Church On Cumberland Road

Album: The Road Not Taken (1989)

Songfacts®:

  • This was written and originally recorded by John Scott Sherrill, Bob DiPiero and Dennis Robbins, who had a band called The Billy Hill Boys. Says Sherrill: "Billy was a fictitious character, and for some reason, that idea didn't really fly. The lead singer of the band was fictitious, which created all kinds of problems at radio and with gigs, but we had a ball. We put out one album with Warner Brothers and got halfway through another one. We had a great time out on the road and had a chance to do some writing. The Shenandoah guys heard it and made a great record of that song."
  • Sherrill: "That song stems from an experience Bob DiPiero had in London. He was dead drunk in a pub outside of town with some songwriting friends of his over there. They staggered out, and in the moonlight across from the pub was an old ancient British church - small but with a big steeple. A stone church in the moonlight, and it was so beautiful that he staggered over there and he hugged it. He said, 'I'm going to write a song about you someday.' He told us that story when he got back in Nashville. We had been jamming with that melody for The Church On Cumberland Road, so we just transferred his church to America in our minds and put it out here on Cumberland Road."
  • Cumberland Road is off of River Road in West Nashville. There is a real church there - a little white church.

Comments: 1

  • Henry O. Godwinn from Wheeling, WvThought this was done by Kentucky Headhunters
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tom Johnston from The Doobie Brothers

Tom Johnston from The Doobie BrothersSongwriter Interviews

The Doobies guitarist and lead singer, Tom wrote the classics "Listen To The Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."

James Bond Theme Songs

James Bond Theme SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the 007 theme songs?

Danny Kortchmar

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Petula Clark

Petula ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Petula talks about her hits "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep In The Subway," and explains her Michael Jackson connection.

Yoko Ono

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

Kim Thayil of Soundgarden

Kim Thayil of SoundgardenSongwriter Interviews

Their frontman (Chris Cornell) started out as their drummer, so Soundgarden takes a linear approach when it comes to songwriting. Kim explains how they do it.