Peace in the Valley

Peace In The Valley

Written by Thomas A. Dorsey in 1938 or 1939


  • “The History of this song is a curious one. The earliest gospel recording that I’m aware of is a 1949 version of the tiny Trilon label by the San Francisco-based Paramount Singers, led by Tiny Powell, with whom Paul Foster had sung extensively in the Bay Area before joining the Soul Stirrers. Sam’s friend Roscoe Robinson had recorded the song with the Southern Sons for the Jackson-based Trumpet label in May of 1950 – but, according to Marc Ryan, Trumpet Records: Diamonds on Farish Street, p. 18, the masters burned up in a fire, and no copies of the record are known to have survived. Why the Soul Stirrers recorded this song at this particular time will have to remain something of a mystery. It might have been Paul Foster’s familiarity with the song, or Sam’s or Crain’s, for that matter – it could very well have been a staple on the live gospel circuit in Chicago. The reason that country singer Red Foley recorded it some four weeks later and the song rapidly became an across-the-board standard (Foley’s version went to number five on the country charts) is more discernible. Red Foley, like Nashville superstar Eddy Arnold, had a copublishing deal with Hill and Range songs. Hill and Range was owned by two Viennese-born brothers, Jean and Julian Aberbach, who at this point operated primarily within the country-and-western marked but would soon dominate much of pop publishing, particularly after forging a copublishing deal with Elvis Presley at the start of his career. In early 1951, according to Bar Biszick, Jean Aberbach’s biographer, the Aberbachs made their first tentative foray into gospel music, setting up an incipient publishing deal with Thomas Dorsey that would not be completed until August 1952. In the meantime, it would appear, they set out to expand the market for gospel songs, probably in order to prove themselves to Dorsey and to further both his interests and their own. That appears to be the reason for the sudden revival of the twelve-year-old song, and it certainly helped further the song’s promimence in Elvis’ repertoire (he introduced it on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1957 and recorded it shortly thereafter). None of this impinged on the Soul Stirrers, though, whose record came out several weeks before Red Foley’s. Interestingly, Crain wrote to Art Rupe on September 14, in response to a question about the song’s authorship and publishing, and made reference to the differences between the Stirrers’ and Foley’s versions.            (source: Peter Guralnick – Dream Boogie, page 659)

Soul Stirrers:  

  • Sam Cooke (lead)
  • Paul Foster (lead) 
  • Senior Roy Crain (first tenor)
  • Thomas L. Bruster (baritone)
  • R.B. Robinson (baritone)
  • Jesse J. Farley (bass)

Recorded March 1, 1951 at Universal Recorders in Hollywood by Art Rupe

MP3 at

Singles    Specialty 802 b/w Jesus Gave Me Water (1951, sold 65,300 copies)


  • The Complete Recordings of Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers
  • The Gospel Soul of Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers, Vol.1
  • My Gospel Roots
  • Peace In The Valley
  • Sam Cooke With the Soul Stirrers
  • Specialty Profiles
  • Touch The Hem Of His Garment
  • Wonderful
  • Brothers Of Soul – Early Years Collection
  • You Send Me (Timeless Collection)


O, there will be peace in the valley for me, one day
There will be peace in the valley for me, I pray

No sadness, no sorrow, no more trouble there will be
There will be peace in the valley for me

You know the bear will be gentle
you know wolves gonna be so tamed

Mighty lion, if you will right now,
will lie down with the lamb, oh yes
I know the horse from the wild
Will be led by a little child
and I´ll be changed from this creature

There will be peace in the valley for me, one day
No sadness, no, sorrow, no more trouble there will be
There will be peace in the valley, I pray


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