Butch Yelton and Upbound (lost recordings from Christian country music band; 1970s)

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"Swing that Gospel Axe" album cover.

Status: Lost

Butch Yelton and Upbound were a Christian country music band based out of Bardolph, Illinois that was active throughout the 1970s. The group consisted of five members; producer and bandleader Butch Yelton, vocalist Mary Foley, pedal steel player Danny Weaver, bassist William E. Friday,[1] and a fifth, currently unidentified member. The band remains best known today for their LP Swing that Gospel Axe, which is often featured on many worst album covers lists online due to the unintentional serial killer imagery given off from the photo. What differentiates Butch Yelton and Upbound from many of the other artists featured on these lists however is that, while many of these other artists and their work can be found online through a simple Google search, Butch Yelton and Upbound and their entire discography appear to have vanished into the ether, with little to no information on them resurfacing online since they stopped recording.

Songs and Albums

The band is known to have recorded at least two full LPs; Swing that Gospel Axe, and Cookin' Country Gospel. Swing that Gospel Axe has no information available for it online, with the frequently shared album art being the only evidence of its existence at all. Cookin' Country Gospel on the other hand has far more information available for it online. It is known to have been released in 1976, with production done by Butch Yelton himself, who also wrote five songs for the LP. The LP also featured a song written by Mary Foley, a track entitled Amazing Grace, No. 3 by Danny Weaver, a cover of Tom T. Hall's I Love, and various other covers of artists such as Andre Crouch and Gary S. Paxton.[2]


As was the case with most religious music in the pre-internet days, the work of Butch Yelton and Upbound was likely released by independent record labels in limited supply in local areas only, making their outreach small and their impact even smaller. Due to this, it seemed inevitable that Butch Yelton and Upbounds discography would fall out of the public eye, and by the time the band had gained notoriety in the online space, an LP already released in small quantities by a virtually unheard of band would likely have been out of print for decades, making the chances of finding a copy even smaller. This means that, unless someone were to get in contact with one of the band members themselves, the chances of any of the band's material resurfacing online seems slim to none.