Cathedrals projects with Mack Taunton on the cover—but possibly not vocals

I recently did a post with an update on Mack Taunton. His son Stephen has posted in the comments several times; one comment in particular caught my attention:

Actually, On the original recording of “Uncloudy Day”, that was Bobby Clark… I am awear that my dad is on the cover of the album, but it is Bobby singing on that whole album. I asked my dad about that years ago. He said, “That’s just the way things worked back then” You released what you had and promoted the group that was working.
That’s why on the reunion video, my dad says “eat your heart out bobby” in the middle of his solo break.

steve

That prompted me to revisit several Cathedrals albums with Mack Taunton and George Amon Webster on the Cover.

First, though, another comment from Steve:

Point of interest, there a few albums from Th Cathedrals that has my dad on the cover yet has Bobby singing… I’m not sure, but I believe that “The Family Album” is another one. I think the first album my dad sang on with The Cathedrals was “Focus on Glenn Payne”.

Focus on Glen Payne was released in 1968; I’m Nearer Home (with “Unclouded Day”) was released in 1970, thus showing that several of the Cathedrals albums with Mack Taunton on the cover but Bobby Clark on vocals were released out of order.

Family Album (1968). There are no baritone solos on this project; the only tenor solo is “God Will Take Care Of You.” It does sound like Bobby Clark.

Focus on Glen Payne (1968). There is only one song that features a solo from the baritone and a solo from the tenor, “Something Within” (which featured all four members). It’s still unmistakably Danny Koker on the baritone, but this time it does sound like Mack Taunton on tenor.

I Saw the Light (1968). Danny Koker is unmistakably the baritone on this project; he has solos on “Cheer the Weary Traveler,” “I Saw the Light,” and “Will the Lord Be With Me.” The tenor has several solos, most notably on “Who am I,” “Mama’s Teaching Angels,” and “Cheer the Weary Traveler.” Based largely on “Who am I,” I’m suspecting this might be another album with Bobby Clark on vocals but Mack Taunton on the cover. Can anyone confirm this?

Jesus is Coming Soon (1969). George Amon Webster contributes the baritone vocals to this album, which leads me to think that Mack Taunton is both the cover and actual tenor. (Webster joined after Mack Taunton was already tenor).

I’m Nearer Home (1970). Danny Koker contributes baritone vocals to “In the Shelter Of His Arms,” “Does Jesus Care,” and “Jesus Use Me.” So this album is clearly material recorded at least a few years before the release date. It does sound like Bobby Clark, particularly on “Down From His Glory.” Can anyone confirm this?

It’s Music Time (1970). I didn’t catch any baritone solos on this project, so it’s harder to place definitively. I’m guessing it’s Mack Taunton on the vocals, though.

A Little Bit of Everything (1970). George Amon Webster is on this project (which makes it Mack Taunton on tenor). It would stand to reason that this was recorded with the current lineup, since it was a Canaan release, making it the group’s first major-label release in several years (I believe).

Everything’s Alright (1971). Again, George Amon Webster on baritone vocals. This is another Canaan release.

Request Time (1971). This is a compilation of songs from the Danny Koker and Bobby Clark era, even though the current lineup at that time appeared on the cover.

Right On (1971). Though I believe it is George Amon Webster at the baritone part, I’m not certain who is singing tenor. The two songs featuring the tenor are “Redemption Draweth Nigh” and “After All.” It could be Mack Taunton, but it could also be Roger Horne, who sang briefly with the group in 1972 (and possibly 1971).

Somebody Loves Me (1971). George Amon Webster sings baritone on this project. The tenor has three solos, on “Eastern Gate,” “Because He Lives,” and “I Should Have Been Crucified.” I am thinking (but not certain) it’s Mack Taunton.

By Welcome to Our World (1972), Roger Horne was definitely singing the tenor part.

I know of at least several readers of this blog who have some or all of these projects. Could you take a listen to them and either confirm or challenge my observations in the comments?


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18 Letters to the Editor

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  1. As a Catherdral buff, I find this fasinating. It reminds me, if I not mistaken, there are two different tenors on the album “Keep On Singing”. The cover doesn’t have a photo of the group, but I swear I can hear Kirk Talley on some of the songs and Roy Tremble on others. This album fits in the time line about when during Kirk joined them.

  2. That project was originally recorded with Roy Tremble; John Crenshaw has a copy of that edition in his collection, I believe. Then when Kirk joined, they added his vocals on all songs with tenor solos (and possibly others–don’t know).

  3. I’ve heard 2 versions of “Cheer The Weary Traveler” from 2 different records, but don’t recall at this moment which ones. But there is definatley different tenors on the 2 albums. I’ll pull out the LP’s and see.

