Appalachia Music

Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies – Take 2


The Pressley Girls

It was back in 2014 that I shared a video of Pap and Paul doing the old song “Where the Soul of Man Never Dies.” The girls learned the song sometime last spring and we’ve been doing it ever since.

William M. Golden wrote the song and he was born in Webster County, Mississippi. Golden wrote many Gospel songs. A complete list can be seen here on the website. According to the site Golden wrote most of his songs while serving time in prison.

Golden actually named the song “To Canaan’s Land I’m on my Way” but I’ve never heard it called that in my neck of the woods. My list of favorite gospel songs is long, but “Where the Soul of Man Never Dies” is certainly in there somewhere. Another song Golden wrote is in my list as well “A Beautiful Life.”

Wayne Erbsen tells about The Blue Sky Boys recording “Where the Soul of Man Never Dies” when they were teenagers in his book Rural Roots of Bluegrass. Erbsen shares a quote from Bill Bolick, one of the Blue Sky Boys. In the quote Bill tells the song was an early hit for him and his brother and he was surprised no other performers sung the song until their recording was released. Bill also said they learned the song from their father who was a fan of William M. Golden.

My nephew Ben filmed us doing the song at his house.

I hope you enjoyed the song!


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    jerry newell
    February 2, 2019 at 9:33 am

    love you guys playing and singing great guitar great fiddle great singing. I play along in Ohio on the mandolin\

  • Reply
    Michael Giles
    January 28, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Very good song. Interesting that William Golden, from Webster County wrote it. I grew up deer hunting in Webster and Montgomery counties where my Grandfather was born and raised. I never lived there but grew up hunting there.

  • Reply
    David Allen Kaynor
    January 28, 2019 at 10:07 am

    This video makes me feel good for many reasons. Like others, I’m delighted that all four of you are in focus.

    initially, watching and listening to this video, I simply sat back and enjoyed it. Subsequent watching and listening remind me that the technical achievements in your playing and singing don’t come easy; they require hard work and heart. That hard work and heart enable us to experience your hearts. You make the world a better place.


  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 7:52 am

    I think it’s just great that your family can enjoy making music together! Everyone is so talented!

  • Reply
    Leon Pantenburg
    January 27, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Another of my favorites! _ Good job!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you for this rendition of one of my lifetime favorite hymns!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Tipper, have missed your posts. It’s been a long time. I always have loved your blog and I love that music sung beautifully by your very pretty girls.

    Drop over to my Writing Nook when you get a chance. Mary

  • Reply
    February 11, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    HI Tipper, this is the second time I went to the song.I’ve always enjoyed the Girls but today it touch my very soul,thank you .God Bless.jean

  • Reply
    February 11, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    I just been listening to Ray and Pap on those reel to reel tapes transfer. That’s my kind of Music, I remember my Mommy use to say “I just Love that Fox and Hound type of Music”. She was referring to the third song about a Soldier (Make him a Soldier). They are soo Clear. …Ken

  • Reply
    February 11, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I really like that song, especially the way it changes from Color to Black and White while singing. The Girls do an excellent job, besides being gorgeous.

    I’m glad someone convinced You to move out front where you can be seen because you’re an important part of the group and Paul is the best at playing the Guitar.

    I remember on time at Hewitts Baptist Church, near the Nantahala Quarry, the Sunday School Superintendent (Harley Grant) got up and said “Are the Roper boys in the house?” Daddy stood up and took us to the stage and we sang “I Have but one Goal”. Harold led the song and I put the
    Flavor to it, kinda like Chatter does. The House was packed and we got a Standin’ Ovation. …Ken

  • Reply
    Rick Shepherd
    February 11, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks Tipper, Chitter, Chatter and Paul!…..Helps to make a chill, rainy Sunday morning in Ohio a happy one!…..Loved your song, girls!…..Hope I got your names right!….. Rick

  • Reply
    February 11, 2018 at 11:43 am

    You know, it’s kinda sad in a way to listen to and watch the video and not hear Paul’s voice. It’s kinda like he is a just a session musician. I know that’s not the case but someone just stumbling across it on youtube might think so.
    That’s the sad, now the glad! The Pressley Girls are not singing in unison, that’s two part harmony and it’s great. I looked around for other duets performing the same song and of course I had to listen to the Blue Sky Boys (the mail mail and the airplane mechanic). Then I came across this . Their vocals are not so great but I found something very interesting in the chorus. Listen to how long the little girl holds the note that corresponds with the words “sad” and “all”. The Pressley Girls could do that too and do it a whole lot better. Please show it to them and consider working it into their version. If they could I would be so proud of them and of me too!

    • Reply
      February 11, 2018 at 11:54 am

      That would be a “mail man” not a mail mail!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 11, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Yep, that is an old favorite. Still in the song books we use and was in those we had when I was growing up. I wonder why Mr. Golden was in prison. Those songs don’t match with an immoral person.

    It is a bit off the subject but the old timers re-used Bible names for the local geography. There is a Canaan Valley in West Virginia for example. And there is a Nebo Lead in Murray County, GA. Pretty easy to pick out the old names from the ‘new-fangled’ ones. Generally speaking the old ones are unpretentious and meaningful. New ones tend to ‘put on airs’ and are not helpful to navigate or otherwise inform.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Very cool post… Wow… I think I just realized something… Would the author of the song have been the grandfather of one of the Oak Ridge Boys?

    • Reply
      February 11, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      I don’t think William Matthew Golden had any children that lived into adulthood. His wife has a daughter Tina Lee Nelson from a former marriage. Tina married Hubert Lewis and had two sons. William Lee Golden could be related but William Matthew Golden’s father was James Golding. Some time during his life William’s surname was changed to Golden.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 11, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Very nice! Good job to all, you did a great job! I like seeing Tipper up front instead of in the back where you can’t really see her. Your music has surely blossomed. Like Wesley, I see good thing in your future!

  • Reply
    Wesley P Bossman
    February 11, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Let me be the first to thank all four of you for another wonderful beginning for a Sunday morning.
    I have been a bling pig fan for only a year, but I can hear the progress of your music as it buds and flowers. I can see very good things happening now and in your future. Thanks!!

  • Leave a Reply