While Bill Gaither was accompanying Dr. Dale Oldham on his evangelistic crusades, the preacher said to him, "Bill, the word 'touch' is a very popular word. It comes up so often in the New Testament stories about Jesus touching people's eyes and healing them, or touching people's lives and changing them. It's a special, spiritual word and you ought to write a song that praises His touch." So he did. That week, Dr. Oldham's son Doug Oldham began singing it in the meetings. Doug was also the first to record the song (in 1964). Not long after that, the Bill Gaither Trio recorded it.
In 1965, The Imperials first recorded "He Touched Me" for their album The Happy Sounds of Jake Hess and the Imperials, then recorded a newer version in 1969 for the album Love Is The Thing. It was this version that Elvis Presley heard, and made him want to record it himself. On May 5, 1971, Elvis recorded it—along with the Imperials (as backup singers)—and was released as a single. It became the title track of his 1972 Grammy Award-winning album He Touched Me.