This song was written by Artie Glenn. It was a country hit for his son Darrell Glenn in 1953 and later an R&B hit for The Orioles. It was also recorded by The Statesmen. Even Elvis' girlfriend Anita Wood recorded the song in 1957. Elvis recorded it on October 30, 1960 at RCA Studio B in Nashville. It was at the end of a very long and productive day of recording the gospel album "His Hand In Mine". Musicians on the session were: Scotty Moore, Hank Garland and Elvis (all on guitar); Bob Moore (bass); D.J. Fontana and Buddy Harman (both on drums); Floyd Cramer (piano) and Boots Randolph (saxophone). The Jordanaires and Millie Kirkham were the backup vocalists.
The song was not included on the "His Hand in Mine" album, the recording log noting that a satisfactory master was not completed. Years later, on April 6, 1965, take 3 was issued as a single with B-side "I Believe in the Man in the Sky". "Crying in the Chapel" had a 13-week run on Billboard's pop singles chart, peaking at #3. It made a dent in the country singles chart, peaking at #60. On the British pop singles chart it had a 16-week run, peaking at #1.
Other artists who have recorded "Crying in the Chapel" include: Johnny Burnette, Al Marino, Jim Nabors, Aaron Neville, The Platters, The Staples Singers, B.J. Thomas, Tammy Wynette and Rex Allen.