Cathedrals Family Reunion expands beyond initial date

Last year, Ernie Haase, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell, Scott Fowler, and Danny Funderburk held an event they called a “Cathedrals Family Reunion” in Fort Worth, Texas. Yesterday, the event’s promotion team, IMC Concerts, posted a video to YouTube, announcing that four more Cathedrals Family Reunion dates have been added: Akron, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and, Orlando, Florida.

The video is also worth watching for a memory Ernie Haase shares about being there the day that George and Glen decided to retire the group:

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Devin McGlamery wins vote for 2013 Best Southern Gospel On-stage Video

The results are in! The readers of Southern Gospel Journal voted this video as the best Southern Gospel on-stage video of 2013:

With over 3,000 votes cast, the second and third place finishers had such an overwhelming showing as to deserve an honorable mention. In fact, the second-place finisher, The Inspirations’ “He Broke The Chains,” had more votes than the total votes cast in the concept and behind-the-scenes polls combined:

Meanwhile, the third-place finisher, The Old Paths’ “Long Live The King.” Their showing would have been enough to win either of the first two polls!

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2013 Awards: Best On-Stage Video: Voting

Quite a few Southern Gospel magazines and websites offer “best of” contests and awards shows. But they often cover much the same ground: Favorite artist, song, album, musician, singer at each vocal part, and the like. Let’s do something different. Let’s honor the best Southern Gospel videos—concept videos, behind-the-scenes videos (including studio videos), and live concert videos. For each category, we’ll do a nominations post and a follow-up post with a poll featuring the top nominees.

You’ve already selected the best concept video and the best behind-the-scenes video. You’ve also nominated and seconded the finalists for this final category, best on-stage single-song video, here. It’s time to vote!

[UPDATE, 1/27/2014] The results are in! Here are the final vote totals and percentages:

  1. 42% / 1,313 votes: From My Rags to His Riches – Devin McGlamery –
  2. 33% / 1,036 votes: He Broke The Chains – Inspirations –
  3. 8% / 239 votes: Long Live The King – Old Paths –
  4. 4% / 132 votes: Thanks To Calvary – Pat Barker at the Cathedrals Family Reunion –
  5. 3% / 83 votes: I Rest My Case At The Cross – The Perrys –
  6. 3% / 80 votes: While I Still Can – Devin McGlamery –
  7. 2% / 52 votes: Glorious Freedom – Gaither Vocal Band –
  8. 2% / 47 votes: Light a Candle – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound –
  9. 1% / 44 votes: He Loves Me – Chris Allman, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell, Pat Barker –
  10. 1% / 43 votes: All Bass Quartet at NQC –
  11. 1% / 28 votes: Something’s Happening – Hoppers with TaRanda Greene –
  12. 1% / 16 votes: All is Well – Whisnants with Melissa Brady –

Total votes: 3,115.

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CD Interviews: Doug Anderson on Drive


In the CD interviews column, instead of sharing a reviewer’s thoughts about a project, we interview the artist to get the artist’s own thoughts. Doug Anderson’s second solo release, Drive, comes out today; he graciously agreed to share some insight into the project.

Daniel J. Mount: Because it is a little unusual in this case, I’ll start off by asking how fans can purchase the project. I know some of my readers will have heard about the “Drive to Retail” campaign, but for those who haven’t, could you explain the idea?

Doug Anderson: Sure! The first two weeks of the release, they won’t be able to get it at Signature Sound’s table or my website; they won’t be able to get it anywhere but retail. Whether that be Family Christian, Life Way, Target, Walmart, they’ll just be able to get it at the retail stores.

The “Drive to Retail” campaign is about building a relationship with retail. Anybody that has ever made it in this business, whether it be Third Day, Michael W. Smith, or Toby Mac, has a relationship with retail. And that’s how they’ve prolonged their careers; people go to retail stores and buy their projects. That’s the way the secular world does it; that’s the way most of the major contemporary artists do it. I mean, they do sell projects at their table, but they really have a relationship with retail.

So what we did to build a future for myself, as Doug Anderson, is try to partner up with the retail stores and say, “Hey, this is good. We are willing to help you if you help us.” It’s just kind-of one of those deals where they win, and we win as well. Whether we win immediately, or we win in the future.

Southern Gospel has always made their money by selling projects at the table. We want to broaden our horizons and make our relationship with retail stores, and let them know we have good music out there. So it’s not only helping me personally, but I would like to think it’s helping Southern Gospel as a whole. So we’ve done the whole “Drive to Retail” deal just to kind-of do something different then what everybody else has done.

