Albert Edward Brumley (October 29, 1905 - November 15, 1977)

Albert E. Brumley

Albert & Goldie Brumley

Find a Grave link

SMGA Hall of Fame link


Albert E. Brumley was born near Spiro, Oklahoma and grew up on a cotton farm.

Before his song writing career, he attended the old Hartford Musical Institute at Hartford, Arkansas and sang with the Hartford Quartet. Later he taught singing schools in various parts of the Ozarks. He met his wife-to-be, Goldie Edith Schell at one of these schools in Powell, Missouri. They were married in 1931 and continued to live at Powell, where they raised their six children: Bill, Al Jr., Bob, Tom, Jack and Betty.

It was in 1929 that Brumley actually composed I'll Fly Away. He recalled that he was picking cotton and singing the popular song, If I Had The Wings Of An Angel. Suddenly, he thought about flying away. Quote, "actually, I was dreaming of flying away from that cotton field when I wrote I'll Fly Away. That thought, of course, like the thoughts that underlay all his many songs, was based upon his own deep spiritual convictions. The song' "I'll Fly Away" became Mr. Brumley's most recorded song.

Mr. Brumley had tried his hand at writing music for a number of years but for the most part this had been just for his own pleasure. Goldie encouraged him to try to have more of his songs published. Albert agreed to try to sell one of his songs and I'll Fly Away was mailed to the Hartford Music Company one hot afternoon in July of 1932. Goldie was right and the Hartford Music Company published the song in the book, The Wonderful Message. The song began to gain national recognition while numerous others began asking to be allowed to use it in their church books. At the time that the song was accepted and published he was working in his father-in-law's general store for a dollar a day and was then shortly afterward employed by Hartford as a $12.50 a month staff writer.

Albert's song writing career started in 1931 with I'll Fly Away. Albert then spent 34 years as a staff writer for gospel's famed Hartford Music Company and the Stamps Baxter Music publishing companies, before forming Albert E Brumley And Sons Music, Country Gentlemen Music and purchasing the Hartford Music Company. He wrote over 800 gospel and 'sentimental' songs.

Founder of the Annual Albert E. Brumley Sundown to Sunup Sing (now titled: Albert E. Brumley Memorial Gospel Sing), the largest outdoor gospel sing in the nation. The Gospel Music Association named him one of only 5 persons in the U.S. whose contributions directly affected 20th century gospel music.

The song I'll Fly Away has received many awards and was inducted into the SESAC Hall of Fame in 1986. It has been recorded over 500 times at the time of induction. Turn Your Radio On received a Citation of Achievement by BMI in 1972. Brumley songs have been estimated to have been printed 15 million times in sheet music and hymn and songbooks.

He also sang with the Hartford Quartet.

Albert E. Brumley is still one of the most widely recorded gospel music composer in America. He's been recorded by a variety of artists, from gospel to secular.


GMA Hall Of Fame (1972)
SGMA Hall Of Fame (1997)
Inducted into the Oklahoma Hall Of Fame, 1998.
Named as one of Missouri's 100 best known men.
Inducted into the Country Song Writers Hall of Fame-1970. He was one of only 2 gospel writers named and the other was Stuart Hamblen.
Member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame-1972.
Marquis Who's Who in America 1976-1977.
Marquis Who's Who in the World 1978-1979.
Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

Songwriter's Résumé

(Partial List)

Bound For The Land Of Canaan
Cabin In The Valley Of Pines
Camping In Canaan's Land
Did You Ever Go Sailing
Dreaming Of A Little Cabin
Ev'ry Where I Go And Ev'ry Thing I Do
Go Right Out
God's Gentle People
Grand And Glorious Feeling
Hard Working Pilgrim
Have You Really Been A Friend
He Set Me Free
Heaven's Really Gonna Shine
Her Mansion Is Higher Than Mine
I Am Just A Pilgrim
I Believe In The Lord
I Cannot Find The Way Alone
I Couldn't Begin To Tell You
I Don't Have To Tell You
I Firmly Promise You
I Have A Contented Heart
I Have Heard About Heaven
I Just Steal Away And Pray
I Want To Walk Just As Close As I Can
I'd Rather Be An Old Time Christian
If We Never Meet Again
I'll Fly Away
I'll Meet You By The River
I'll Meet You In The Morning
I'll Not Be Far Behind
I'll Put On A Crown
I'll Sail Away Home
I'm Bound For That City
I'm Bound For The Land Of Canaan
I'm Just Too Near To The Pearly Gates
It's A Grand And Glorious Feeling
It's An Unfriendly World
It's Bound To Be The Lord
It's Really Surprising
I've Found A Hiding Place
I've Never Been Sorry
Jesus Hold My Hand
Lord I've Been A Hard Working Pilgrim
May The Good Lord Keep Your Precious Soul
My Closest Kin
My Lord's Gonna Lead Me Out
Never To Say Goodbye
Practice What You Preach
Precious Jesus Don't Forget
Prettiest Flowers
Rank Strangers To Me
Ride On God's Careworn Children
Salvation Has Been Brought Down
Some Sweet Happy Day
Standing By The River
Steal Away
Surely I Will Lord
That Old Time Preacher Man
The Lord Is Never Too Busy
The Love Of The Lord
The New Jerusalem Way
The Old Time Preacher Man
The Sweetest Song I Know
The World's Greatest Story
There's A Little Pine Log Cabin
They'll Welcome Me Back Home
They're Having A Big Revival
Things I Cannot Do Alone
This World Is Not My Home
Turn Your Radio On
We'll Meet A Lot Of Friends And Neighbors
When He Put A Little Sunshine In
When I Look On His Kind Smiling Face
When I Looked Up And He Looked Down
When I Thank Him For What He Has Done
When They Ring The Bells Of Heaven
When We Sing Around The Throne Eternal
You'll Get Your Reward Someday

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