Charles E. Moody

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Charles Ernest Moody (a.k.a. Charles Earnest Moody) was a gospel[1] songwriter from Gordon County, Georgia, United States. He was a member of the 1920s string band Georgia Yellow Hammers[2] from Calhoun, Georgia, which included members Bill Chitwood, Bud Landress, and Phil Reeve.[3] The Yellow Hammers were a very popular string band with their biggest hit being "Picture on the Wall" which sold more than sixty thousand copies in 1928.[4] Moody's individual songwriting talents were, however, dynamic.

After studying music in Dalton, Georgia, with A. J. Sims,[5] Moody continued his studies at the Southern Development Normal School in Asheville, North Carolina, while directing music for a Tunnel Hill, Georgia, Methodist church. At some time prior to 1927 when he moved to Calhoun to teach in public schools, he began his affiliation with the Georgia Yellow Hammers. In 1938, being married with a family, Moody moved back to Tunnel Hill but in 1940 relocated to Calhoun.[6]

After the Yellow Hammers disbanded, Moody was the choir director of the Calhoun First Methodist Church for many years.[7] "Kneel at the Cross" and "Drifting too Far From the Shore" are hits for which Moody is most widely known as songwriter. Moody was born October 8, 1891, and died June 21, 1977.[8] Moody married Fannie Brownlee (b. Mar. 3, 1894, d. Feb. 24, 1950),[8] They had three children: Charles Brownlee Moody (b. 1928),[9] Frances Moody Jones, Virginia Mae Moody Worth.[10][11]


Moody's songs have been recorded[12] by many famous artists including Jerry Garcia,[13] Emmylou Harris, Phil Lesh & Friends, and Hank Williams. Songs like "Kneel at the Cross"[14][15] (1924) and "Drifting Too Far From the Shore"[16] (1923)[17] are gospel standards.[18]

Moody wrote[19] more than a hundred hymns,[10] including:

I Was Wandering in the Night (He Turned My Night to Day) (1919)[20]

Drifting Too Far from the Shore[21][22] (1923)[10]

Kneel at the Cross (1924)[23][24]

Keep the Singing Spirit in Your Soul (As you go adown life's rugged way) (1935)[25]

Cling to Christ, He Is the Solid Rock (1935)[26]

Will You Be Ready (Jesus Is Coming Again Some Day) (1937)[27]

As I Travel Down Life's Road (O Lord Remember Me) (1947)[28]

I Will Look for You (When My Work on Earth Is Ended) (1947)[28]

All the Heroes of the Nation (They'll Be Marching) (1951)[29]

There's a Happy Land Somewhere Free (1951)[30]

It Will Be Glory (When I Shall Reach That City Fair) (1951)[31]

Let Us Hope and Pray (In This World We Have Trouble and Sadness)(1955)[32]

Georgia Yellow Hammers recorded thirty-six songs on Victor records, in February, August, and October 1927, February and October 1928, and November, 1929,[33] including:

Pass around the Bottle (February 18, 1927)[34]

Fourth of July at a County Fair (February 18, 1927)[35]

Going to Ride That Midnight Train (February 18, 1927)[36]

Mary, Don't You Weep (August 9, 1927)[37]

I'm S-A-V-E-D (August 9, 1927)[38]

Tennessee Coon (August 9, 1927)[39]

G Rag with Andrew Baxter (August 9, 1927)[40]

Picture on the Wall (August 9, 1927)[41]

My Carolina Girl (August 10, 1927)[42]

Peaches down in Georgia (November 27, 1929)[41]

The February, 1927 recording session, in Atlanta, featured Bill Chitwood on violin and bass vocals, Uncle Bud Landress on banjo, tenor vocals (and perhaps violin on Fourth of July at a Country Fair), and Phil Reeve and Elias Meadows, both on guitars and tenor vocals. Charles Ernest Moody performed with the Georgia Yellow Hammers on later recordings.[33]


  1. ^ "Southern Gospel Music | New Georgia Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  2. ^ "Georgia Yellow Hammers | New Georgia Encyclopedia". 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  3. ^ Faces of Gordon County (accessed 2012-09-22). This website has a better-quality photo of the Georgia Yellow Hammers, Phil Reeve, Uncle Bud Landress, Charles Ernest Moody, Bill Chitwood.
  4. ^ Daniel, Wayne W. (2001). Pickin’ on Peachtree. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. 
  5. ^ "A. J. Sims". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  6. ^ "Charles Earnest Moody 1891-1977". Hymntime. Archived from the original on 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  7. ^ Faces of Gordon County (accessed 2012-09-22).
  8. ^ a b "Fain cemetery, scroll all the way down. Charles and Fannie Moody are 19th and 20th from the very bottom". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  9. ^ "Letter from Charles Brownlee Moody in Calhoun (Georgia) Times, July 14, 1999". 1999-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  10. ^ a b c "". Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  11. ^,1091259
  12. ^ "Charles E. Moody Discography at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Kneel At The Cross lyrics chords | Stonewall Jackson". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  16. ^ "Charles E. Moody Music Videos". 1977-06-21. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  17. ^ Among the many recordings are Grateful Dead Lyric and Song Finder and Faces of Gordon County.
  18. ^ "New Georgia Encyclopedia". 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  19. ^ "Charles E. Moody". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  20. ^ "Carols of Peace for Christian Work and Worship d52. I was wandering in the night". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  21. ^ "Nice rendition of Drifting Too Far from the Shore by Confederado1 on youtube". 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  22. ^ "List of 11 hymnals containing Drifting Too Far from the Shore". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  23. ^ "Kneel at the Cross lyrics". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  24. ^ "African American Heritage Hymnal 241. Kneel at the cross". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  25. ^ "Thankful Hearts d10. As you go adown life's rugged way". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  26. ^ "Thankful Hearts d19. Cling to Christ, he is the solid rock". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  27. ^ "Harbor Bells No. 6 d53. Jesus is coming again some day". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  28. ^ a b "Harmony Gems d3. As I travel down life's road". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  29. ^ "Crimson Glow d3. All the heroes of the nation". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  30. ^ "Precious Name d104. There's a happy land somewhere free". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  31. ^ "Melodies of Joy d117. When I shall reach that city fair". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  32. ^ "Bethlehem Songs d32. In this world we have trouble and sadness". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  33. ^ a b "Encyclopedic discography of Victor recordings. All the songs, recording dates, which musicians sang which vocals and played which instruments". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  34. ^ "Youtube recording of Pass around the Bottle, with labeled photo of Phil Reeve, Uncle Bud Landress, Charles Ernest Moody, Bill Chitwood". 2010-06-22. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  35. ^ "Georgia Yellow Hammers : Fourth Of July At A County Fair ( 1927 )". YouTube. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  36. ^ "The Georgia Yellow Hammers-Going To Ride That Midnight Train". YouTube. 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  37. ^ "Georgia Yellow Hammers-Mary, Don't You Weep". YouTube. 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  38. ^ "The Georgia Yellow Hammers-I'm Saved". YouTube. 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  39. ^ "Georgia Yellow Hammers, Tennessee Coon. North Carolina 1927.". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  40. ^ "Andrew Baxter with the Georgia Yellow Hammers G Rag VICTOR 21195". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  41. ^ a b "The Georgia Yellow Hammers-The Picture On The Wall". YouTube. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  42. ^ "The Georgia Yellow Hammers-My Carolina Girl". YouTube. 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2014-06-27.