Daniel: One quick follow up to that: will people be able to purchase it digitally on release day, or will they have to wait two weeks on that?

Doug: They will. We’re trying to do a “Drive to Retail” to get them to go to the retail stores, but they can definitely download it immediately on iTunes on January 21st as well. Whether it be Internet or digital downloads, that’s kind of where things are going at this point. But we’re still trying to support the retail stores that are out there that support us.

Daniel: On your debut solo project, you had a couple of guest vocal appearances. Do you have any on this one?

Doug: You know what, we talked about that a lot. On the first one, people want to see what you’re all about, and we had guest appearances. But Wayne [Haun] and I talked, and Ernie [Haase] of course, and thought that on the second project, I needed to do everything myself. Of course I’ve got background vocals; Signature Sound is on there. Michael Passons from Avalon is on there, Ty Herman’s on there. They’re on there, but it’s not a big deal as far as a duet. We’ve got great background vocalists, of course, but they wanted to take a different route on this one. I don’t mean that to sound arrogant by any means. You know what I mean.

Daniel: I do, yes. Now for a random question: Who had the idea to convert a Dolly Parton hit song, “The Seeker”, into a baritone solo?

Doug: Well, you know what, that was about a three year old idea. We’d been kicking around songs, of course, for a year and a half, but when I started to record, throw out ideas for another project, Wayne said, “I’ve got a song for you. You did a Billy Dean cover on the first tune, and, you know, you’re basically a country music artist with Gospel roots, and things like that, and you like that. So how about a Dolly Parton tune?” He pitched it to me, and we just sat on it for about two years.

Man, I’m a huge Dolly Parton fan; when I was growing up, my parents, we listened to everything from Frank Sinatra and George Beverly Shea to Dolly Parton. And that was one of the songs I remember as a kid. So I put that song on there.

I read in her bios that it was kind of a prayer for her when she recorded it. So I fell in love with it back then and just to do it again was fun.

Daniel: Cool! Now, often when I talk with a singer, singers will tell me they are looking for songs that communicate truth in a way they never quite heard it put before. Of the songs when you were listening through the songs to pick for this project; of the songs you picked, was there one that most jumped out to you in that way?

Doug: Well, sure. I’ve never been ashamed of saying, I’ve always been myself, and never really tried to be any where or anybody else. You know, that’s probably hurt me. In many ways, if I had been a little more pushy in different areas, I’d probably been a lot farther in my career than I am; I’ve always just tried to be me. I figured if you record songs that speak to me, then they speak to other people. And after twelve years, I found that to be true.

There’s a song called, “Moment”; it’s written by Rachel McCutchin. It’s really getting big right now, people that have the record are responding to it. You know, my life has been a moment-by-moment grace process. I lived, and I’ve had a lot of successes and failures along the way as well, but God’s always been there to protect me and keep me on the right path whether I knew it or not. That’s probably one of the songs that will jump out on this record that people will actually love and relate to as well.

Daniel: Yes. Are you doing a radio single to Southern Gospel radio, and if so, do you have one picked out yet?

Doug: Yes, absolutely. I think it will go out this month. It’s called “Love With Open Arms,” written by Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey, and Jeff Bumgardner. When I talked to them about writing for the project, they all wanted to know what I wanted. I wanted fun and, to be honest, I wanted country. But I wanted a great message, and they kicked a song to me that was like the Keith Urban/Brad Paisley style. That was the song “Love With Open Arms.”

The title speaks for itself. It’s more that Phillip Phillips sound. People who have listened to it so far are digging it. So, you know, hopefully it will do well. We really love it, and the people at Signature Sound and StowTown Records love it, too, so hopefully it will go far.

Daniel: Cool. All right, so just for a fun question, what kind of car are you in on the cover, and did you get to drive it during the photo shoot?

Doug: [Laughs] Yeah, you know, that’s a great story. One of my best friends in the world, Frank Mills, is a friend with a guy that works for a company in Indiana called King Systems.” They have a mansion out north of town where we live, and had an eight-car garage. He had actually two Corvettes in his garage; he had an old ’68 pickup truck; he had, of course, a Suburban and things like that. But he had a old ’57 Chevy, bright red convertible. And so when we were doing the “drive” concept, which I thought would be a great to market it, we did a picture in a car. I mean, what else are you going to do with a CD called “Drive”?

