Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Gospel Classic “Because He Lives” Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary
“Because He Lives,” the beloved hymn penned by one of the most lauded couples in Christian music Bill and Gloria Gaither, marks its 50th anniversary this year. In honor of this legacy milestone, Gaither Music Group has initiated a yearlong celebration highlighting numerous performances of the song across many different platforms and genres. First released on October 18, 1971, “Because He Lives” is one of the most popular songs written by the Gospel Music Hall of Fame members.
“People have asked me, ‘Did you know right away that it was going to be a song that was going to be translated in other languages?’” stated Bill. “When you create a new song—and you write as many as we have–you really don’t know. Many times you write one and you think it is going to be the next ‘Amazing Grace,’ and it just dies a natural death. When we wrote ‘Because He Lives’ I felt like it was a good song, but you only find out how good a song is when people start responding to it, and the more we sang it the more people responded. I’m humbled it has been translated into so many languages and did not foresee that.”
“I am still surprised that the song had such universal appeal,” stated Gloria. “It was so personal, I thought it might be just for us. It was the end of the ‘60s when it seemed the whole world was falling apart. In such a chaotic time, we were expecting our third baby. During this pregnancy Bill and I asked ourselves who would bring a baby into a world like this? It was easy to feel fearful for his future. But when Benjy was born and the nurse laid that little guy in our arms, it was an ‘a-ha moment’ of sorts. We came to realize that we don’t get married, make a home, have babies and go about our lives because the world is stable. When has it ever been stable? We live our lives with confidence because the Resurrection is true. We held our son and said, ‘We can do this. We can raise this child in this unstable world because of the power of life. Life wins! And because our Lord is alive, we can trust Him with our future.’ Honestly, it was a song we wrote for us.”
Fifty years later, “Because He Lives” has been recorded by a long list of artists, including Alabama, the Gaither Vocal Band, Matt Maher, Bradley Walker, David Osborne, Guy Penrod, Jimmy Fortune, Kristin Chenoweth, Órla Fallon, Rudy Pérez, Steven Curtis Chapman and many others with new recordings releasing this month by country music icon Carrie Underwood and world-renowned musician/singer/actor Harry Connick Jr.
Married since 1962, the Gaithers made music and songwriting their full-time career in 1967 and began creating what would become an internationally-beloved brand and multi-faceted media platform. The couple’s collaborations have resulted in more than 700 treasured Gospel songs; and the iconic pioneers have set countless benchmarks within the Gospel music landscape, performing at world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Sydney Opera House, the London symphony hall, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Ryman Auditorium. Their songs and heartfelt performances have impacted not only countless listeners and concert attendees but the lives and careers of artists ranging from Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith to Mark Lowry, Sandi Patty, Michael English and more.
The 50th Anniversary year of this timeless track began with a GRAMMY® nomination as the song is featured on Ernie Haase + Signature Sound’s Something Beautiful recording, which is a tribute album to the music of Bill and Gloria. The hymn will be the focus of an upcoming TBN special “Because He Lives: An Easter Celebration,” presented by the Gospel Music Association. The classic will be featured as part of a “Because He Lives” Gaither Gospel TV special on multiple networks including RFD-TV, Circle, TBN and more in the United States and Canada.
Gaither Music Group will release a lyric video of the hymn this spring as well as newly-compiled playlists highlighting the song’s ability to transcend genres and decades of time. In addition, the song will be featured prominently on Pandora’s Gaither Radio channel on the newly-curated Easter Because He Lives mode; and it will be the focus song on an upcoming Gaither TV YouTube Premiere, created and hosted by Bill and Gloria, on March 26. Fans will be able to enjoy that new premiere on the Gaither Facebook channel and on the GAITHERTV SVOD platform as well. Special commemorative merchandise, designed by Storiarts, is available now on the Gather website.