Wanda Jackson, “Dust On The Bible”

Written by November 29th, 2010 at 11:30 am

For the b-side to Wanda Jackson’s new single, “Thunder On The Mountain,” Jackson and producer Jack White chose the gospel-influenced chestnut “Dust On The Bible.” The song was made most famous by Kitty Wells, but was also recorded by the likes of Hank Williams Sr. and Roy Acuff. Interestingly, Williams and Acuff both played pivotal roles in the careers of Johnny and Walter Bailes, who wrote the song and recorded it for Columbia in 1945. The Bailes Brothers were a popular harmony act – in various lineups with their other brothers Kyle and Homer – in the ’30s and ’40s, playing radio shows alongside Little Jimmie Dickens and Red Sovine. Through their association with Acuff, they joined the Grand Ole Opry, but soon left Nashville for Shreveport and Louisiana Hayride, where they met a young Hank Williams. “Dust On The Bible” was a perfect choice for Wanda Jackson, who turned to Christian and gospel music in the ’70s. “I did not mean to divorce my country music or rockabilly,” she recently told American Songwriter. “I just wanted to do church revivals, wound up with a ministry, my husband started speaking – we did that for about 15 years. Its very fulfilling work. Christianity is very simple.”  Jackson’s full-length album The Party Ain’t Over (Nonesuch) comes out on January 25, 2011. Read our feature story on Wanda Jackson here. – DAVIS INMAN

“Dust On The Bible”

I went into a home one day to see some friends of mine
Of all the books and magazines not a Bible could I find
I asked them for the Bible when they brought it what a shame
For the dust was covered over it not a fingerprint was plain

Dust on the Bible, dust on the holy word
The words of all the prophets and the sayings of our Lord
Of all the other books you’ll find there’s none salvation holds
Get that dust off the Bible and redeem your poor soul

You can read your magazines of love and tragic things
But not one word of Bible verse, not a scripture do you know
When it is the very truth and its contents good for you
But if dust is covered over it will surely doom your soul

Dust on the Bible, dust on the holy word
The words of all the prophets and the sayings of our Lord
Of all the other books you’ll find there’s none salvation holds
Get that dust off the Bible and redeem your poor soul

Oh if you have a friend you’d like to help along life’s way
Just tell him that the good book shows a mortal how to pray
The best advice to give him that will make his burden light
Is to dust the family Bible, trade the wrong way for the right

Written by Johnny and Walter Bailes

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