Signature Sound leaving Gaither tour?

I had heard rumblings that Signature Sound might be moving toward more of a focus on a solo ministry, and this post would seem to confirm that: (EDIT 8/6/11: Broken link removed).

Our last few Gaither dates sad but exciting 2. We will be on our own this Cmas. Gonna miss ol Bill!!

And lest any rumors get started, the rumblings I’d heard had indicated that this was with Bill’s blessing—much like he encouraged the Cathedrals 13 or 15 years ago to strike out on their own more.

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34 Letters to the Editor

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  1. When I first heard this I checked Signature Sounds web site under tours and that confirmed it for me. I think it will give them freedom to express themselves. I am looking foward to hearing them and also hope they will do another cd and DVD too.

  2. I’m attending the Gaither Homecoming concert in Tulsa this Saturday. That is the final homecoming concert before Thanksgiving, and I know EHSS is doing their own Christmas tour after Thanksgiving. This makes me wonder if I’m going to be at EHSS’s final Homecoming concert…

  3. When’s the Cathedrals Tribute coming out?

  4. Daniel: I believe you are correct.
    In an interview published in the November/December Homecoming Magazine issue, Ernie Haase said, “We had the talk with Bill [Gaither] that he had with the Cathedral Quartet at one time. Over a number of months, we all realized it would be good for us to go out and flex our muscle a little bit. To have his and Gloria’s blessing to do this is something that we very much appreciate and don’t take lightly.”

    Samuel Sitler: In the same issue it says EHSSQ has been working on the tribute for the past two years and it will be released “sometime in the near future.” Sorry it’s not more specific!

  5. When I first started reading that they were going to be doing their own Christmas tour, I wondered if this would be what would eventually happen. I think they will be successful on their own, but I will miss seeing them at Gaither concerts also.

  6. I didn’t know the Cats traveled w/ Gaithers.

    • They did, for several years of the homecoming tour.

  7. Andrew: That was my first thought too, and why would George Younce need Gaithers encouragement. I’ll hold my thoughts on EHSS venture.

  8. There are several I am missing that were the BG for a long time. SSQ as well as Jeff & Sherri are no longer with them. If you look at the upcoming artist roster there aren’t many ‘big’ names listed. I really hate changes!

  9. But, I should add that I am happy for SSQ. I know they will do very well! They really don’t need BG anymore!

  10. I also have to agree with Andrew, I can’t remember the Cathedrals ever traveling with BG, and I have been following SGM for a long time. As for EHSS, there is no reason why they need BG to succeed, they are a Great Quartet, and are well liked. They have been in my area several times on their own, and were well received, also had a large turn out.
    My personal opinion is: I think that now that BG has this World Class Quartet…. Quintet…..or whatever you want to call it, he may no longer need EHSS to attract the younger crowd. I also think there was a lot of commaradie between the old GVB and EHSS, but I don’t see that with the present GVB.
    I just wish Ernie and the guys well, I know they can do it on their own, and let’s face it, Ernie had one of the best in the business to learn from, his own Father-in-law George Younce.

    • The Cats certainly did dates w/Gaither and dates w/out Gaither in their final years. I saw them in Birmingham around 96,97 and they were with them then. I remember it vividly because George was sick and couldn’t make the show so Bill sang bass with Ernie, Glen and Scott. I didn’t realize Bill could sing as low or with power like he did that night. Totally different from his sound with the GVB but they’re a different type group as well.

    • Sandy, I just learned about the Cats in the mid 90’s… of course, I was 13 in ’96. I wasn’t doubting that they traveled w/ Gaither, I was just saying I didn’t know that they did…

      Now knowing that they did, I better understand why Ernie decided to do so.

      • I stand corrected! If it was in the mid 90s, that was during a period of time that I was kind of out of the loop due to where I was living. It must have been several years before their retirement, as I did see them up to the last couple years before they retired. I had also heard that when George was dying, he told Ernie that he knew that Ernie would do well, as he had Bill Gaither to rely on. I think that may have been why Ernie hooked up with him when the opportunity was presented.

  11. How true…he learned from a master!

  12. [edit] The Gaithers will be here (Toledo ) in March and I have my
    tickets in advance…Marshall Hall, Guy Penrod and now Signature
    Sound will not be there!!! Is Gaither going to do a solo… [edit]

    • Please keep things positive.

      • Thank you for the good, high standards you set with this site, Daniel. I appreciate you.

      • You’re welcome!

