Video: Haase takes on “I’ve Just Started Living”

Several years ago, I asked someone who would know—whether Ernie Haase or someone else I do not recall—whether the Cathedrals had ever staged “I’ve Just Started Living” with Haase at the tenor part. The answer was that they had, but only a few times, since Haase and the rest of the group thought it was best overall to leave it as Danny Funderburk’s song.

Well, one of those rare performances has been unearthed:

Nobody questions that Danny Funderburk owned the song, and I think everyone involved was happy to leave it remembered as his song. Still, this rendition isn’t bad at all, interesting as much for its rarity as for the fact that it’s actually a good rendition of the song on its own merits.

UPDATE (8/3/10): The Professor of Southern Gospel, Dean Adkins, unearthed and offers another performance here. Also making this worth watching is that both Mark Trammell and Scott Fowler were with the group at this point.

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84 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. It’s always fun to watch a very young Haase in action. Personally, I like other songs the Cats did better, so it’s not a matter of life or death for me who sings it anyway.

    Obviously Haase was still a little tender and thin. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think Funderburke’s voice was naturally shriller.

    Maybe this was Danny’s song. But personally, I find this version more enjoyable and easier to listen to. Not that my opinion matters of course… 😉

  2. I loved seeing this! It was actually nice to watch Ernie sing without a lot of hype and yanking the microphone down to his waist on the high notes….. : )

  3. “I like it already”

    Very early Elvis-Ernie look [glad he moved away from that] but which is fun to see against his present EHSS persona.

    A lot of Danny in the stage-mannerisms, which is not surprising; but, sound only, Ernie sings this really well, and a softer more relaxed tone than Danny.

    Would have worked well in “Tribute” instead of “My Heart is a Chapel” maybe?

    • I think there’s only an Elvis look insofar as Ernie has a similar “dark good looks” appearance and a white suit. I don’t think he was trying to imitate Elvis… yet. 😉

      Yeah, my hunch is they mainly did the Influenced stuff for the tribute DVD because they really wanted to get it on a video and figured it was now or never. 😀

    • I actually liked “My Heart is a Chapel.”

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, I liked the songs they picked too. And it does make sense to have wanted to put them on the video. But it might have been cool if they had instead done a few extra Cats songs for the vid even if they couldn’t fit them in on the studio project.

  4. For my money, Ernie sounds way more natural and comfortable than Danny ever did. When Danny sang this song, I always wanted to spray with Choloroseptic. It just hurt to hear him sing!

    The coolest part of this clip is the band . . . Bobby All, Robin Mew and John Gardner! Wow!

    • I think you pegged it—definitely a more relaxed sound. Maybe some people would prefer to hear it sung more forcefully, but…I like it easy on the ears, and Ernie could sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” backwards 12 hours straight, and I’d have it playing in the background to keep me company through the day. 🙂

      • I think the nature of the song invites a powerful, “forceful” delivery. In my iTunes, I’ve got the song title ending with an exclamation point. “I’ve Just Started Living!” Ernie’s rendition is good, as you would expect from a tenor of his caliber. But nothing compares to the electricity that Danny would bring to a room singing that song. “I’ve got the Spirit, and it’s TOTALLY THRILLING!”

      • Imagine how good Ernie would have done if George had threatened to slap him! LOL

      • Ernie solo/EHSS or the new George Younce CD is played in my house everyday. If you don’t have the new George Younce CD, it is a great one!
        Ernie could sing the phone book & I’d listen!

  5. ummm..some songs are best left to the original artist who made that song popular. This is one of them.

    • And thats why we haven’t heard anyone sing “We Shall See Jesus” until now…

    • I do not think that songs should be buried with the original artist who made them popular. A song like “We Shall See Jesus” is too important to permanently shelve because Glenn Payne isn’t here to sing it anymore. If it weren’t for YouTube I would never have heard it (having become a fan of (some) sg only in the past year).

      It seems to me that there is far too much nostalgia in some sg circles for the genre to survive and flourish. If we must wait for the original artist who made the song popular to perform it, it won’t be happening in this lifetime. What about newer fans who never heard the original artist? Are the to be deprived of a great song?

      • Ernie himself has said something along those lines with regard to that very song. I watched a video the other day of EHSS performing it where Ernie set it up by saying, “I know Glen, and I know he wouldn’t want such a great message to go unsung again.” And I think he’s right, and I give him full credit for recognizing that and bringing that classic back. I mean just think about all the kiddos, all the young fans who’ve been getting into EHSS for the past few years, many of whom, like you said, have never even heard the original. But now the song lives on. Ernie closed that same performance by saying, “I’m glad that long after the singer has left the building or has left the earth, the song lives on. Because He is the song. He lives on.”