So we found a guy that had great cars, and we went out there and spent the day, my wife and kids, and Glenda Mills, who was my photographer. We spent probably a whole afternoon out there shooting scenes in the cars, and I did get to drive it. I got to drive it down the road, and she shot a lot of photos. Actually, one of my favorite pictures is in the insert of the CD. He had two Corvettes, and we had them facing each other. Michelle and I got to lean out of cars and kiss. People are raving about that picture. I mean, not that means anything about the project, but it made it fun!

Daniel: A random question. Of all the songs that Signature Sound has recorded, but hasn’t sung within the last year, what would you say is your favorite? Do you have a favorite song that Signature Sound hasn’t been singing recently?

Doug: Oh man, that’s a loaded question! I’ve been fortunate to sing a lot of great songs myself within Signature Sound, and, of course, you know, being politically correct, “O What A Savior” is still a hit every night we sing it, but a song called “Until We Fly Away” is a song that I sing, that Joel Lindsey wrote. We don’t sing it every night anymore, just because Signature Sound has so many songs. But it’s one of the songs I get asked for every night; and just because we have different repertoire now and we have a different program, we don’t get to sing it. But that is a career song for me, and I just love it, man!

Daniel: Cool! I’ll just close with this: was there anything else you wanted to bring up to make sure the readers knew about the project?

Doug: You know what, if I could just say something to my fans: Southern Gospel has the most loyal fans in the entire world. Just to get their calls and their emails and their Facebooks and things like that; you know, the fans that we have, they know me; I’m just who I am and I’m so grateful that they’re around.

Daniel: Thank you!

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2013 Awards: Voting for Best Southern Gospel Concept Video

Quite a few Southern Gospel magazines and websites offer “best of” contests and awards shows. But they often cover much the same ground: Favorite artist, song, album, male singer, female singer, soprano, alto, tenor, lead, baritone, bass, and the like. Let’s do something different. Let’s honor the best Southern Gospel videos—concept videos, behind-the-scenes videos (including studio videos), and live concert videos. For each category, we’ll do a nominations post and a follow-up post with a poll featuring the top nominees.

The original intent in this category was to list the top five nominees, but since there were only nine overall nominees, and I would have had to cast a decisive tie-breaking vote to choose the fifth spot, let’s just add them all to the poll.

Let’s start with concept videos. What were the best Southern Gospel concept videos posted this year? We accepted nominations on Monday; now, it’s time to vote! Here are the nominees; pick the one you think is the best.

Final results:

  1. “Sometimes I Wonder,” Ernie Haase and Signature Sound: 32.85%
  2. “Cookes and Hinsons,” Zach and Rodney: 23.34%
  3. “While I Still Can,” Devin McGlamery: 14.18%
  4. “Something To Say,” Dills: 10.95%
  5. “Excuse Me, Are You Jesus,” Nelons: 8.62%
  6. “Love is Stronger,” Jason Crabb: 6.1%
  7. “Lead Me Home.” Freemans: 2.51%
  8. “Kneel,” Akins: 1.08%
  9. “The Scarlet Cord,” Southern Raised: 0.36%

There were 557 votes cast.

Links to nominee videos:

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CD Review: Cathedrals Family Reunion


Cathedrals Family ReunionIt was a historic occasion: Five alumni of a group many consider the greatest Southern Gospel group of all time—the two living ’90s alumni and the three living late-80s alumni—gathered together for the first time to do a recording together. Which direction should they take?

Should they record the greatest hits—the ones they’d already recorded on their groups’ individual tribute projects, but for the first time together?

Should they record great songs from deeper in the Cathedrals’ vast repertoire that deserve another hearing?

Should they record new songs in the Cathedrals’ style or update the arrangements?

Should they record songs with just their voices? 

Should they add in one or all of the three bass singers regularly touring with these alumni—Matt Fouch, Pat Barker, and Paul Harkey, because it’s difficult to play tribute to a quartet without a bass part?

Should they do an extended-family choir with all the current members of the groups that they currently tour with?

Should they incorporate old recordings of the three longest-running alumni—Glen Payne (36 years), George Younce (35 years), and Roger Bennett (18 years)—all of whom have passed away?

