Question of the Week: Dianne Wilkinson

My personal highlight from the Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Cathedrals Tribute taping was catching up with songwriter Dianne Wilkinson afterwards. Here, she shares some of her thoughts on the event.

[audio:/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/QOTW-Dianne-Wilkinson.mp3|titles=Question of the Week – Dianne Wilkinson]

Click “more” for a transcript.Daniel: So Ernie Haase and Signature Sound has just wrapped up their video taping of their Cathedrals Tribute project, live in Anderson, Indiana, and I am here with Dianne Wilkinson, who wrote several of the songs they featured this evening. Could you share some of your general thoughts on the night, and some of your specific thoughts on the new song arrangements?

Dianne: Well, Daniel, it was like deja vu for me, ’cause in 1983, when the Cathedral Quartet recorded “We Shall See Jesus” on the Live in Atlanta project, my late husband and I were on the front row. So I heard that. And tonight, I heard these young men come out, and I knew that they were gonna do “Boundless Love” and “We Shall See Jesus.”

The thing that makes me so happy about the way they did the songs: They protected the feel of the songs from what the Cathedrals had, but they put their own style on them still. I thought that was great.

I’m delighted that they did “We Shall See Jesus,” because so many of the other ones who do Cathedrals songs, they avoid that song, ’cause it’s Glen’s song. So that young man just stepped up there—twenty-six years old!—sang his heart out. And I could just almost see Glen just clapping and saying, “Bravo for Devin!”, ’cause he did such a great job.

And you know I’m a musician—

Daniel: Yes.

Dianne: You know I’ve got this rhythm thing goin! When they started the drum licks on “Boundless Love” [listen to the mp3 for an audio version!]—that had me, right then!

The other thing that’s so great about both of these songs is that they were both [originally] recorded live and we didn’t get the big orchestra treatment. And of course, on the CD, it’s gonna have that.

To be invited, to have a great seat, and to be surrounded by Debbie Bennett, and by Van Payne and her children and grandchildren, and to have George’s children right across the aisle—very, very emotional for me, ’cause they’re like family to me. So I wouldn’t take anything for getting to be here tonight.

And I think Signature Sound has done a spectacular job with this. No wonder it took two years! They picked exactly the right ones. It was classy, it was a perfect honor to the most beloved quartet we’ve ever had.

So did I love it?

I loved it!

You loved it too!

Daniel: Sure did! Thank you very much!

Dianne: You’re welcome.


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17 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Whoa, sweet interview!

  2. 😀

    “It was classy.” I love it. Well-deserved words. Ernie is a class act, every one of those guys is a class act, and it does sound like they just out-did themselves. Great interview!

  3. Thanks for the transcript – I’m at work and the computer has no sound. It was going to tantalizing reading the comments on something I couldn’t access!

    • “to be tantalizing”

      (How does WordPress get to decide if I’m posting comments too quickly and need to slow down … Grrr)

    • You’re welcome – I figure that transcripts are always good for someone!

  4. I guess I had never heard Dianne’s voice before. 🙂

  5. Great report. She is such a sweet lady and can write some beautiful songs. She will always be in the top vote getters for song writer of the year. A lot of folks just don’t know what songs and how many this lady has written. You hear them everyday on the radio or while listening to cds. A lot of groups record her songs. Hope she keeps writing them.

  6. I wasn’t really impressed with “Dream On” or their Christmas album. Personally, I think “Get Away Jordan” was their last great album. Sounds like Signature Sound is back!

    • Ditto, though both albums had enough gems to keep me listening. But I agree they were sub-par compared to past efforts. This project promises to be their best in a while.

  7. Thanks Daniel for that interview. What a wonderful & talented lady. I’m so happy that she was there for the taping. Love your talent for covering everything so well!!

    • Thanks, and you’re welcome, and she is!

  8. What Dianne said about all the other groups avoiding “We Shall See Jesus” is interesting, because I have to ask: Does anybody think that’s what Glen Payne would have wanted? I mean, I can understand why a group would stay away from it—perfectly understandable to feel like they couldn’t match the original, so they shouldn’t even try. But I think Glen would have wanted the song to live on, regardless of whether the featured vocalist could sing it as well as he could.

    And let’s be honest: If everybody had that concern, the song would never be cut again. Devin is one talented young singer, but he’s not Glen Payne. Nobody is. But my hat is off to EHSS for saying, “You know what? Somebody needs to bring this song back. And nobody else has, so the ball’s in our court. Let’s catch it and give it our best shot.” And they did. And I think Dianne was right: I imagine Glen was watching and cheering all the way. Bravo!

  9. George once made a comment that he thought no one else had cut it because they thought Glen owned it, however, the Singing Americans (with English on lead) cut it. As I remember it, they really picked up the tempo on the last part (when he returns in………) it was a huge departure from the rest of it.

  10. The Crossmen did it after Glen passed away. When they staged it at NQC, they said it was a tribute to Glen.

  11. Very good interview Daniel.

    • Thank you, David!