Charles Davis Tillman worked as a house painter, and as the traveling salesman for a music company in the United States. He also sang on a traveling peddler’s wagon advertising “Wizard Oil,” a quack medicine that claimed it could cure rheumatism.
In addition, early on, Tillman helped his father in evangelistic work, beginning his own career as a singing evangelist at the age of 26. He eventually formed his own music company and published 20 gospel song collections. He was the first to publish the spiritual Gimme That Old Time Religion, after hearing a black congregation singing it at a camp meeting in South Carolina.
Charles Tillman also wrote the tune for the song for which he is best known now, Life’s Railway to Heaven…
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