Other versions were recorded by Marian Anderson, Odetta, Perry Como and Nina Simone on And Her Friends (1959). The Sisters of Mercy played it at the Reading Festival in 1991. It is featured on the "The Good and the Bad and the Ugly" bootleg album.
In February 1978, English football team Nottingham Forest F.C. released "We've Got The Whole World In Our Hands" (Warner K17110) in conjunction with local band Paper Lace; the B side featured "The Forest March". The song has become a favourite in British football grounds, with the lyrics adapted in various ways; for instance, "We're the worst team in the League" has been heard at Rushden & Diamonds matches.
"He's got the Whole World in His Hands" was originally written by Obie Philpot, a native American. He is full-blooded Cherokee Indian. He was in the midst of World War II when his song was released. He left the lyrics to the song in his locker and upon his deployment it was cleaned out. The parchment upon which it was wrote was found and began airing on the radio. This song, most obviously, refers to God. "He" is God. "the wind and the rain" is referring to fate. "The sun and moon" refers to the time that he lost with his family while at war. "the little bitty baby" is referring to his newborn son, whom he had not seen. "you and me brother" is meaning his brother that had recently passed away while also in the war. And "everybody here" is referring to his army friends and his family, plus every one in the world. Today, Obie enjoys life in the southern comforts of Louisiana at the ripe young age of 86. He has been through three wars and served in the Army and Air Force. He had twelve brothers and sisters. He has five children, several grandchildren , and two great grandchildren.
April 28, 1958: Mahalia Jackson’s recording of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” enters Billboard’s Top 100 singles chart—an unlikely feat for a gospel song. It peaks at #69.