  13. I remember reading where George talked about working with Gaither. Gaither somehow knew or figured out that the Cathedrals were turning down more lucrative dates to be with the Homecoming tour. They felt a sense of duty to him after their career being boosted by him. He told them that he appreciated it, but didn’t want them to do so and to go with his blessing. (If I remember right.) He certainly didn’t want to hold them back.

  14. #13–I remember something about this, too. While I am not certain about group flats and all, I am fairly certain that since some groups are used so much on the Gaither Tours, they may do them for a cheaper rate simply because of all the dates they would be getting–like a volume discount, I’m thinking. So, in that sense, the Cathedrals probably could go elsewhere and make more per night than they were making with Gaithers–and they wouldn’t have to compete for their share of the product sales, either.

    I saw the Gaithers with the Cathedrals and a few others in concert several years before the Homecoming Videos became popular. Back in 1986, I believe it was, the Talleys did a song called Sweeter As The Days Go By, and the Cathedrals had the Talleys and GVB (Bill Gaither, Gary McSpadden, Michael English, and Larnelle Harris) come out and sing with them and they did the finale for NQC that year. It was easily one of my most memorable moments of any concert I’ve ever been to. The Cathedrals have always had a good association with the Gaithers down through the years, from what I can remember.

  15. Having a “good association” with Gaither and “needing” Gaither are 2 different things. Not ragging on anyone, just saying. I know they were on alot of Gaither videos and arent’ we happy about that. I love to watch the old VHS videos.
    George Younce and Glenn Payne didn’t need anyone to help them command a crowd or a performance. I’d say that having people like the Cathedrals, The Goodmans, The Nelons, etc. sure helped Gaither.

  16. The Cathedrals stuff actually interests me more than the other on this post! I didn’t know about that at all.

  17. The Cathedral connection is not the same. The cats and gaithers DID do quite a few concerts together. I went to many of them in detroit. This was BEFORE the homecoming videos and so named tours started. This was the cats and gaithers doing concert together. This was also mostly before Ernie was with the cats. The 2 groups still appeared at events together after that but not as a regular tour.

    So, they never were apart of the weekly homecoming tour. Having said that George tells the same story in their book.

    The confusion comes from those who thought the cats were on the regular homecoming tour.

    This move of SSQ leaving is similar to the Booth Brothers stepping away as regulars a few years ago. The BB started growing their brand to a point that it was needful to step out and concentrate and themselves. Same thing with SSQ. You can get stale without change. Now that the BB have risne to the top, they are making some appearances again. It is all a cycle.

    • Thanks Mark. You said what I was wanting to say. They did some dates with them like Praise Gathering and Jubilante but weren’t a regular touring package like EH&SS have been.

  18. DJM…I do try to keep my views positive but I express my honest
    comment not trying to offend any one…And I do respect your
    high standards and always have…Joe Sahadi

  19. I certainly saw this coming. With the new GVB Line-up, EHSS is simply not necessary. [EDITED] I wish them the best. I am a big fan but this is no shocker.

  20. Sad that EHSS will not be with the Homecoming Tour when they come to New Brunswick this spring. :((( But, I wish them the best non-the-less and I sure hope they continue to appear on some Gaither videos in the future!!

  21. Let me start by saying that I am big a fan of EHSSQ. I attended an intimate video taping for their new Christmas album that will appear on the Gospel Music Channel this Christmas. There were only about 50 people there. That said, I am glad that we will get to here even more of the new Gaither Vocal Band. I have tickets to the show in Duluth, GA in a couple of weeks and I am very excited about it. Life is all about change people, just relax and go with the flow. If you aren’t happy with the lineup at the concert, don’t go. The acts at each concert are listed very clearly on the Gaither website. Hopefully, people won’t try to make something out of nothing like they did with the Penrod/Hall departure. FYI: Signature Sound is scheduled to appear at FamilyFest next Spring, so I don’t believe this is any kind of permanent situation.

    • On the other hand, there are often people at Family Fest that do not regularly tour with the Gaithers.

  22. I think it was time for SSQ to fly and spread their wings. They are a great group with a great bunch of guys. They will do just fine.

    • I think it was only a matter of time before they started doing more on their own. I think they could have done so even earlier and made it work, but now is a better time than ever. They’ve consistently proven that they have both the musical muscle and popularity to make ex-Gaither gigs fly. I say they’ll be fine.

  23. I’m pretty sure both parties are doing fine with the change. EHSS is doing fine one its own, and Gaither has seemed to expand its lineup a bit from the past year or two. Still small, but getting some different groups in there.


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