Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.

Archive for the ‘The Cathedrals’

News & More: 2/23

April 23, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Mark Trammell Quartet, SG Artists, SG Music, The Cathedrals, The Toney Brothers, Youtube

The Dove Awards were held earlier this week, and Southern Gospel had quite a showing in the results. Song of the Year went to “Sometimes I Cry,” written by Gerald Crabb and sung by Jason Crabb. Two of the Bluegrass winners also had Southern Gospel connections: “Mountain Top” by Little Roy and Lizzie Long won Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year (you may remember Little Roy from his years with the Lewis Family), and Bluegrass Album of the Year was Singing From The Heart by Dailey and Vincent, who was on the NQC mainstage last year and will also be featured this year, and has Christian Davis of Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet & Mercy’s Mark fame singing bass.

There’s been a whirlwind of hires in the Southern Gospel world that are under the 30-years old mark. Tribute Quartet has made two of those hires, with tenor Riley Clark at 19 years old and bass Anthony Davis at 28 years old, and Legacy Five’s most recent hire qualifies, with pianist Trey Ivey being 21. Now, the Toney Brothers are continuing the trend after the departure of tenor Derrick Boyd. Joshua Horrell, of Teachey, NC, is 19 years old and began singing tenor for the group this week. There are no clips of him with the group yet, but Terry Toney has put some great lineups on stage in the past several years, and I’m sure this will be no exception.

Youtube Finds: I had a couple intriguing videos crop up on Youtube this week, the first being this one from the Mark Trammell Quartet:

I’m not sure how long the group has been staging this song, but this is the first instance in which I have heard them sing it. I’ve always thought that Pat Barker’s voice was similar to that of George Younce’s, and hearing him sing a Younce feature only solidifies the comparison. In fact, on his solo, I had changed tabs to do some work on another webpage after listening to the video multiple times, and completely forgot that I wasn’t listening to The Cathedrals’ Travelin’ Live project. Difference in audio quality aside, that speaks volumes about the hire that Mark Trammell made in Barker. The whole group does an excellent job resurrecting this often overlooked Cathedrals tune.

The second video I found was, coincidentally, some Cathedrals footage, singing another song from Travelin’ Live. This was taken in January of 1999, the group’s final year on the road, at the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, FL. For those that are interested in hearing a fully orchestrated version of “Boundless Love” as sung by the final lineup of the original group to record it, take a look:

What is even more interesting is, in addition to have a full orchestra and choir backing them, the arrangement of the song is basically lifted from the original recording of it. Take note especially of the drum licks in each part; if I’m not mistaken, they follow the exact pattern found on the original. I love tidbits like that!

What’s been happening?

February 21, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Cathedrals, The Inspirations

Due to “real world” time constraints, and the fact that the Southern Gospel world has been relatively quiet, I haven’t been blogging lately, but time is more free now, and what better to start the blogging back up than a news roundup of the past week?

1. The Songfellows Quartet have announced the hire of two new members, and the change and people hired are big enough that this announcement caught my eye immediately. On tenor is a recognizable name from his days with the Singing Americans, Stamps, Kingdom Heirs, etc., Rick Strickland, and bringing the bass part is Brad Smith, whom you may know from his days with Monument Quartet and Blackwood Quartet, among others. Both of these hires possess considerable talent; I have long said Smith is one of the most underrated vocalists out there, and while Rick Strickland sounded a bit shaky at the Singing Americans reunion, time on the road will solve that. While I’m not all that familiar with the Songfellows, this personnel change is very intriguing, and I’m hoping to get to hear them sometime soon.

The rest of my updates are nothing but Youtube videos, so let’s get started!

