CD Review: “Day By Day” (George Younce)
When the Cathedrals decided to retire, it was primarily due to George Younce’s declining health. Yet it turned out he had a few more years of singing left. Besides the work he did with the Old Friends Quartet, he recorded several solo projects. One of these was Day By Day, recorded in 2000.
The project was produced by Vic Clay, who also played guitar for the project. Clay and Younce had been friends for years; Clay had accompanied the Cathedral Quartet on guitar during their years at the Cathedral of Tomorrow. He apparently toured with the Cathedrals on a semi-regular basis, to the extent that some have called him an unofficial original Cathedrals member. Clay produced several Cathedrals projects throughout the years.
The project starts off with several hymns. The first two, “Send the Light” and “At the Cross,” are arranged with influences from black Gospel.
The third song is the familiar spiritual “I Am Bound for the Promised Land.” The sing is sung with a new melody, which is either original to the project or was taken from a project I haven’t heard yet.
The fourth song is the Ira Stanphill classic “There’s Room at the Cross for You.”
The background vocals and the arrangement on “Take the Name of Jesus With You,” the fifth song, also have just a touch of influence from black Gospel.
“I’ll Put on a Crown,” an Albert E. Brumley song, is one of the more upbeat songs on the CD.
The seventh song, “Take Up Thy Cross,” was written by Rev. Afred H. Ackley and Homer A. Rodheaver. Rev. Ackley also wrote the far more famous hymn “He Lives” (“I serve a risen Savior; He’s in the world today”). While Ackley’s far more famous hymn has been recorded many times, I was delighted to see that someone else had remembered and brought back this forgotten gem. The rendition is hauntingly beautiful, and though I may be biased since this is one of my favorite songs, I consider it one of the highlights of the project.
The eighth song, “Day by Day,” is the title song of the project. Younce’s early training and experience as a lead singer is put to good use in this song, which is keyed somewhat higher than would typically be expected on a bass solo project. But Younce pulls it off well.
The ninth song, “Stand By Me,” is a song Younce would sometimes use to close Cathedrals concerts (such as the concert captured on Alive! Deep in the Heart of Texas). Though he would often sing it a capella in a concert setting, this rendition is with piano accompaniment.
The ninth song, “In the Upper Room,” is one of Bill Gaither’s earliest songs. Though Younce recorded dozens of Gaither compositions through the years, this is to my knowledge the only time he recorded this particular song.
The project concludes with the familiar hymn “Who at my Door is Standing.”
This project is actually one of the few George Younce projects still available; sound clips and ordering information are available at www.georgeyounceonline.com. [EDIT, 2/22/13: Broken link removed.] This project was released by the now-defunct Cathedral Records, so I imagine supply is limited to stock on hand. If you want to purchase a copy while brand-new copies are still available, now is the time.