      • Do you remember where that video was you watched?

      • If you go to their facebook page, it should come up in the “videos” section on the left. As far as I know, it has not yet been uploaded to Youtube.

      • Wow, thanks so much.

      • You’re welcome! 😀 And notice that Devin carries it all the way home. Just in case anybody was wondering whether he could or not…watch the video and find out. He’s the real deal.

  6. I like ERnie doing this song.

  7. Guys what does it matter who sang the song. If it touched you and you enjoy the song and message it does not matter who sang. Lets get real.

  8. That was absolutely beautiful….As far as in the dvd…they picked out of many…I was there and it was the most awesome night of life…I shall never forget…Love them

  9. I agree…. but I prefer Danny on this song.

    • Everybody does – it’s Danny’s song. The fact that anyone else could do a creditable rendition, though, is what makes the video remarkable.

      • I think some of us actually prefer Ernie… 😉

      • Well, we could do like my Spanish teacher when it was time for class to start – She’d say, “Everybody who’s important is here.”

        However, since you’ve allowed me a few little heretical opinions in the recent weeks, I guess we’ll give you a little leeway. 😀

        (P.S. I did read your C. S. Lewis explanation, just didn’t respond.)

      • Actually, I was surprised to see that I wasn’t alone…there have actually been several people coming on here saying they prefer Ernie. Which is actually nice to see, I think…considering all the people who tend to go overboard in the other direction… 🙂

        I guess I’m a heretic in more ways than one. 🙂 We can be heretics living side by side. 😀

        Oh good! I tend to get going when I’m talking about really good books… 😉

      • I was talking about preferring Danny for this particular song.

      • I know. That’s what I meant. 🙂

      • This is just the nostalgia in you old timers (regardless of your actual age). How can it possibly be “Danny’s song”? the only person who can claim ownership for ever and all time is the inimitable songwriter who penned it– Diane Wilkinson.

        As difficult as it may be to fathom, some of us barely know who Danny is–it’s a new generation folks and in the past year since I became interested in sg he is not in the forefront of the sg scene. And if we newbies heard “Danny” circa 2010 (or even back in the day) we may well have the same reaction you seem to have to any AD (After Danny) rendition–that we have heard it done better.

      • I love Mrs. Dianne’s songs, but Carroll McGruder wrote “I’ve Just Started Living!”

      • I was wondering if someone else was going to catch that. 😀 I was tempted to reply, but I was also tempted to be sarcastic, so I did not give into the temptation to reply!

      • OK, Ruth got the song writer wrong – but her comment makes a pertinent point which got lost….

        We lose something from the legacy of good scriptural SG Music whenever we pigeon-hole a song as “….’s Song”.

        Much and all as I would love to hear Glen sing “We Shall See Jesus” again – should be loose such scriptural lyrics to a rising generation because we give a ‘fail’ to all the wannabees?

        Every song worth singing should have a singer who can get it over to “his day and generation”.

        We are loosing some good stuff to the archives because we have put a rendition on a pedestal and nobody is allowed near it!

        “One Scarred Hand”, “Reached Down His Hand”, “Calvary Answers for Me”, “There Arose a Lanb”… are all mighty lyrics too good to lose, and I suspect some younger SGM commentors know none of them!!

      • I would personally suspect that virtually all people who frequent this site would know all four. 🙂

      • Maybe all the commentors are old!!

        Like over 25 🙂

        Most of my kids are genuine SGM fans, some converted from CCM [Praise the Lord!] and they know none of these!

        Have all of the above been recorded by a mainstream SG group in the last ten years? For a younger generation anything before 2000 is soo OLD!!

        And BTW, the specific examples weren’t the point, Daniel!

      • Well David, “Calvary Answers for Me” is actually pretty recent as SG songs go. It was first recorded by none other than Signature Sound in 2002, I believe. Later the Perrys made a hit of it, but the point is that it was first introduced in the 00’s.

      • Actually Daniel, I hate to confess it, but I don’t know “One Scarred Hand,” and I can’t place “There Arose a Lamb.”

        And I am 25. I’ll be 26 in a week – (yikes! – It’s really that close?) but I am 25. Are they both Gold City songs? I don’t have much GC stuff, though I wish I did.

        I didn’t know any of those but “Reached Down His Hand” were old enough to be classics, though.

      • Yes, “Calvary Answers for Me” is recent (became a hit in 2003/04). Gold City still stages “One Scarred Hand” almost every night. They’ve done “There Rose A Lamb” at least as long as Jonathan was with the group; I’m not sure they do it as often now.

