Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable. Today, our Classic 45 takes you back to 1951. It’s one of the true classics of country-gospel music, “Satisfied” from the “First Lady of Gospel Music”, Martha Carson.
A little background that led to the writing of this classic. Martha got her start singing with her sisters (Amburgey Sisters; her maiden name). After marrying James Carson, she left her sisters to perform with her husband as the Barn Dance Sweethearts. Unfortunately, their marriage did not last, ending in divorce in 1950.
In 1950, Martha toured with Bill Carlisle and the Carlisles. It was during this time that the song “Satisfied” came to be. The Carson divorce was not popular among their many fans, and during a concert in the Carlisle tour, one night, a fan made mean comments towards Martha, reducing her to tears. According to her website, God inspired her with a thought of “I’m satisfied and you’re satisfied”, and that was the beginning of a classic. Her website also states that she wrote the lyrics on the back of a blank check lying on the floor of Carlisle’s car.
It wasn’t until November 5, 1951, that Martha was able to record “Satisfied”. Martha had been prohibited from recording solo by her label, Capitol, due to her being under contract to record as part of the Barn Dance Sweethearts. However, Fred Rose is said to have convinced the label to change its mind. “Satisfied” was one of four tracks recorded during the session. Hall of famer Ken Nelson produced. Bill Carlisle and Opal “Jean” Chapel (Martha’s sister) provided harmony, while both Harold Bradley and Chet Atkins played guitar.
Released in December, the single wasn’t a big hit upon it’s release. It failed to chart in both Billboard and Cashbox. However, it built a slow, steady momentum over the years, eventually becoming her most popular release.
It must be noted, as well, about how Martha’s performing style on songs like “Satisfied”, not only became popular in country and gospel music, but also influenced numerous rock and rollers, most notably Elvis Presley.
If for some reason, you’re not familiar with the song, do yourself a favor and give it a listen. Perpaps two, or three. The banging piano, the twin guitars, the hand clapping. It’s rousing country-gospel at it’s best, that can lift the spirits of anyone.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, model railroader, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, focusing on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.