Grand Ole Opry / YouTube
Over the course of its history, the Grand Ole Opry has served as a witness to some unforgettable performances. Country music’s greatest stars have graced that famous stage to perform their biggest hits, to pay tribute to others, and to proclaim their faith.
As long as the Opry has been around, country stars have taken the time out of their sets to sing hymns and gospel favorites. Although not “country” by definition, these songs strongly resonate with the artists singing them and the audience listening to them.
One hymn that has been a longtime favorite of country artists is “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” The song was originally written as a poem in 1855, and the accompanying music was completed in 1868.
Since then, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” has been recorded by more artists than we could ever begin to count. Country artists have been proud to offer their own take on the beloved tune. Just a couple of artists who have recorded the song are Alan Jackson and Merle Haggard.
So when it came time for country icon Ricky Skaggs to perform at the Opry with famous Christian singer Steven Curtis Chpaman, it seemed only fitting to perform a hymn, and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” was the one they picked. The Opry later uploaded a video of the performance, which took place on May 26, 2017.
At the start, Skaggs and Chapman took turns singing different parts of the song. This allowed their individual talents as vocalists to shine, but the true beauty came through when they began singing together.
In addition to their vocal talent, this performance perfectly showcases the two artists’ talents as musicians. Skaggs opted to play his mandolin for the performance, while Chapman backed them up on acoustic guitar. They also had a small band gathered around them on stage, which included a fiddle, a banjo, and other instruments.
The crowd rewarded Skaggs and Chapman with a warm round of cheers and applause once they finished singing. It’s obvious that they were quite pleased with what they heard from them that day!
We’re sure you’ll also enjoy Skaggs and Chapman’s Opry performance, which we have included in the clip below. We can never get tired of stuff like this!