  4. Not Cathedrals, but still of note….

    In 1966, when Duane Allen joined the Oaks, they had already completed some of what became the “River of Live” LP with Smitty Gatlin on lead. They had Duane finish the album, shot the cover, and released an album that is half-Duane and half-Smitty.

    When Richard Sterban joined the group in 1972, they had pretty much completed their “Street Gospel” album with Noel Fox, but Richard resang the bass parts, and they may have cut a couple extra songs that weren’t used (which later showed up on “The Lighthouse” compilation).

    The biggest confusion, however, is their first Columbia record (self-titled) with Joe Bonsall. They started recording the album in late ’72/early ’73. This is evidenced by footage of the group singing “Why Me, Lord” in a concert and a “Hee Haw” appearance where they are singing “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor” and “He’s Gonna Smile On Me,” all with Willie Wynn on tenor; Joe joined the group in October of ’73.

    The album wasn’t released until 1974, but if you listen to some of the songs (in particular, “Loves Me Like A Rock”), you can still hear Willie in the mix, not Joe. Joe resang some of the songs (“What A Time We Will Have Over There”) and added his vocal to other songs that already had Willie on tenor (“Put Your Arms Around Me Blesses Jesus” has both of them on it).

    Back in the late 60’s/early 70’s, I’m sure that the recording process (especially for independent or budget releases) was a little more primitive. It was probably very difficult (if not impossible) and costly to rerecord a vocal part. Guess they figured, “We got something, just put it out!”

  5. That’s very interesting Kyle. As the saying goes, you can’t judge a book (or record) by it’s cover. Things like this can easily get confusing.

    My copy of the Cathedrals record that is listed on SGHistory.com under the title “Greatest Gospel Hits” is called “Cathedral Quartet Hits” I checked, and the song list and order is exactly the same for both releases, so is the record lable info ( SGHistory.com says this was released on both Scripture and Eternal records. Miy copy is the Eternal release).
    The picture for “Greatest Gspel Hits” includes Danny Koker and Bobby Clark. My copy of “Cathedral quartet Hits” has Mack Taunton, George Webster, and Lorne Matthews (I beleive he’s the third person). I cannot find “Cathedral Quartet Hits” on that website though, which leads me to the above conclusions.
    As for the other version of “Cheer The Weary Traveler” I mentioned in my first post, that is on “I Saw The Light”. Daniel mentioned above that his copy has Mack Taunton on the cover, and that he thinks Bobby Clark is singing.
    Yet my copy of this one doesn’t even have a cover.

  6. This sounds a lot like what the Carolina Boys did with Randy Crawford on the album, “Ready”,with the exception that they didn’t include someone else’s pic on the front cover.

  7. I own the Somebody Loves Me project. The Tenor is definitely Roy Tremble.

  8. Also not the Cathedrals but along the same lines. Joseph Cox appeared on the cover of The Kingdom Heirs “True To The Call” project, but he left the group before the project was ever released and to my knowledge never even played any of the songs from the project in concert.

  9. “I saw the light” is 100% my dad (Mack Taunton). Now, George Amon Webster was in a group with my dad “The Templeairs” Before joining The Cathedrals. As I under stand it, after the Templeairs won a national amiture quartet contest, Bill Gaither recommended my dad for the tenor spot after Bobby left, then after Danny left my ded recommended George for baritone

  10. I wonder if they were trying to give the quartet a younger look since they had three members in at least their mid-30’s. Bro. Taunton, I have to say your dad looked really young. Younger than Bobby Clark!

  11. My Dad was in his early 20’s when He joined the Catherdrals, Thas was younger than Bobby for sure. And Daddy as well.

  12. I think ‘The Nearer Home’ album is one of the best Cats albums ever…Bobby Clark is definitly on that album…’Down from His Glory´…Sherrill Nielsen,Larry Wayne Morbitt..eat your hearts out..Bobby the best they ever had!

    Auke

    • It’s an incredible project, no doubt about that!

  13. I am looking for the song – I think the title is “What a Time We Will Have Over There”. A part of it is: Young & Old, creed and color will all be as one, and amazing grace will be heard everywhere – what a time we will have when we see Jesus Christ, what a time we will have over there!” I’m not sure who sings it, but I know it’s a southern gospel song. I would like to find a cd with it on. Thank you!

    • Ella, it is called “What a Time Over There.” I seem to be unable to find a recording of the song.

      I think Daniel should start a new kind of series—really old songs that were really good but were never even recorded by a known artist.

      • The Oak Ridge Boys recorded it and that version should be the easiest to readily find (as far as I know). I will look for some of their compilation CDs it is on and post a link to one.

  14. Here is one that is out of print now, but you can either pay quite a bit for a new copy, or get a used one:

    http://www.amazon.com/Favorite-Songs-Oak-Ridge-Boys/dp/B000002YE1/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1288402336&sr=8-3