I'll Fly Away, written in 1929 by folk musician and songwriter Albert E. Brumley, has been referred to as the most recorded gospel songs in history.
An accomplished guitarist and vocalist, Albert's son, Albert "Al" Brumley, Jr., dedicated much of his music career to the preservation and memory of his father's compositions.
In addition, he is well known for his appearances in many great country, bluegrass, and gospel recordings throughout the last 40 years. Most notably he provided backup vocals for the likes of Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Larry Gatlin, and Barbara Mandrell to name just a few.
After a stream of failed attempts to revive his career throughout the 1990's, Merle eventually reached marginal success in 2000 and 2001 with the release of four records; two gospel and two secular. One of them, titled "Two Old Friends", was released in 2001, and was a collaborative effort between Merle and longtime friend Al Brumley, Jr. The 11-song album features primarily Albert Brumley, Sr. gems, sung with a seasoned warmth from these two old friends.
Check out this touching live video featuring Albert Jr. and Merle performing I'll Fly Away off the record "Two Old Friends"!
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