My second favorite Cathedrals Lineup
Ever since I started listening to Southern Gospel, the final version of the Cathedrals has been the group I would point to when asked to name the quintessential Southern Gospel quartet. They were the group that got me hooked on Southern Gospel, and (in part by building on their heritage) they brought a special something to the Southern Gospel stage that no group before or since has quite captured.
There’s no question that the Haase/Fowler/Bennett Cathedrals are my favorite. But my second-favorite has just changed.
The 1970s Tremble/Webster/Cooley Cathedrals are now my second-favorite lineup. I have every album this group produced, and (especially once they’d been together for two or three years) no other Cathedrals lineup could top their group blend–including, and I know this is heresy to some, the original Cathedrals.
This was their “Easy on the Ears, Heavy on the Heart” era, when they hadn’t quite made it to the top tier but were pretty close to breaking through. There’s something refreshing about listening to the albums from this era, where they were putting everything they had into their projects as they tried to move up to the top tier.
This was the era when they were putting together the core fan base and the repertoire that would keep them from flaring out once they had–and took–their chance to make it big in the early ’80s.