How Great Thou Art


By Charlie Johnston

A HUGE thank you to reader, Ed Allison. The bass singer at the beginning of this rendition of “How Great Thou Art “is my Uncle Billy Johnston. It was recorded over 50 years ago. He was the original bass singer in the Masters Quartet and did, I think, three albums with them before he moved away. He lost all his copies of his old albums in a flood. I have searched thrift stores for about a decade, looking for a stray copy, with no luck. When Ed first sent this link, I was too scared to believe this was really it. I sent it to his daughter, my cousin Tammy, who is overjoyed, for it is him. She will share it with him today. I love my Uncle Billy, who is now 80…and am so glad he will have this piece once again from when he was young. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ed Allison. You have made a family happy today.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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36 Responses to How Great Thou Art

  1. Kim Sevier says:

    Joy! Such a happy blessing!


  2. SteveBC says:



  3. Beckita says:

    Aha! I hear a genetic link to the power, joy and abandon with which you sing the rendition of the Song of Thanksgiving with the girls from the high school honor choir. Beautiful sharing, Charlie!


  4. eightlambs says:

    Charlie we rejoice with you!


  5. Linda says:

    Stirring! Both the Hymn & and your personal heartwarming story. Our Lord truly does care about the details of our lives. The Joy brings a tear to my eye.


  6. Ed Allison says:

    You are very welcome Charlie. When I found it, it had zero views. I was the first. I hope it gets many, many more. It really only took a few minutes to find. You should convert a copy of the audio to MP3 format, in case the link ever goes away. If you don’t know how to do that, let me know and I will try. I’m glad to help.
    God bless you and your Uncle Billy, and the rest of your family.


  7. Larry & Elizabeth Smith says:

    Thank you Charlie for sharing this beautiful song and sung by a beloved uncle–how precious.


  8. Sandy says:

    What a beautiful blessing for your Uncle Billy and your family. Thanks be to God!


  9. Mary Anne says:

    Love it! Bravo!


  10. Mary Ann says:



  11. connie says:

    Had a feeling this could happen for you, Charlie. So glad for you and your family to have found a lost family heirloom! Ed, can you tell us all how it came about?


    • Ed Allison says:

      Connie, I have long held the opinion that if it exists in cyberspace, google can find it. How Great Thou Art is my favorite hymn! I can rarely get through it without tearing up. My first thought was that I could find it. It was on page one of my first search. Maybe it was luck, or maybe divine providence. I’m grateful to have found it. I would have loved to have been there when Charlie’s Uncle Billy heard it again. God bless him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • NancyA says:

        I was going to put the search for the recording on my to do list, lol. I love to research and uncover the hidden… but Ed wasted NO time! Such a satisfying find! I loved seeing Charlie’s joy and incredulity!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Petra says:

    God bless you Ed, for your charity in finding this for Charlie. To me, it is these sorts of acts, these little kindnesses that bring peace, hope and joy to another, that are the tender mercies of God working through us – St. Teresa’s the Little Way, if you will, the bringing of the Kingdom of God.
    Charlie, I was going to suggest maybe contacting the person who posted the song on YouTube to see if you could get the whole album for your uncle. I bet hearing those songs again would bring him great joy. (By the way, what a wonderful voice your uncle had/has.)
    This is the ripple effect of good deeds done for love of God and each other. Ed, you are a good man.
    God bless.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. the phoenix says:

    Very glad to see that someone has been a sign of hope to you, Charlie!


  14. narnialion54 says:

    So comforting. Magnificent.


  15. Vijaya says:

    Love that rich basso. What a lovely gift to have this again.


  16. Karen, OCDS says:

    As they say in NJ, “You done good, Ed” God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. mezza49 says:

    My favourite hymn beautifully sung. The Lord’s hand found it for you Charlie.


  18. Jason says:

    I am an infrequent poster but I just wanted to ask for prayers for my daughter Margaret Mary. Margaret was diagnosed yesterday with autism. She is 3 and has another brother (10) who is on the spectrum. I have taken great solace from the fact that the Virgin comes in 2017 for the rescue. For some, the specter of the storm is scary, my wife and children have been in the midst of the storm. I pray we make it through the eye so I can see the look on the face of the two on the spectrum when they see Her. I am in the midst of taking the next right step. God bless, Jason

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Prayers going up for your dear child, Jason.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Linda says:

      Bless your soul, Jason. Know that you & yours are in my prayers in a special way today.
      God entrusted these precious children to you! He will, through Our Lady, provide the necessary grace to meet your challenges. Trusting is a grace itself.
      Joy & Mercy

      Liked by 2 people

    • audiemarie2014 says:

      Jason, you and your family are in my prayers. God bless you all.


    • the phoenix says:

      Dear Lord,

      Please bless your autistic daughter Margaret Mary to ease any problematic sensory overload so that she is able to function by being able to correctly process information in accordance with Your Will, such that her intelligence shine through and develop. Please shield her from ear-splitting noise levels, from lights and motions in the environment that are too dazzling, from smells that overpower, from ultra-sensitivity to touch, from keen taste that can make eating unpleasant … Please tone down these sensations to the point where they can be used as gifts of above average hearing, eyesight, touch, smell, taste rather than being overwhelmingly crippling distractors from interaction with the outside physical world.


      If your autistic daughter was not born with the ability to innately recognize the non-verbal body language cues, gestures, the unspoken codes, or the nuanced verbal language and meanings within social interaction, please allow her to learn as much as You feel is for her good and for Your greater glory, … and grant patience to those around her.


      Please spare your autistic daughter from those who, well-meaning or not, would prescribe medications that would end up doing more harm than good physically, emotionally, or mentally. Please spare her also from the stigma of labels but instead surround her with teachers who can draw out her natural gifts and talents based on her deep sense of focus and areas of interest. Let people see the good in her and give her plenty of opportunities to thrive and succeed as the unique individual she is, rather than being ostracized for being “different.”

      St. Joseph of Cupertino, pray for her.

      ~~ the phoenix

      Liked by 5 people

    • Mick says:

      Jason, I will pray for your family and especially for little Margaret Mary (what a beautiful name!) when my family says the Rosary tonight. God bless you all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barb129 says:

      Praying for your children, Jason….


    • Marti says:

      Praying for your family! I have worked with kids on the spectrum and many have found good results by altering the diet and eliminating certain foods that can trigger certain physical reactions. In fact, much of the food-brain-body info was very useful to me as well, in dealing with certain digestive type health issues, and I have been at how eliminating certain foods and adding some others, including probiotics, improved all aspects of my health including cognitively. May God bless you all.


  19. aj says:

    We’re here linking our Spiritual arms with yours brother (Jason). When we share the burden it’s lighter for all…Trust in the Mercy of GOD my friend!!!! Abandon yourself to Him and He will surley do much better than you can do by yourself.


    Liked by 1 person

  20. aj says:

    BY the way, the link now says unavailable…


  21. Jason says:

    Thank you Charlie, Linda, audiemarie, phoenix,mik, barb and marti. Be assured of my prayers for you and your loved ones.


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