Only Believe

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MikeFromHolland
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Only Believe

Post by MikeFromHolland »

.

In 1907, Toccoa Falls College was founded by Richard A. Forrest in the community of Golden Valley, North Carolina as the Golden Valley Institute. On January 1, 1911, Forrest purchased the Haddock Inn and 100 acres of land in northeast Georgia. In October, he relocated the school to near Toccoa, Georgia, in order to be near a mainline railroad. He renamed the school Toccoa Falls Institute and added secondary school courses to the theological classes. A 1913 fire destroyed the Haddock Inn, which was the classroom and residence building. After operating in tents for a time, the school built a new campus.

When the General Council of the Christian and Missionary Alliance met in Toccoa Falls in May 1919, the delegates, including Daniel Paul Rader, were housed in tents supplied by Fort McPherson in Atlanta. Rader, elected president of the C&MA at that Council, was moved as he listened to the stories of the hardships and difficulties that the Toccoa Falls Institute family had endured since 1913. After being destroyed by fire, the students and faculty lived and worked in tents with wooden floors, wood stoves, and electricity — and still the students came.

Daniel Paul Rader
79E1C27B-D0B0-4B65-B341-06591F16A0D0.jpeg


It was here on the campus that Rader wrote "Only Believe," a song used by evangelical Christians since that time. It became a meaningful and moving song for Toccoa Falls because the “little flock” in the original lyrics to the song is that family.

“Fear not, precious flock, from the cross to the throne
From death into life He went for His own
All power in earth, all power above
Is given to Him for the flock of His love.

Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe;
Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe.”


Today Toccoa Falls College still believes that all things are possible with God.

Later, somewhere in the 1950’s Johnny Lionell Williams rewrote the original lyrics and called the hymn “All things are possible”. It were these lyrics The Harmonizing Four used for their recording that was released in June 1957 as a single with Farther Along on the flip side (the original Vee-Jay records label doesn’t mention an A or B side).

CB4C1B17-D42A-4E5D-A191-C6C28D7F6D61.jpeg





According to David Neale Elvis had this single in his German home during his army days. He recorded it on June 8/9, 1970. Take 4 became the master. The song was retitled to “Only believe”, perhaps as a kind of a tribute to the original as written by Daniel Paul Rader some 50 years before. It was his name credited on Elvis’ label of “Love Letters From Elvis”.









To hear a recording of the original lyrics as written by Rader, we can listen to the version of Only Believe as recorded by Wayne Newton and released in 1972 on his album with the same name. But it’s a hard one to track down.

70884E8C-FFD1-4BF8-A654-88400A587080.jpeg

Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toccoa_Falls_College
https://eu.thedestinlog.com/story/lifestyle/faith/2017/04/13/story-behind-song-from-cowboyboxer-to-preachersongwriter/21385783007/
https://davidneale.eu/elvis/originals/list7.html#S1407
https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/778430/versions
https://keithflynn.com/recording-sessions/700608.html#03

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drjohncarpenter
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Re: Only Believe

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Interesting backstory on the 1970s Presley track.

In 2018, I shared a pretty deep dive on Elvis' overseas home recordings, which most enjoyed:



Image

German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!
https://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=102223



One section discusses specific memories of the Harmonizing Four, and songs of theirs which later appeared on his LPs.

Here it is:


drjohncarpenter wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:18 am

BONUS ARMY MUSIC: REX and ELIZABETH REMEMBER



Image

With Elizabeth Stefaniak at Bad Nauheim, circa May 1959
Note the bowl of boiled eggs on the table, yum!



Rex Mansfield and his wife Elizabeth were with Elvis for most of his time overseas, and wrote all about it in a wonderful 2002 memoir, Sergeant Presley: Our Untold Story Of Elvis' Missing Years. We unexpectedly lost Rex this past August 26th, and every good thought continues to go to his lovely wife and family.




Image

Image

With Rex Mansfield, Wallace and Reba Hoover at Bad Nauheim, circa March 1959
The Hoovers were occasional visitors. Reba was pregnant at the time, and the teddy bear in her hands a gift for their future daughter.



But for today's topic bonus, I decided to share from their book just a few of their memories, in particular talking about or making music. It provides even more insight into Presley's musical world at the time, and where he was going to be in 1960.

Sergeant Presley is highly recommended for any fan who wants to know exactly what it was like being in Germany with Elvis.



[snip]


99 (Elizabeth)

Another group he enjoyed listening to was the Harmonizing Four, a black gospel group from Richmond, Virginia. His favorite song of theirs was "Farther Along." The bass singer had such a low voice that Elvis was astonished by it, and try as he might, he could not come close to duplicating it. He showed us on the piano that the lowest note in this song was actually off the keyboard. He also favored two other songs by the Harmonizing Four called "All Things Are Possible" and "When I've Done the Best I Can." Another group special to Elvis was the Statesman Gospel Quartet from Memphis, because he knew each member of the quartet personally.



..

Harmonizing Four "Farther Along" Harmonizing Four Sing ... (VeeJay 5002, August 24, 1959)



..