        And, on the fourth specific example, there’s always a bass in one of the classic groups recording another rendition of “When He Reached Down His Hand” every few years.

        The list of songs that were so singer-specific that they’ve largely been retired is a very short list.

        1. “We Shall See Jesus.”
        2. Umm . . . I’m not even sure I can think of a second – at least among songs generally acknowledged as classics. Sometimes lesser songs were only recorded once, but that was because they were lesser.

      • Amy – Yes, they’re both Gold City songs from the early 90s, and Gold City still stages them both (OSH on a regular basis).

      • OK, NSF true, BUT – a good example – it was the first generation EHSS with Shane Dunlap on the lead, and Ernie has never revisited it again, thru 3 lead singers in 8 years!

        ‘Gone’? Hope not! The lyrics are mighty practical for today…

      • Well, actually I think “I Just Started Living” might be one example. As we saw, a couple other Cats tenors did it off and on, but that’s kind of it. I think most people have stayed away from it because it’s “Danny’s song.”

        And the GVB didn’t do “Let Freedom Ring” for years after David left the group, though they might be bringing it back now.

      • David, you have a point on “Calvary Answers for Me.” But I would point out that by now we’re getting away from “songs that were retired because they were considered so-and-so’s song.” Now we’re moving into “songs that came from such-and-such an artist’s super-early years, got dropped, but are too good to be forgotten.”

      • David – on your #2 and #3 suggestions, Danny still tours (solo, with a number of joint appearances with former Cathedrals each year), and still sings both songs – every night, I think.

        Also, I’ve heard someone – the Dixie Melody Boys with Dan Keeton, I think – do “Somebody Touched Me,” not too many years ago. I think Brent Mitchell with Mercy’s Mark also did one or both.

      • In my defense the “off limit songs” are starting to all morph together — first it was no one but Glen should be singing “We Shall See Jesus”; then Ernie shouldn’t have ever let the words of CARROLL McGRUDER’s “I’ve Just Started Living!” pass his lips since it is “Danny’s”. So I stand corrected. It is only the songwriter’s (Carroll McGruder as Brian has so politely pointed out) song for ever and all time. That is the point I was trying to make.

      • Well, considering this is the first time I’ve heard someone other than Danny sing it, I think its safe to say that its Danny’s song.

        I don’t think you’ll hear many people today debate that Oh What a Savior is Ernie’s song, even though it was originally made famous by Rosie Rozell. You don’t hear many other people recording OWAS because of this.

      • I hear many other people recording OWAS, but most of them shouldn’t be (as in they don’t have the voice to do it justice).

      • I know. There are very few non-Ernie versions of that song that I can even listen to all the way through. The thing is it’s such a confoundedly tight rope you have to walk with that song. On the one hand, you need the power to deliver the goods on that high D flat. On the other hand, you need to deliver it without sounding strained and thin. [And then I’ll join the chorus, if they’ll have me…] Ernie never ceases to amaze me by walking that fine line again, and again, and again… truly remarkable.

      • Thanks Amy!


        2. “I’ve Just Started Living” 🙂

        3. “Somebody Touched Me”


        Brian Free does OK on OWAS – especially his earlier renditions!

      • Yes. I found a recent rendition he did that I was able to tolerate—could be a lot worse. I have to be honest…I’ve taken a few digs at Brian on here, but after seeing a vid of “Looking for a City” where he was duking it out with some Kingsmen tenor, I realized that Brian isn’t really all THAT bad… 😉

      • Daniel, I’ll warrant Amy et al doesn’t know that either! 🙂

        NSF – Actually dear SGF brothers in the Lord, I have to admit that GC early 90’s line up – said BF tenor /Ivan Parker lead/ Mike LeFevre baritone/ Tim Riley bass –

        possibly gives me more ‘glory-goose-bumps’ than any other group, from any era, from the Statemen thru EHSS!

        ‘Honest confession….’ 🙂

      • Well… for now #1 in my “glory-goose-bumps” category would have to be the 90’s lineup of the Cathedrals. 🙂

      • I don’t know OWAS? You ARE kidding, aren’t you? Also “Looking for a City.”

        Actually, I think maybe the key thing here is that I know a lot of the old music better than the more recent stuff. I got in 3-4 years of listening to the Gospel Greats, where I got up to speed on SG till about 2003 or 2004. But other than that, we haven’t had much good SG radio out here. If it’s a classic old Goodmans song, my dad probably insured that I know it. The real classic Cathedrals music as well, and everything by the Kingsmen we could get our hands on. I consider myself fairly well grounded in the important stuff! 😀

      • Amy, I think David was referring to Daniel’s info about “I’ve Just Started Living” and “Somebody Touched Me.”

