Song Snapshots #21: Room With a View (11th Hour)

Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs.

One year, at the Singing News Fan Awards, Joseph Habedank was talking with Chuck Trivette. (Chuck is a former Perrys pianist and is Libbi Perry Stuffle’s brother-in-law.) Chuck told Joseph, “I was thinking it over; when we get to Heaven, we’ll have a pretty good view. We’ll have a room with a view.”

Joseph thought it was a cool idea. At the time, he was dating his future wife, and had long car drives from Nashville to Kingsport, Tennessee to see her. Over the course of these trips, he started writing the song.

One day, he joined Daywind Publishing Vice President Rick Shelton for lunch at the Chop House in Hendersonville, Tennessee. During lunch, Dianne Wilkinson called Rick. As they were talking, Rick told her, “Well, I’m sitting here with Joseph Habedank.”

Dianne said, “Sing me something.” So Joseph sang her the chorus to “Room With a View.”

“She said, ‘Oh, honey!’” Joseph recalls, “and then she asked if she could finish it. And sure enough, she finished it!”

“When Joseph sends me something,” Dianne adds, “it’s just his marvelous voice with no music. He records what he has on his phone and sends it to me. I heard exactly what he heard in his head—chord progressions, et cetera. And the first thought I had was, ‘WOW.’”

“The next thought I had,” she continues, “was how we’d develop the thoughts of exactly what the view would be (or more accurately, Who). What Joseph sent was so wonderful, it didn’t take me long to add the verses. I think we did the bridge together. When I heard the demo, it was just stunning: Joseph and Katy Peach on vocals, with Matthew Holt’s flawless piano work.”

Habedank would ultimately pitch it to 11th Hour, a mixed trio from Monroe, Louisiana. “They just absolutely are incredible,” he says. “They’re with Crossroads now. I pitched them songs, and sure enough, they picked that as their new radio single. I think it could be a big song for them. I love to hear Candace sing this song; she is the soprano in the group, and man, she’s a great singer.”

“When I heard their cut of the song,” Dianne adds, “it was exactly what it says in the lyrics—’shining perfection.’ It was one of those times when you just know you couldn’t have gotten a better cut on a song. So, Joseph and I are absolutely sure that God got “A Room With A View” to the right group. My goodness, but they can sing!”

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