Harmonizing Four "All Things Are Possible" Harmonizing Four Sing ... (VeeJay 5002, August 24, 1959)



..

Harmonizing Four "When I've Done My Best" Harmonizing Four Sing ... (VeeJay 5002, August 24, 1959)



[snip]



127 (Rex)

We had plenty of fun in that house at Goethestrasse 14, singing and harmonizing together. Elvis would play the piano while Charlie played the guitar. Red could pick and sing pretty well, and the rest of us could carry a tune. Even Vernon would join in occasionally with his Grand Ole Opry style voice, which sounded pretty good. I had a high tenor voice and Elvis always tried to get me to hit my highest note. Actually, we weren't all that bad as a group, and we had a lot of good old-fashioned fun.






MikeFromHolland wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:22 pm


In 1907, Toccoa Falls College was founded by Richard A. Forrest in the community of Golden Valley, North Carolina as the Golden Valley Institute. On January 1, 1911, Forrest purchased the Haddock Inn and 100 acres of land in northeast Georgia. In October, he relocated the school to near Toccoa, Georgia, in order to be near a mainline railroad. He renamed the school Toccoa Falls Institute and added secondary school courses to the theological classes. A 1913 fire destroyed the Haddock Inn, which was the classroom and residence building. After operating in tents for a time, the school built a new campus.

When the General Council of the Christian and Missionary Alliance met in Toccoa Falls in May 1919, the delegates, including Daniel Paul Rader, were housed in tents supplied by Fort McPherson in Atlanta. Rader, elected president of the C&MA at that Council, was moved as he listened to the stories of the hardships and difficulties that the Toccoa Falls Institute family had endured since 1913. After being destroyed by fire, the students and faculty lived and worked in tents with wooden floors, wood stoves, and electricity — and still the students came.

Daniel Paul Rader
Image



It was here on the campus that Rader wrote "Only Believe," a song used by evangelical Christians since that time. It became a meaningful and moving song for Toccoa Falls because the “little flock” in the original lyrics to the song is that family.

“Fear not, precious flock, from the cross to the throne
From death into life He went for His own
All power in earth, all power above
Is given to Him for the flock of His love.

Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe;
Only believe, only believe;
All things are possible, only believe.”


Today Toccoa Falls College still believes that all things are possible with God.

Later, somewhere in the 1950’s Johnny Lionell Williams rewrote the original lyrics and called the hymn “All things are possible”. It were these lyrics The Harmonizing Four used for their recording that was released in June 1957 as a single with Farther Along on the flip side (the original Vee-Jay records label doesn’t mention an A or B side).


Image






According to David Neale Elvis had this single in his German home during his army days. He recorded it on June 8/9, 1970. Take 4 became the master. The song was retitled to “Only believe”, perhaps as a kind of a tribute to the original as written by Daniel Paul Rader some 50 years before. It was his name credited on Elvis’ label of “Love Letters From Elvis”.









To hear a recording of the original lyrics as written by Rader, we can listen to the version of Only Believe as recorded by Wayne Newton and released in 1972 on his album with the same name. But it’s a hard one to track down.


Image


Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toccoa_Falls_College
https://eu.thedestinlog.com/story/lifestyle/faith/2017/04/13/story-behind-song-from-cowboyboxer-to-preachersongwriter/21385783007/
https://davidneale.eu/elvis/originals/list7.html#S1407
https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/778430/versions
https://keithflynn.com/recording-sessions/700608.html#03


.
Dr. John Carpenter, M.D.
Stop, look and listen, baby <<--->> that's my philosophy!

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Re: Only Believe

Post by MikeFromHolland »

.

And a wonderful deep dive that was. Fantastic topic, thanks! One to remember.

Added it to Songs In The Spotlight: https://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=93084&p=1489946#p1489946


.


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Re: Only Believe

Post by drjohncarpenter »

You must be a speed-reader.

:wink:


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Re: Only Believe

Post by MikeFromHolland »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:55 pm
You must be a speed-reader.

:wink:
It was already on Songs in the Spotlight, read it before. But it’s a topic so nice, I had to mention it twice

:wink:

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Re: Only Believe

Post by colonel snow »

More early versions from the song are known:

1959 - Mahalia Jackson;
1960 - Songfellows Quartet;
1961- The Rebels Quartet;


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Re: Only Believe

Post by eric c »

E5B17A69-B9D2-4CDB-A383-F0C307891CC5.jpeg.eebece581a0b67634d48489baefdc73e.jpeg.jpg
beautiful song.
thank you for the back story.
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Re: Only Believe

Post by Gunter »

On a side note, Elvis doing the Harmonizing Four version of Farther Along :D :



You know, that version of "Dixie" and uh, the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," it's so beautiful!
The band he's put together is so over-the-top, and only Elvis would have that kinda spending power, and just audacious craziness. Choirs, and orchestras, and a great rhythm section, maybe another gospel group on the side. None of it makes sense until you suddenly hear something like that, and they're all playing a role in that, and it's very moving music. That's the pure joy of music in the man. You know, that's when I see everything stop.

~Tom Petty - The Searcher