Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: He Touched MeReleased: 1964
This is arguably Bill Gaither's most famous song. He recalled to CCM Magazine presents 100 Greatest Songs In Christian Music: "That was my fifty-fourth song. I started writing in 1960 and had written a few that were strong songs, but nothing had made an impact on a national level yet. That changed with 'He Touched Me.'"
Bill explained in the same interview that he wrote the song during a time when he was accompanying an old preacher friend of his, Dr Dale Oldham, on some evangelistic crusades. He recalled: "He was a very eloquent speaker. One night after one of those meetings, Dr. Oldham said to me, 'Bill, the word "touch" is a very popular word. It comes up so often in the New Testament stories about Jesus touching people's eyes and healing them, or touching people's lives and changing them. It's a special, spiritual word and you ought to write a song that praises His touch.' So I did."
Doug Oldham, Dr. Oldham's son, was the first to record the song in 1964 and later in the year Bill's own group recorded it. Bill recalled: "Doug sang it around in church circles, but I think it really started to get popular as people would take it back to their own congregations and sing it as a chorus. Its funny, you write 53 songs and then you write one little baby, and even though it comes out of the womb the same way they all did, this baby just all of a sudden goes BOOM!"
Many other artists have recorded this song, including most famously, Elvis, who made it the title track of his 1972 Grammy Winning gospel album. The King covered it after hearing an arrangement by his backing group, The Imperials.