970 RCA
No Image 1972 RCA
Elvis Forever [1974] 1974 RCA
No Image 1978
No Image 1978 RCA
No Image 1978 RCA
No Image 1981
It's Now or Never [Camden] 1981 SMG
No Image 1984 RCA
Collection, Vol. 3 1984 RCA
Sweet Songs 1985 Ariola Express
All Time Greatest Hits 1986 BMG International 2:26
The Top Ten Hits 1987 RCA 2:23
No Image 1989 Ariola Express
The Definitive Gospel Album 1990 BMG International
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: Elvis, the King - 1954-1965 1990 2:25
Amazing Grace: His Greatest Sacred Songs 1994 RCA 2:26
24 Karat Hits! 1997 Analogue Productions / RCA 2:26
The Elvis Presley Collection: Gospel [Time-Life] 1998 Time / Life Music 2:27
All the Best, Vol. 1-2 1999 BMG International 2:01
No Image 1999 RCA 2:24
He Touched Me: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley 1999 RCA 2:26
Classic Country: 1965-1969 [2 CD 1999] 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:26
Take My Hand: Gospel Favourites 2000 BMG International 2:27
Elvis Gospel 2000 BMG International 2:28
Peace In The Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings/I'll Be Home For Christmas 2000 RCA 2:26
Legendary [BMG] 2000 BMG International 2:27
The 50 Greatest Hits 2000 RCA 2:27
Swedish Hit Collection 2001 BMG International 2:25
No Image 2001 RCA 2:26
He Is My Everything: The Gospel Series 2001 RCA 2:25
Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits 2002 RCA 2:26
Christmas Peace 2003 BMG Heritage 2:26
Elvis: Ultimate Gospel 2004 BMG Heritage / RCA 2:25
Country's 20 Classic Gospel: Songs of the Century 2004
Various Artists
New Haven 2:28
Elvis Forever [2004] 2004 RCA
Classic Country: Great Country Gospel 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:26
Crying in the Chapel 2005 Spring House 2:27
Hitstory 2005 Sony Music Distribution 2:26
Elvis Inspirational 2006 Sony BMG / RCA 2:24
King 2007 Sony BMG 2:24
No Image 2007 RCA 2:23
Dutch Collection 2007 BMG / RCA 2:25
I Believe: The Gospel Masters 2009 Legacy / RCA 2:26
Country's Greatest Gospel Songs of the Century: Platinum Edition 2012
Various Artists
New Haven 2:27
The Fabulous Collection, Vol. 2: Christmas Songs 2012 Excalibur
The Fabulous Collection, Vol. 5: The Gospels 2012 Excalibur
Where No One Stands Alone 2018 Legacy / RCA / Sony CMG 2:34
50 Australian Top Ten Hits 1956-1977 Sony Music Entertainment 2:26
Easy Listening Classics: Time Life's Movie Classics
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:26
No Image Sony Music Distribution 2:25
Faith, Hope & Country
Various Artists
Time Life 2:27
Time Life: '60s Country
Various Artists
Time Life 2:26