Signature Sound and “Get Away Jordan”

To those who complain that Ernie Haase and Signature Sound–Southern Gospel’s other “most exciting group”–recorded and performs the Dove Brothers’ hit “Get Away Jordan,” keep in mind that Brian Free–Southern Gospel’s other “most awarded tenor”–recorded and performs “Oh, What a Savior.”

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18 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Just what we need – another rendition of OWAS.

  2. Actually, the Brian Free rendition to which I referred was recorded several years ago. The Dove Brothers themselves also recorded the song recently.

  3. I am aware that it has been recorded ad nauseum and that’s my point . The song has been butchered more than a hog in a slaughter house.

  4. What Dove Brothers project has OWAS?

  5. Maybe they didn’t, but I’m almost positive I can remember Jerry Martin’s voice doing the song. I’ll look into it.

  6. They have sung it, live at least. I’m not sure if it is on a recording. It is by far the superior version to SSQ’s. As is The Doves version of Get Away Jordan.

  7. Yep. Goes without saying, Quartet Fan!

  8. It will surprise nobody that my favorite rendition of the song is the Cathedral Quartet’s version. 🙂

  9. “It will surprise nobody that my favorite rendition of the song is the Cathedral Quartet’s version.”

    And it will surprise nobody that it’s not mine! 🙂

  10. I think that groups doing other groups “signature” songs, is both a great testament to southern gospel music as a whole and the great songs of The Faith. No other music genre is quite like southern gospel and that is what makes it special. I can’t remember who said it, but it was in the Singing News several years ago “A hit song in southern gospel, will be a hit no matter who sings it.”

  11. Daniel my friend, everybody does Oh What A Savior anyway, what’s your point. Oh, and my favorite version of it was Masters Five.

  12. That is a nice way of putting it.

  13. After going to the source, I can reliably tell you that the Dove Brothers have not recorded Oh What A Savior. It is possible that Jerry Martin may have done so previously; hopefully I will soon know for certain.

  14. Snarfie, thanks for checking. When I think through the words to the song, I hear Ernie Haase and Rosie Rozell singing the song, of course, but it seems like I’ve heard a Jerry Martin rendition as well. I could be wrong.

    Alan–my point is that Get Away Jordan is a bit like Oh What a Savior; everybody does it. Here are a few recent renditions of “Get Away Jordan”:

    2002 Triumphant Quartet (4 Guys and a Player Vol. 1)
    2003 Jessy Dixon (Get Away Jordan)
    2004 Gaither Homecoming Series (Build a Bridge)
    2007 Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

    Singing a song someone else introduced (in this case, both “Get Away Jordan” and “Oh What a Savior” were Statesmen songs) seems to be common in Southern Gospel. It’s a big part of how a song makes its way toward being a classic. Suppose someone had said that nobody should record “Mansion over the Hilltop” after the original singer did it, whoever that may have been. We would have forgotten it by now.

  15. One of my favorite OWAS stories involved the lovable Burman Porter during his days with the Dove Brothers. OWAS became quite a popular song with the Dove Brothers soon after Jerry Martin joined the quartet, and they were milking that song for all it was worth.

    I was taking a car load of folks to the GOGR auditorium. Among the riders in the car were Burman Porter, Professor Adkins, and Miss Texas.

    We were discussing the upcoming evening concert and I asked Burman, “Hey, buddy, are ya’ll going to sing Oh What a Savior tonight?”

    Burman beamed with pride and said, “Yeah, John. I think we are! Why? Is it one of your favorite songs?”

    I responded, “Nope. Just wanted to know when I could take a smoke break!”

    Poor ole Burman!

  16. That is a funny story. Thanks for clearing up the point that they actually did the song; I was almost positive I’d heard Jerry Martin’s voice on the song, though evidently they did not record it.

  17. McCray Dove is one of the few quartet managers that will stage a song that is not available on their product table. JD Sumner used to do it with the Stamps, but others who do it are few and far between.

    I asked McCray why they didn’t record “OWAS”, “Sheltered in the Arms of God” (which they later recorded on a live DVD), and a couple of others that I can’t recall at the moment. He said that he considered recording them, but thought it might be good for the crowd if they knew that the only way they could hear some of those classic songs was to attend a Dove Brothers concert.

  18. “Get Away Jordan” has been recorded a number of times over the years so it’s true that no group has any sort of patent on the song.

    However, it has never saturated the entire industry like “Oh, What A Savior.” In the late 1990s, every male quartet on the road was staging this song. We had a series of six concerts one year, and I know that five of the six groups who appeared on the series did the song…Dixie Melody Boys, J D Sumner & The Stamps, Kingsmen, the Statesmen, Florida Boys, Palmetto State Quartet…that may not be the exact lineup, but it was something along those lines. It was major overkill, to say the least.

    Point being…people are still going to compare a modern version of “Get Away Jordan” to the Dove Brothers version, since they had great success with it when they first hit the road. The comparisons on “Oh What A Savior” aren’t going to catch your attention as much, IMO, since every male group on the road has sung it at one time or another.