Appalachia Music

Crying Holy Unto the Lord

on the rock where moses stood
The girls have been doing the old gospel song Crying Holy Unto the Lord for more than a few years. If you’ve been around the Blind Pig and The Acorn for a long time you may even remember them performing the song in the historic Lufty Baptist Church.

I knew the song was old, but when I first went looking for information about its history I had a hard time finding anything solid. The song is sometimes called On the Rock where Moses Stood or simply Crying Holy.

I finally stumbled upon the following information about the song on the Bluegrass Messengers website.

NOTES: “Crying Holy Unto The Lord” is a traditional spiritual from Norfolk Jubilee Quartet in 1924, the first recording made of this gospel song. This spiritual was popularized in early country music by the Carter Family who recorded the song twice (1930 and 1935) under the title, “On the Rock Where Moses Stood.” The Carters collected and learned spirituals from several African-American sources including Pauline Gary and Leslie Riddle.

The first closely related versions were recorded by African-American groups like the Norfolk Jubilee Quartet in 1924- “Crying To The Lord.” The Birmingham Jubilee Singers’ first record in 1926 was He Took My Sins Away and Crying To The Lord and it sold almost 5000 copies.

Recently we changed up our arrangement to the song Crying Holy Unto the Lord and its become one of our favorite songs to play.

Hope you enjoyed the history and the song!


*Source:  Bluegrass Messengers website


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Marshall Whitaker
    June 21, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Every time I listen to a gospel number on your blog I feel so uplifted. The music is such a blessing.

  • Reply
    shelia henning
    October 6, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Such an awesome way to start my day! Thank you, beautiful song!

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    May 29, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Wonderful song and the girls sounded great!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Today after all them Preachers went off, I called our Christian Radio Station and talked with Donna Lynn. I just had to tell her about going to The Pressley Girl’s Concert in Bryson City last night. I told her that the Girls donated their time for the upkeep of Lauada Cemetery effort. She said that they were such Pretty Girls anyway, and that she had uploaded several new songs. Then she asked “What Pressley Girls song would you like to hear?” At that point I asked her if she would play “Crying Holy” for all my friends who don’t use a computer. And she did!
    I’ve gotten calls from folks I didn’t even know, asking about The Pressley Girls. I told ’em what I know and referred them back to Donna Lynn. I like all them Wilsons. I know April Wilson (Steve’s daughter) was going to be at Martin’s Creek to sing last night too. (She’s the 3rd. Indian Princess.)

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 28, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve been listen to the Pressley Girls doing “Crying Holy” since they put it on their Youtube channel a few days ago. I really enjoy the song but I also like making the video full screen and watching their faces. Music is a whole lot better when you can have fun doing it.
    Are the trash cans there in case someone hits a sour note?

  • Reply
    May 28, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I really got a Blessing last night in Bryson City. Driving thru town looking for a parking space, I noticed The Pressley Girls on the billboard sign at the Theater. I turned left at the Courthouse, went out that street and was impressed at how Bryson had grown since I was a kid. Before our school got started, Daddy and Mama would take me and Harold to Belk’s to get a new pair of shoes.
    I saw Bill Burnett and Christine Proctor as I went inside, and Lawrence Hyde was taking up the tickets. I made my way down near the front and sat with the Casada brothers and Susan. Matt was there helping with the microphones and he sat right behind me. Just before it got started, Don got up and introduced all the Blind Pig Gang. He was impressive too. Chitter and Chatter sung lots of songs and I noticed all those long hours of practice sure paid off. I’m glad I was there! …Ken

  • Reply
    May 28, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Yes, I needed that- thank you!

  • Reply
    Luke Bauserman
    May 28, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Wonderful! I enjoyed the song and the history.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 28, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Now that’s a fine song well done!

  • Leave a Reply