      • I’m confused. These posts need ID #’s or something.

        I didn’t know about DMB…Did know that Danny still travels; just bought a download from him over at a few months ago. I love his singing!

        I think we’re all following slightly different trains of thought here.

        (BTW/P.S. Check out that downloads spot; they have some stuff available that’s not on iTunes. I actually was there first customer a year or so ago, but I think the guy has really been working to expand their offerings and get some older music on there. Totally off-topic, I know!)

      • (Even more off-topic, if possible) I just checked them out again and found all the songs that I wanted so badly from Heirline, but I didn’t want to buy the whole CDs!!!! This David charges more ($1.30) but some of his music isn’t readily available now, and he has a direct contract with the artists so they get a fair share of the profit, as I understand it.

  10. Can somebody come up with a video or audio version of the McGruders doing “Living”?

  11. Hey, I really like that other performance! Maybe even a wee bit smoother than the first one…?

  12. To the person who tried to post under an alternate pseudonym complaining about the comments I’d deleted in this thread:

    Post comments that don’t have to be deleted, and I won’t delete them. Simple as that. 🙂

    • A-a-a-men (aw, sing it with me children…)


      • Daniel, occasionally I do think we are a little, [Ahem] tippy-toed hereabouts….

        But a short course of AVERY anti-dote usually corrects my mild bilious attack.

        It IS nice to be nice, we do have a testimony to maintain, which seems to go missing sometimes some other sites!

        The balance is not easy – erring on the side of caution ultimately does no harm, and lends more weight to constructive criticism when it is warranted, and posted 🙂

      • You got that right . . . I’ve never really gotten into much trouble for deleting a comment that goes over the line.

  13. Dean Adkins is the man.

  14. Mark Trammell was singing baritone with the Cathedrals when Danny sang lead, and I think he helped give the song a lot more punch in the chorus. If you go back and listen the two versions, besides the difference in tenors, the baritone really makes a big difference in the overall sound of the song. Once again, as George Younce stated ” Mark is the best quartet man”

  15. SourceofPower – you are making me chuckle (with the two deleted comments) – but my sarcasm detector was going off like crazy on the second one. 😛

  16. Here’s the video I posted of “We Shall See Jesus”. I recorded it at the Rockford, IL concert. It’s not good visually…not in focus, but you can hear it very well. Devin does a good job on it:
    (EDIT 8/6/11: Broken link removed).

    • Well, that didn’t work. Don’t know what I did wrong. Anyhow, go to the Ernie Hasse & Signature Sound website and scroll down to find it. Sorry.

      • That’s okay Deanna. It’s pretty easy to see on the left of their facebook page. I am curious though…would it be possible for you to upload it to Youtube as well?

      • Here you go. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried uploading to youtube, so hope it’s OK:

      • AWESOME! Thanks for posting!

      • Thanks Deanna, it’s great!

  17. Daniel you’re such a sweetie! 🙂 and since we’re all chuckling… hehehe I do love Ernie, just not on this song.

    • OK. And I can’t resist putting this one up. 🙂

  18. As for “glory goosebumps” (gg), I challenge anyone to cite ANY recorded song of all time that would stir more gg’s than the Singing American’s Live and Alive version of Bowed on my Knees (and cried Holy) by M. English. It was and still is the most powerful “recorded” song I’ve ever heard. That said, it’s hard to appreciate a lot of the comments around excitement and such in this blog. However, I realize everyone has their own reference point. As to redoing someone’s else’s song, its no different than preaching someone else’s sermon. If you can bring a fresh anointing and make it your own, then do it! In that context, you’ll likely be effective. If you “CAN’T”, however, please DON’t do it! It’s a waste of everyone’s time. God’s word and touch inspires enough material for everyone to offer something “fresh”. You can speak eloquently, sing like a bird, copy every vocal lick or inflection made popular by someone else and still just be an imitation! I actually heard M. English say once that he was burnt out on singing BOK because it was no longer fresh in his spirit. And that’s coming from the person who put the song on the map to begin with! I say be original both in heart and how you express yourself. That’s always a winning combination for both the audience and the Lord.

    • I guess I’m not entirely sure what you’re trying to say when you say, “That said, it’s hard to appreciate a lot of the comments around excitement and such in this blog.” Are you saying that it doesn’t make sense to get excited about a song? Or that you disagree with somebody’s excitement over a particular version of a song? Just trying to clarify…

    • My personal FOR [trendy new acronym to me!] is pretty miniscule I guess…

      However my Top 5 GG SGM Recordings, in no particular order would be:

      1. “There Arose a Lamb” GC Easter DVD c1990?
      2. “I Bowed on My Knees” Earliest ME/GVB.

