Vince Gill originally started writing “Go Rest High on That Mountain” after the death of country music sensation Keith Whitley in 1989. It took Gill another 4 years and the death of his brother to finish the tune. Since it was released in 1995 it went on to be CMA’s Song of the Year and the most-performed BMI song of the year in 1997. Gill also won two GRAMMYs for his performance of the song.
Over the last two decades, the song has become one of the most beloved eulogic ballads in country music history and Gill’s ability to perform it for so many of his friends and family members is truly captivating. He’s ability to make a world-renowned song seem incredibly personal.
After the death of legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, Palmer’s family asked Gill to perform the song. Before playing it, Gill shared, “I just want to thank the family for the gift of the invitation to come here and honor an old friend. That means more to me than you’ll ever know. This man was my favorite person. Not my favorite golfer, but my favorite person that I ever met.”
Gill also changed the lyrics of the second verse to reflect Palmer, changing the line “when they hear your sweet voice sing,” to, “when they see your sweet, sweet swing.”
Gill is an avid golfer and was named the best musician golfer by Golf Digest in 2014.