Cleavant Derricks, who was born in 1910 in Chattanooga TN, wrote gospel standards like: “Just A Little Talk With Jesus,” “When God Dips His Love In My Heart,” “My Soul Is Satisfied,” and “We’ll Soon Be Done With Troubles And Trials.”
Derricks was also a well known pastor and choir director. In 1936 “We’ll Soon Be Done With Troubles and Trials” was published in a Stamps-Baxter hymnbook. “Just A Little Talk With Jesus” was published a short time later in another singing convention song book. Like many other songwriters of the day, Derricks received little compensation for his songs.
In the mid 70s Derricks met Aaron Brown who worked for Canaan Records. The story goes Derricks entered the recording studio and told them he had some new material if they wanted to look at it and then he told them he was the man who had penned “Just A Little Talk With Jesus.” Once Brown realized what a treasure he had been introduced too, he signed Derricks and his family to a record deal. The Derricks family recorded two albums for Canaan Records, with the second garnering an Emmy nomination.
Several big name entertainers have hit the billboard charts with songs written by Cleavant Derricks: The Oak Ridge Boys became almost synonymous with the song “Just A Little Talk With Jesus” during the late 70s and Otis McCoy had a hit with his performance of “When God Dips His Love In My Heart.”
When Brown realized Derricks had never received any royalties from his songs, he contacted BMI, an organization that represents songwriters, composers, and publishers. Brown convinced BMI to pay Derricks a lump sum of $14,000.
Although I never knew who wrote them, I grew up singing Cleavant Derricks songs in church. Recently Paul and Chitter have been giving the old toe tapper “When God Dips His Love In My Heart” a try. They haven’t gotten it down pat enough to record yet, but their trying reminded me of how good Pap and Paul did the song and how much fun it is to play.
Hope you enjoyed the song and the history.