YouTube Discoveries: The comedy/music team of Gaither & Lowry

Sometimes you just need to laugh, and no matter how many times I’ve looked at these clips–countless, in fact–I laugh out loud to the point of crying.

Quick intro: Bill Gaither is the biggest name in Southern Gospel music, thanks to his singing, songwriting, and presenting of other genre artists under the umbrella of his Homecoming concerts, albums and videos. Mark Lowry is Southern Gospel’s greatest clown, but also a genius singer and songwriter (his “Mary Did You Know” is a standard) who has sung with Bill off and on for years. I’ve been lucky enough to know and work with both of them—and see them perform on more than one occasion.

So here are two performances from Mark’s days in the Gaither Vocal Band. First is “Jesus On the Mainline”:

That one just kills me every time! And you really got to give it up for Bill: As brilliant and unpredictably crazy as Mark is, he’s there every step of the way, taking it and moving it along. And really, there are no greater singers anywhere than David Phelps (far left) and Guy Penrod, Mark and Bill notwithstanding.

But I enjoy “Turn Your Radio On” as much, both for the shtick value and the fact that you get to see so many of the legends in the background, many of them–Jake Hess, Howard and Vestal Goodman, James Blackwood, Jessy Dixon, J.D. Sumner–now gone. Gone, but never forgotten.