1959 The Mormon Tabernacle Choir – Battle Hymn of The Republic
This may well be the most unusual record to get near the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a large tabernacle at the Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City that is used for church services. The church has sponsored a choir in the tabernacle for public performances since the late 1860s. Originally, they called the choir The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but it is now referred to as simply The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.
The choir created its first recording in 1910 (the song Let the Mountains shout for Joy). A weekly radio broadcast began in 1929. The choir began touring other cities in 1926.
The choir has earned gold and platinum albums thanks to the sales of their music. It even reached the top forty of the Hot 100! They released their recording of The Battle Hymn of the Republic in 1959 and the single reached #13.
I’m fairly certain I never, ever, have heard the song on the radio as an oldie. I’m now curious enough to pay closer attention to the Sixties Satellite Surveys on Sirus XM Radio for September and October 1959 to find out if I include the song in their countdowns.
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