Singing on the Mountain

Singing on the Mountain

The “Singing” is a day-long gathering held out-of-doors in a meadow at the base of Grandfather Mountain. Music begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues throughout the day, with a break at mid-day for the sermon. Many families bring lawn chairs and picnics and make a day of seeing old friends and enjoying performances by top Southern Gospel groups.

Always held on the fourth Sunday in June, admission to the “Singing on the Mountain” is free and camping (without hookups) is available on the grounds on a first come basis. The “Singing” grounds are located on US Highway 221, two miles north of Linville and one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

89 Years of Memories

June 23, 2013 marks the 89th year that the faithful will climb the ridge to the “Singing on the Mountain” to participate in the oldest ongoing old time gospel convention left in the Southern Appalachians.

Founded in 1924 by Joe Hartley, Sr. as a Sunday school picnic and dinner on the grounds, the Grandfather “Singing” is always held on the fourth Sunday in June (June 23, 2013). The history of the “Singing” is the history of country gospel music, and even today the spontaneous happening continues almost unchanged in 89 years. Admission is free with the motto remaining the same for 89 years: “Whosoever will may come.”

Old timers can remember the time when Little Betty Johnson of the Johnson Family Singers led the crowd in a stirring sing-a-long that could be heard over a mile away on Grandfather Mountain’s Mile High Swinging Bridge.

And the time when thunderstorms threatened to drown out the event on the day that Billy Graham was scheduled to speak. No one who was there will ever forget how the clouds parted as Graham stepped up to the microphone and the sun shone brightly on the gathering while he shared his message of God’s amazing grace.

Or when Roy Acuff said of Grandfather Mountain, “what a glorious place to praise the Lord. It is like being lifted right up there with your prayers.”

Everyone relishes memories of Arthur Smith and the Crackerjacks, music masters of the event from the 1950s through the early 1980s. Brother Ralph Smith would keep the crowd laughing with his country humor while Arthur inspired the gathering with dozens of his classic hymns, including “Acres of Diamonds.” Other crowd favorites who performed with Smith were Tommy Faile, Maggie Griffin, Don Ainge, the Shuler twins, and George Hamilton IV.

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  • The beauty and magic of this place is absolutely amazing.  This place is a masterpiece of God's creation.
    Lincolnton, NC
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