Elvis Presley won three Grammy awards during his lifetime, all for his gospel performances. The 1967 album HOW GREAT THOU ART, a collection of fourteen sacred songs drawn largely from the standards of the genre, was his third gospel recording and his first Grammy winner. While Presley's previous gospel album, 1960's HIS HAND IN MINE, stayed within the vocal quartet tradition Presley had loved as a child, HOW GREAT THOU ART places greater emphasis on Elvis' solo voice, framed by a larger church choir.
Friends and musical associates often remarked that Presley was happiest when singing gospel music. HOW GREAT THOU ART supports their claims; throughout the album, Presley sounds completely at ease with the material. The King's versatility serves him well here, as the material ranges from footstompers ("By and By") to sweet ballads ("Crying in the Chapel," "In the Garden") to the near-operatic title track and a similarly dramatic reading of "Where No One Stands Alone." The final track, "Peace In The Valley," was recorded for a 1957 gospel EP of the same title.