Encore Series #7: Next Time We Meet

This post is part of the Encore Series, posts highlighting Southern Gospel songs of the past that should be brought back.

Danny Funderburk joined the Cathedrals in 1983. His first Cathedrals recording was Distinctively, a table project highlighted by his stunningly rendition of the Bill & Gloria Gaither song “Even So, Lord Jesus, Come.”

Funderburk’s second recording with the Cathedrals—and first mainline recording—was The Prestigious Cathedral Quartet. It was a landmark recording for the Cathedrals. They had risen to the top of the genre with previous tenor Kirk Talley and the albums Something Special and Live in Atlanta. This album established that they were on the top to stay—that Glen Payne and George Younce would be able to maintain everything that made the Cathedrals something special through lineup changes.

The Prestigious Cathedral Quartet was full of career-defining songs: “Somebody Touched Me,” “Build an Ark,” “It’s Almost Over,” “When the World Looks at Me,” and, on the lighter side, “Old Convention Song.” Amidst this admittedly prestigious company, it would be all too easy to miss the lush closing track, “Next Time We Meet.”

The song, written by Bill and Gloria Gaither, is one of a small handful of songs intended as concert-closing benedictional songs. Here is the song on YouTube (regrettably audio-only):

Lari Goss’s magnificent multi-dimensional arrangement brings out both the melody’s sweetness and, at appropriate points, the lyric’s power. Later arrangements—the two Gaither Homecoming renditions, Bonnie Keen’s on Passin’ the Faith Along (2004) and Charlotte Ritchie’s on Jerusalem Homecoming (2005)—bring out the sweetness. But neither captures the lyric’s power with the clarity of the Cathedrals’ rendition.

It’s time for this song to make a comeback. One artist who could do a particularly worthy rendition would be The Talleys. Debra Talley’s exquisite alto is perfectly suited for the lushness of the solo lines, while Brian and Lauren (Talley) Alvey’s harmonies can bring all the vocal power the song needs.

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13 Letters to the Editor

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  1. A different song for a quartet for sure. For those who say SG sounds the same all the time, listen to this album. Contrast with Old Convention Song, and you get quite the diverse recording. This album was/is one of my top 3 the Cathedrals ever did. Right up there with Live in Atlanta, and Voices in Praise Acappella.

    • I would have an incredibly hard time naming a top three, but I would be inclined to agree that this album is the finest the Cathedrals put out with Danny Funderburk on tenor – though it sure has some stiff competition!

  2. It’s a shame that this album hasn’t seen a properly-mastered CD release. I have one double-album version of it (with Old Convention Song as the second album) which sounds like it came from the original LP master, and the Homeland re-release from the late 90’s that was heavily distorted and sounds like it came from a second-hand cassette master. Even when Legacy Five used the track for “When The World Looks At Me” on their “Songs We Used To Sing” project, the quality was subpar at best.

    Whoever owns this master now (Ernie, Bill Traylor, Todd Payne, Provident??), PLEASE give us a properly-mastered CD release of this album!!

    • Riversong Records compilation copyright 1990, UPC: 0 8441-82698-2 2, Riverson CD02698
      which doesn’t have “An Old Convention Song” on there twice (it was on both albums) and also didn’t have “Do Right And Come Smiling Through” and “I’m Telling The World About His Love” due to space limitations. 😀 It has been too long since I have done that, Kyle. 😛 I was fortunate to get that and other Cathedrals CDs (Symphony of Praise, etc.) when they came out since I started listening and collecting the Cathedrals in 1988 or early 1989. 🙂

      • Riversong, my bad. 😛

  3. For some reason, this song didn’t strike me as being as good as you said it was. Could be because of the cheap computer speakers I’m listening through, but it seems the orchestra covers the vocals up in some parts.
    But, then again, I don’t really care for “Symphony Of Praise”, which many people consider this lineup’s best studio release. Orchestra just isn’t my thing. I like a piano, bass, drum, and guitar arrangement better than strings, brass, or orchestra.
    Indeed, the Talleys could do this song well.

    • This song’s exquisite majesty is indeed better appreciated on good speakers. 🙂

  4. Funny thing about this album….when I got it in the mail, I was 13 yrs old or so…..I loved the recording so much I forced myself to listen to it only 1x/day. I know that must sound weird, but I’d look forward to it all day. I wanted to stretch out the ‘newness’ of it, I guess.

  5. On a different note, Danny’s stand out track from Distinctively IMO was “Whiter Than Snow”, which was written by his father. I heard a live recording from 84, and the performance of that song was unbelievable!

    • I prefer the version of that he did with the Singing Americans. 🙂

      • He actually cut that song 2 times with the Singing Americans once on “The Exciting Sounds of The Singing Americans” that clearly has Ivan Parker on the cover but has Micheal English on vocals. (Michael English had 2 stints with the Singing Americans)
        And the other cut on “The Sensational Singing Americans” which does include Ivan Parker.

        The first recording with the Americans (“The Exciting Sounds of The Singing Americans”) is the absolute WORST rendition I have heard. Very, young and powerful voices that struggled to blend.

        The second recording (“The Sensational Singing Americans”) is miles better and one of the better renditions (IMO).

        My favorite rendition however is a toss-up of the solo album that Funderburk did around 1985 or so or the rendition that he did around 1999 or 2000 with the Royals (It was fabulous!)

        Anyway …. thats just my opinion.

  6. While we’re on the subject of Danny Funderburk, I’ve wondered more than once if songwriter Marty Funderburk is related to Danny.

  7. I don’t believe they are, or at least not closely. I saw a discussion between them somewhere (maybe Danny’s website way back when) and they were not aware of any relationship.