      3. “We Shall See Jesus” Cat’s Farewell.

      4. “Haven of Rest” Cat’s Farewell.

      5. “Suppertime” George Yonce / EHSS.

      As Stephen comments, it is highly subjective, what touches one may not reach another, but these samples do it for me personally.

      • I don’t even know where I would start with my Top 5, but I think the entire gospel medley from the Cats’ Deep in the Heart of Texas would definitely be on there. Can I do that? It would include four songs, but I can pretend like it’s all one so I can put “The Medley” on there as a unit. 😀

  19. When I read comments posted by a number of folks regarding “the level” of excitement certain songs apparently do or don’t generate, it provokes a couple of thoughts with me:

    1) What’s really connecting with people? A singer? A show? A special anointing? An arrangement? A quality production? The song itself? I’m sure it’s a combination for many while for others, it may be only a couple of those things. My original comment was not intended to take anyone here to task on what it is exactly that stirs their own personal excitement. However, I think the loudest arguments I’ve read relating to this particular CAT song seem to be glazing over the fact that “we all respond to this music based on a VARIETY of different things”! Let’s at least call a spade, a spade. (Forgive me if my use of an idiom is too old fashioned.)

    2) I realize everyone has their own frame of reference (FOR). For newbies, this is naturally going to be a smaller FOR. For older fans, it’s going to be a lot larger. As for this older fan, I’d simply like to inspire some of you to broaden your FOR and check out a recording that in my opinion, is in a league of it’s own.

    On that note, keep the faith, play the songs and share the joy! SoGo’s in my blood and am glad to see it’s fanbase growing…

    • Which “recording” are you referring to? The original cut of this song?

      Well, speaking as a New SoGo Fan (hence my handle) I willingly admit that my FOR is rather small. That said, I’ve always been willing to appreciate older music in a number of genres (and in fact, I frequently prefer older music). In this specific case, it’s simply a matter of which voice settles into my ear better (and which version I can therefore enjoy more frequently). But for me anyway, it has nothing to do with “older” vs. “recent.” Much of the time, older beats recent to a pulp, and in my opinion this is nowhere more true than in CCM. I swear it’s downright laughable some of the “music” that’s won Dove awards in the past decade or so.

  20. Thanks Daniel! I’m so excited, you let me post! I will give you a big kiss at Convention next month! I’ll be the “Bearded Lady” in the food court! 🙂

  21. Real quick – man, do I feel old! Alright, for all you newbies, I have a homework assignment. The version of Bowed on my Knees (by M. English and the Singing Americans) you all need to hear is actually 9 years PRIOR to the Gaither Vocal Southern Classics version one of you referred to I think in this blog. The one I’m referring to was recorded in 1983 and it’s the version that put Michael, the group and the song originally on the map! This version is like no other! I believe it was recorded live at the Paramount Auditorium in Ashland, Kentucky. This original version of the song held the #1 chart position in the Singing News’ Top 80 for January through March of 1985 and I believe holds the all-time record for a song that stayed in the Top 80 as long as it did. I want to say it was close to 2 full years that it stayed in the Top 80 before finally falling of the chart completely. Folks, again, this is the most powerful recorded song that I’ve ever heard. I’d also say I’ve never heard Michael sing it better than when he did on this recording. Like I said, in a league of it’s own. So… start surfing the web or do some discovery at this year’s NQC. I’m sure you could pick up an old vinyl copy with one of the vintage record sales exhibitors. Why you can’t find a clip online or evey buy copies today, I’m not sure. I’d love to have a CD copy but it’s no longer in print. I think perhaps there may be a copyright issue or something between Charles/Dwayne Burke (former Singing Americans owner/bass singer respectively) and M. English. To help you in your search, you can find a reference to this album at the following web link…

    God bless!

  22. That version of I Bowed is my favorite too. He did the song with the Goodman’
    s’ first, but I prefer the Singing Americans’ the best. I like other things on that recording too, but I Bowed was the song played for Gaither that got him to audition Michael for the GVB the first time.

    You can find that version of I Bowed (but without the encore if I remember right) on the Gospel Greats CD. I will try to find it and post a link here.

  23. Oh, and the copyright issue is that the masters are not owned by Burke. He told me that he tried to buy them once and the record company at the time (it was originally on Riversong wanted too much money for them. I am not sure who owned the masters when he tried to buy them, but this was several years ago (more than 7 I think) that he told me that.

  24. Here ya go. You can download it (but looks like the whole CD). There are short demos but the more subdued beginning. 🙂