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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

Sail On (1977)

Updated: Mar 9

Sail On is the 22nd studio album by the Christian music vocal group The Imperials. It is their first album to be released on Word Records' DaySpring label in 1977 and the first to feature two new vocalists: Russ Taff on tenor and lead and David Will on baritone and vocals, after the departures of Sherman Andrus and Terry Blackwood and the release of their previous album Just Because.

Andrus and Blackwood went on to form the Christian music duo Andrus, Blackwood and Company and released their debut album that same year. Taff and Will joined The Imperials in 1976 along with long-time members Armond Morales and Jim Murray and got together with Gary S. Paxton as producer and recorded an album that remained unreleased until 2006. Those unreleased songs would later be released as The Lost Album. Paxton was let go by Word Records due to creative differences and Word called in Chris Christian to produce an entirely new album and Sail On was the result.

In 1978, The Imperials won their second Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational for Sail On at the 20th Grammy Awards and even performed the title song on the telecast, plus at the 10th GMA Dove Awards, they were named Male Group of the Year. The Imperials' first chart appearance was on CCM Magazine's contemporary hit radio chart in August 1978 with the title song climbing to number three a couple of months later. Sail On has never been released on CD or available digitally, although some selected tracks like the title song are available in both formats. A YouTube link to listen to the album is posted below this article.

Track listing

1. Water Grave (Steve Chapman) -3:55

2. Satisfaction Guaranteed (Chris Christian) -3:50

3. Gotta Watch, Gotta Pray (Terry Wayne Robinson) -3:10

4. More Each Day (Tim Sheppard) -3:30

5. There Will Never Be Any Peace (Eugene Record) -3:00

6. Sail On (Chris Christian) -3:20

7. Keep On Walking (Steve and Annie Chapman) -2:55

8. Sonlight (Jim Murray, James Hollihan, Jr.) -3:05

9. Bread on the Water (Bill Grine, Janny Grine) -3:10

10. Try Again (Russ Taff) -2:55


The Imperials:

Armond Morales -bass, vocals

Jim Murrary -tenor, vocals

Russ Taff -lead vocals

David Will -baritone, vocals


Grammy Award -Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational (Sail On)

Dove Award -Male Group of the Year

Radio singles

1978 "Sail On" -#3 Christian AC/CHR

1979 "Water Grave" -#14 Christian AC/CHR

Previous release: Just Because (1976)

Next release: Imperials Live (1978)

Listen to the album Sail On here:

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