This video of a young Scott Fowler with The Sound has been making the rounds, and rather than be redundant, I won’t post it, but if you look through that particular user’s channel, he has a veritable gold mine of footage from groups. Here are a couple clips I found, but if you have the time, it’s well worth it to go through his entire channel:

To finish up, here’s the first clips of baritone Jon Epley with The Inspirations:

Video Find of the Day: I’ve Just Started Living – The Cathedrals w/ Ernie Haase

July 29, 2010 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Cathedrals

Props to Clarence Grigsby for this upload. Although Ernie Haase apparently sung this Danny Funderburk signature many times during his tenure with The Cathedrals, it has not hit the Internet yet. Although it was originally uploaded to Facebook only, it is now available on Youtube:


What I like about Haase’s take on it is that he did not merely scream out high notes trying to match Funderburk’s power tenor. Rather, he takes the song and makes it his own, while staying within his range. Some of the points at which Funderburk would hit higher notes (“I’d be covered in trouble, There’d be no place to go..”), Haase wisely opted to go lower, rather than straining to match those notes.¬†Going that route probably did two things to make it possible for the group to still effectively stage the song: it saved Ernie’s voice quite a bit, and putting his own spin on it made it unique to him and still delivered, rather than sounding like a cover group tenor trying to replicate Danny’s every note.

Although Ernie Haase & Signature Sound did not do this song in their Cathedrals tribute, this video gives a fair glimpse into what Ernie’s take would sound like.

Roundup From The Weekend

February 09, 2010 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, Gold City, Jason Crabb, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Cathedrals

1. Jason Crabb will apparently appear on an upcoming episode of The Price Is Right. After winning the Grammy Award for Best Southern/Country/Bluegrass Gospel Album, he was spotted in the audience and recognized by host Drew Carey. Although he didn’t play, he will still show up on the March 12 airing of the show.

2. The newest lineup of Gold City has continued to gel and improve, and DinanaSN’s latest Youtube videos can attest to this. Check out the group singing “Where Is God,” “It’s Still The Cross,” and “When He Blessed My Soul.”

3. Speaking of new lineups, there are more videos out there now of Devin McGlamery stepping into his role as lead singer of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. Check out this one of his first night with the group singing “Then Came The Morning,” and this more recent one of him singing “It’s My Desire.”

4. To wrap things up, here’s a video from Kurt Young’s brief tenure as tenor for The Cathedrals singing “He Left It All.”

The Cathedrals w/ Kurt Young – This Old House

November 24, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Cathedrals

I can hear the groans from everyone that just read the title of this post. “Come on, Swain! How many more times do we have to hear this song getting butchered in the end?!?!”

Fear not; this is not the infamous “Dove Awards” video of the group singing this song. Rather, it’s an earlier version, off of Nashville Now, I think. Naturally, this is a much better version of the song, and another piece of evidence supporting my theory that Kurt Young could have easily been one of the best tenors the group ever had if cirumstances had allowed.

It’s not just the ending that is better here; the sound quality is better as well. Everyone’s mics seem to be turned up and mixed evenly, with no one vocalist sticking out like a sore thumb. No one is oversinging either, which it seemed to me that George Younce was doing on the Dove Awards video. It’s a shame that the group couldn’t have sung this well on the other clip.

Video Gems: Kurt Young With The Cathedrals (or, What Could Have Been)

October 21, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Cathedrals

Dean Adkins posts this homemade video of a 1990 concert shortly after Young joined The Cathedrals for his brief stint as tenor following Danny Funderburk.

This proves that Kurt Young was truly a great tenor that got a bad break. A combination of nerves and following a powerhouse tenor that contrasted his style did him in, as evidenced by the infamous Dove Awards performance that is also on Youtube.

I’m of the opinion that had Young followed Kirk Talley, he would have gone down in SG history as one of The Cathedrals’ best tenors. He has a pleasant voice, a good range, and great control as well. It is nice to see this video of a great tenor singer that shows what could have been had circumstances been better.

Vintage Videos: The Cathedrals

August 22, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Cathedrals

I found these three videos just a moment ago of a Cathedrals lineup that is often overlooked when talking about the greatest lineups of the Cats. Naturally, the younger generation often goes for the Danny Funderburk-Glen Payne-Mark Trammell-George Younce-Roger Bennett/Gerald Wolfe lineup or the Ernie Haase-Payne-Scott Fowler-Younce/Bennett lineup.
Yes, those lineups were top-notch, but the lineup of Mack Taunton, Glen Payne, George Amon Webster, and George Younce was one of the best as well. In fact, they recorded what was, in my opinion, one of the best projects The Cathedrals ever did, Music Time

All three videos are shot around 1970, and George Amon Webster doubles as pianist and baritone.

