Stuart Hamblen has written many wonderful gospel songs. In the 60’s a friend had this LP record. Back in the 70’s I had a record of Jimmy Dean singing this song, and he said that Stuart Hamblen and a buddy got caught in a blizzard, and looking for a place of shelter came across an old prospectors shack. He told his buddy that there was a dead man in the shack, because there was a dog on the porch, and no smoke coming out the chimney. When they went inside they found it so. So they started a fire, and by the light of the fireplace he wrote this song on an old cracker box.
To me this is so exciting to hear the man sing his own song, and to hear the background story. It is exciting to me to hear Billy Graham’s introduction, and to hear how John Wayne was involved. For over forty years I have been singing this song, and it has been such a blessing to me. It is one of my all time favorites.
I heard this song in my twenties, and I felt strongly about the feelings it invoked in me. Many many years later, I wrote a song that invoked the same feelings, based on a dream I had. It is called “Fluffy.” It is about the passover lamb in Egypt. You can hear it under my section: Don Foster Gospel Songs.
I have heard this gospel song sung in many churches, and it is always a blessing. Some people mock his singing, but to me he is a tremendous songwriter. When I used to sing, I was always looking for new material.
This song is still a tremendous blessing to me.
When I was young, and troubles would come my way, this song was a tremendous comfort to me. It says: “steel is strong because it knew the hammer and white heat.” The idea is that troubles make us stronger. I hope that is correct, but I still don’t like troubles. This is Johnny Cash singing this version. He went through a lot of troubles too.
I think this is another one of Stuart’s great gospel songs. The first time I heard this song, it was the introductory song on a movie, but can’t remember what movie it was.