The Originals: What A Day That Will Be

by | Jan 13, 2018 | Audio, History

“What A Day That Will Be” was written by Jim Hill in 1955.

At the time, Hill was singing tenor with The Golden Keys, a part-time/weekender group based in Ohio. The Golden Keys sang the song first, but another quartet was the first to record it.

The Homeland Harmony Quartet (circa 1956)

In Atlanta, there was a group closely affiliated with the Church Of God denomination called the Homeland Harmony Quartet. Their sound was defined by the distinctive vocals of their tenor Connor Hall and a young bass singer named Rex Nelon. The Homeland Harmony Quartet heard “What A Day That Will Be” and were the first to record it. Their version was released in 1957 on Liberty Records single #5015.

Click HERE to hear the very first recording of “What A Day That Will Be” by the Homeland Harmony Quartet!

In the years that followed, “What A Day That Will Be” was recorded by numerous artists. The song is so popular that it is still included in many modern hymnbooks.

The following list of artists who have recorded the song (from our sister site,, is not a complete listing of every artist to record “What A Day That Will Be,” but as you can see, it is rather lengthy!

(A big thanks to John Crenshaw for his assistance with this article!)


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David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both and


  1. Tad Kirkland

    What A Day That Will Be is such a classic that is similar to songs like He Touched Me and I’ve Been to Calvary that it could be assumed Bill wrote it. Which makes me wonder, what else did Jim Hill write? Anything close to What A Day’s caliber even if it didn’t reach it’s popularity?

    • David Bruce Murray

      “What A Day That Will Be” is by far his most popular song.

      Hill did write other songs that were recorded by his Golden Keys as well as other artists. Some titles include “Each Step I Take,” “For God So Loved,” “No One Ever Cared So Much,” and “I’ll Make it to Heaven.”

      • Tad Kirkland

        Ok, thanks! I am very familiar with No One Ever Cared So Much which IMHO is a superior song to What A Day. I know an Each Step I Take but there appear to be several with that title.

  2. Scotty Searan

    I like the songs that the musical arrangement are simple and projected the message in simplicity and truth.
    The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. It is really not hard to figure it out. It is us humans that often through our arrangements that make it hard to be understood.
    pardon my crudeness. But sometime we are like a dog who is laying off his turf: we like to go around letting others know we have been here through our arrangements. of music and the like.
    There are so many classics that have been written and recorded in Southern Gospel Music.
    But one thing that has endured it is the simplicity.
    Jesus Loves Me
    Had it Not Been
    He’s Still Working On Me
    He Touched Me
    Because He Lives
    Who Am I
    Beulah Land
    The Lighthouse
    Who Am I
    What A Day That Will Be
    King Jesus
    Jesus is Coming Soon
    I Bowed On My Knees and Cried “Holy”
    If That Isn’t Love
    He Looked Beyond My Fault and saw My Need
    I’ll Fly Away
    There are many others that can bless your soul, just by simply being sung without fancy arrangement, Just let the song minister to us.
    That was what I treasured in a lot of the songs of years gone by, that we do not see being done today.


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