I’ve Been Wrong

I’ll Have A New Life

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

On Overdubbing And The Need For It In Certain Cases

February 16, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Cathedrals

Kyle Boreing made an interesting blog post today, comparing the “unedited” video version of “Boundless Love”, as sung by The Cathedrals on their Travelin’ Live video (now available on DVD). Also included in his post is an “edited” version which he constructed using the video footage and the audio from the album itself.

Now, if you notice, in the “unedited” version, the only instrumentation is provided by a drummer, a bassist, and Roger Bennett at the piano. On the album version, a synthesizer is added to the mix. I assume this is the case with all the songs on the album, but the comparison is very stark when comparing album and video.

The “un-edited” video is assumed to be exactly what the audience saw and heard the night this concert was recorded. The “edited” version was severely overdubbed, which is obvious when compared to the raw footage: vocals weren’t perfect, the cut-offs weren’t together, George Younce’s bass line “Touches Me” sounded sorta nasally and came out sounding like “Tuches May”.

And then, most obviously and probably the most famous error, the flubbed encore when George said something to the effect of “Yea.. Do that trio part again! I love that trio…!” Glen, Mark, and Danny started off on different verses, and eventually settled on the first verse. (“There is not a mother, sister, friend, or brother…”)

I can imagine the look on George and Glen’s faces when finalizing the album. “Yuck…” Not to say it’s a bad rendition, because it certainly isn’t. I just imagine they thought it would be better to edit it before shipping it out.

And so, they overdubbed it. More polished vocals, George’s bass was dead-on smooth, “The Trio Part” started off right (on the second verse). And of course, the synthesizer was added. Now, it sounds good. Off to the distributors!

Come to think of it, I would have liked to have a “un-edited” album version, but I think George and Glen probably figured polished=better to release. Although, that was the very first rendition of “Boundless Love” that people heard, and it’d be nice to hear that exact version of it.

Now, I’m not saying that overdubbing is bad. It’s probably needed in cases such as this. But ya gotta wonder, how many live recordings have indeed been overdubbed before the final release date? Releases like The Kingsmen’s live albums of yesteryear (Big And Live, Live…Naturally, etc.), or even modern releases like Legacy Five’s Live In Music City. Hmm…..

Three Gospel Gems

January 28, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Cathedrals, The Florida Boys

In my Youtube surfing today, I stumbled across these old videos. This is some great stuff!

is a video Darrell Stewart and Clarke Beasley taking the lead on “This Heart Of Mine”, with Les Beasley playing piano and Glen Allred playing bass guitar. The rest of the lineup is tenor Rick Busby and bass Buddy Liles.

Check out this OLD clip of Gold City singing “In My Robe Of White”. This must be right before Ivan Parker and Mike LeFevre joined. The lineup is tenor Brian Free, lead Jerry Ritchie, baritone Ken Trussell, bass Tim Riley, and pianist Garry Jones.
Update: Says commenter Helen Westberry:

“The Gold City lineup on the video is Brian Free as tenor, Bill Crittendon as lead, Jerry Ritchie as baritone, Tim Riley as bass, Garry Jones on piano, John Noski on drums, Jerry Lloyd on steel guitar, Ken Bennett (I believe) on bass guitar.”

And finally, a clip of Ernie Haase and The Cathedrals singing “Oh, What A Savior”. This is about a week after Ernie joined the group. The lineup is tenor Ernie Haase, lead Glen Payne, baritone Mark Trammell, bass George Younce, and piano Roger Bennett.

Update #2: Thought it would serve dial-up users better if I did not embed the videos.

Some Cool Footage Of The Greats

December 01, 2007 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, JD Sumner, SG Artists, SG Music, The Anchormen, The Cathedrals, The Masters V, The Stamps Quartet

Ah, the wonders of Youtube.

I found these videos of some great quartets and such and figured y’all might enjoy them.

This is The Anchormen singing “It’s A Wonderful Day”

Gold City singing “Shouting Ground”

The Cathedrals singing “I’ve Just Started Living”

The Cathedrals singing “Standing On Holy Ground”

The Stamps singing “Some Dawning”

JD Sumner & The Stamps singing “His Hands”

Masters V singing “You Can’t Be A Beacon”

Apparently, all these videos are from 1990. Pretty cool stuff.