Growing up singing in the church, Josh Turner knew he was born to perform. The South Carolina native spent his childhood singing in the choir and even founded a gospel quartet called Thankful Hearts before moving on to study music at Nashville's Belmont University.
He hit the ground running in Nashville and, after his debut at the Grand Ole Opry in 2001, has had a steady career of Billboard hits. With the help of his label, MCA Nashville, he's made quite a name for himself. But the singer-songwriter has never forgotten his Christian roots and has released some great gospel music over the years. Here are our picks for the 10 best songs sung by one of Music City's best baritone vocalists.
1. "She'll Go On You"
Maybe one of Turner's lesser-known songs, "She'll Go On You" was released as a 7'' vinyl before his first album Long Black Train and included "Backwoods Boy" as a B-side track. This slow ballad shows a different side to Turner and showcases his strong vocal abilities.
Written with Shawn Camp and Pat McLaughlin from 2007 album Everything Is Fine, "Firecracker" is Turner's fastest chart-climbing single to date. The song, which peaked at No. 2, is a fun honky-tonker where the narrator compares his love to a firecracker.
3. "Me and God"
Released as the third single from 2006 album Your Man, "Me and God" peaked at No. 16 on the country charts. This duet with bluegrass musician Ralph Stanley was also released as a single on Christian radio and was nominated for Vocal Event of the Year at the 2007 Academy of Country Music Awards.
4. "Hometown Girl"
Written by Marc Beeson and Daniel Tashian, this was Turner's second single released in 2016 from his Deep South album. It was the singer's first top 10 hit in four years, peaking at No. 2 on the charts. This song is the definition of a country music classic, with nostalgic lyrics and an infectious melody that makes it impossible not to sing along.
5. "Why Don't We Just Dance"
The lead single from Haywire spent four weeks at the top of the charts. This song would make anyone want to jump onto the dance floor and two-step, which is probably why it became Turner's longest-reigning No. 1.
6. "Long Black Train"
"Long Black Train" was Turner's Grand Ole Opry debut performance which earned him not only a standing ovation but a demand for an encore. Written by Turner himself, the song peaked at 13 on the charts.
7. "Would You Go With Me"
The second single from the 2006 album Your Man, "Would You Go With Me" was a Np. 1 hit. It even secured a 2007 Grammy Awards nomination for Male Country Vocal Performance of the Year.
8. "Your Man"
The title track from Turner's 2005 album was his first No. q hit. Writers Chris Stapleton and Chris Dubois were even given a reward from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Odds are when you're thinking of a Josh Turner song, this is one of the first that comes to mind and that's because it's a total classic that still holds up years after its release.
9. "All Over Me"
This 2010 single from Haywire was written by The Peach Pickers (Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip) and hit No. 1 on the country charts.
10. "Time is Love"
Billboard magazine named "Time is Love" the number one country song of the year in 2012, despite only peaking at No. 2 on the charts. The lead single from Punching Bag is a feel-good song that proves Turner knows how to make a hit.
Honorable mention songs: "What It Ain't," "Find Me a Baby," "Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy," "I Wouldn't Be a Man," "Lay Low" and "I'll Be There"
This story originally ran on Feb. 11, 2019