We recently extolled the virtues of the Grass Roots, one of the prime hit-making bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s. While preparing that post, which noted the passing in 2011 of founding members Rob Grill and Rick Coone, I conducted a little YouTube research on one of the Grass Roots' last hit singles.
It's a song called "Glory Bound," which reached No. 34 on the Billboard charts in 1972 and should have reached the top 10, IMHO. "Glory Bound" was a splendid piece of soul-based pop/rock, a perfect fit for Grill's range on lead vocals.
As I scouted out one of my favorite Grass Roots tunes from yesteryear, I discovered at least two other songs, of more recent vintage, that are called "Glory Bound." Both come from different genres than the Grass Roots tune, but both captured me right off.
Let's give them all a listen. First, here is a stereo version of the Grass Roots from 1972. I have a 45 of this stored away somewhere, and its grooves have long since been worn out:
Next, I stumbled upon "Glory Bound" by a band called The Wailin' Jennys. I had never heard of them, but I gather that they are a poor man's version of the Dixie Chicks. Actually, that characterization is off target because The Wailin' Jennys easily can stand on their own abilities--no comparisons necessary. They are a folk band from Canada, like my Facebook friend Burton Cummings, and I definitely am going to learn more about them. Their "Glory Bound" is stunning, with drop-dead gorgeous harmonies and some of the finest lyrics I've heard in quite a while. The song, released in 2006, was written by band member Ruth Moody, and she has a deft touch with words. Here are The Wailin' Jennys from a live performance at Bethel College in Kansas:
Finally, we have "Glory Bound" from American singer-songwriter Martin Sexton, who specializes in an electic mix of rock, R&B, country, soul, and gospel. I first became aware of Sexton when his song "Diner" was featured on a 2007 episode of Scrubs. Sexton has an inventive, quirky sound, and his "Glory Bound" is a soulful number that features a virtuoso vocal performance. It grabs you immediately--and doesn't let go. Enjoy: