4. MARY, DID YOU KNOW – I didn’t . . . this song took years to find its audience.
The words/ lyrics were written in 1984 by Mark Lowry, but he couldn’t find someone to write the music until 1991. That’s when he found Buddy Greene.
Mark recorded it that same year with Michael English. It reached #6 on CCM Magazine’s Adult Contemporary Chart. I missed it. My car radio is set to pop music stations.
Kenny Rogers and Wynona Judd recorded it in 1997 for Kenny’s Christmas Album. It went to #55 on Billboard’s Hot Country, and I missed it again.
Album Source: Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20319165
Clay Aiken’s version came out on his Christmas album in 2004. It struck home with me. I have 3 kids so I could imagine asking Mary those questions, then hearing her answers – the pride and joy, the pain and sorrow. I’m glad Mary didn’t know everything. It would have broken me.
Clay’s version hit #35 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks and #32 on Billboard Hot Christian songs. I think that’s when it became an American classic. Photo Source: By Judy Butler, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11404621
CeeLo Green came out with a recording in 2012. It hit #9 on Billboard Hot R&B songs and #35 on Billboard Hot Christian songs.
Photo from 2008. Source: By Julio Enriquez - https://www.flickr.com/photos/julioenriquez/2621277869/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14713439
This is the group, the Pentatonix. They recorded their version in 2014, and it might be the one I hear most on the radio. It debuted and peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their harmony, singing these words – Amazing!
Photo from 2014. Source: Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33415616
This was the last recording my source listed. Jordan Smith performed it on the 2015 Finals for The Voice. It debuted and peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #2 on the Billboard Holiday chart.
Photo from 2015. Source: 2016 By DoDnewsfeatures - https://www.flickr.com/photos/dodnewsfeatures/26718732530/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66102892
Click My Search Link, and you can listen to the Pentatonix, Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, CeeLo Green, and Mark Lowry (the one who wrote the music back in 1984).
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!