For better or worse, the answer they selected was “all of the above.” There are some songs with just their five voices, plus a bass singer. There are songs with a full male-voice choir with the voices of other members of Legacy Five, Greater Vision, the Mark Trammell Quartet, and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound joining the alumni. Glen Payne’s, George Younce’s, and Roger Bennett’s voices are also incorporated, courtesy of technology (on “I’ve Read the Back of the Book,” for Roger, and “Search Me, O God” for Glen and George). Each of the bass singers gets at least a few step-out lines; Pat Barker fans will be delighted to hear him nail the project’s most prominent bass solo, “Wedding Music.”

Some songs, like “Champion of Love,” “Oh, What a Savior,” “Wedding Music,” and “Somebody Touched Me,” are among the defining songs of their respective Cathedrals lineups. “We Shall Be Caught Up,” “O Come Along,” and “Blood-Washed Band” are welcome finds from a little deeper in the catalog.

Arrangements generally stay relatively close to the originals. “Yesterday” and “Blood-Washed Band” are both a little more orchestrated than the original performances. But it’s not distracting, because they’re no more fully orchestrated than quite a few of the Cathedrals’ own songs of the 80s and 90s were. It’s easy to imagine that an actual Cathedrals re-cut of either song in, say, 1995 would have sounded exactly like these. It made particular sense to update the arrangement on “Yesterday,” since it’s the oldest Cathedrals song revisited, and the only one from the ’70s.

Cathedrals Family Reunion succeeds in having something for everyone. For the most casual of fans, who don’t have any of the previous tribute projects, it contains a number of the all-time biggest hits. (Including this approach does make sense. Since this is released on StowTown records and has the marketing power of Provident behind it, it will undoubtedly reach many bookstore customers who do not have the other tribute projects.)

For more active fans who have the other tribute projects, it also has several tracks making it worth purchasing. But for active fans, it is perhaps less a full-course menu and more of an appetizer for what the future could hold.

What could this future hold? Well, take a look at the songs these alumni were singing at the reunion event earlier this month. One user posted five videos, “Movin’ Up to Gloryland,” “Into His Presence,” “Whosoever Will,” and two absolutely show-stopping performances in “Thanks to Calvary” and “What a Meeting.” None of these have been overdone; in fact, only “Movin’ Up to Gloryland” has appeared on a previous Cathedrals alumni tribute project. Could these songs be hints as to what we might see in the future? Could there be a Cathedrals Family Reunion 2?

One thing’s for sure: There will only be a chance at a volume 2 if this is a success. And the nice part about having something for everyone is this: It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for from a Cathedrals tribute project; there will be something here for you.

Traditional or Progressive: Traditional to middle-of-the-road.

Credits: This review was based off of a digital edition and, as usual, credits are only available in the hard copies. (Review copy not provided.) 

Song List (songwriters in parentheses): Blood-Washed Band; We Shall Be Caught Up; Wedding Music; We’ll Work; O Come Along; I’ve Read the Back of the Book; Yesterday; Can He, Could He, Would He?; Oh, What a Savior; He Made a Change; Somebody Touched Me; Search Me, O God; Champion of Love.

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NQC 2013, Day 2: Live Blog

Are you watching in person or online? Jump in; join the discussion and share your thoughts in the comments section!


In no particular order.

  • The webcast quality was greatly improved from last night. There was only one point where there were any significant interruptions—though, sadly, it was…
  • The Cathedral Family Reunion appearance—Danny Funderburk, Ernie Haase, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell, and Scott Fowler, joined by guest bass Paul Harkey—singing their new radio single, “We’ll Work.” I could only catch a few seconds here and a few seconds there, but it was enough to confirm that it was one of the evening’s highlights.
  • Even though Legacy Five’s set had the somewhat odd pacing of three bass solo songs to open, it showcased Matt Fouch’s growth into his role as a Legacy Five-style bass singer within the past year.
  • I was prepared to describe the Kingdom Heirs set much like I described one or two sets from yesterday: Solidly paced, and so great as a whole that it deserved mention here, even though there wasn’t one song that stood head and shoulders over the rest. But then they closed with their current #1 hit, “Just Beyond the Sunset.” They gave it the all-our barn-burner treatment that they’ve given to previous favorites, “He Locked the Gates” and “I Know I’m Going There.” 

Highlights of their respective sets include: “Homecoming Day” (Tribute Quartet), “Searchin'” (The Talleys with Jason Crabb), “When He Spoke” (The Perrys), “That’s What The Blood is For” (Jason Crabb), “Calvary Conquers It All” (Gold City), “Goodbye World Goodbye” (Penny Loafers), “When We Meet to Part No More” (Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver), “When I Wake Up To Sleep No More” (Inspirations), “Reason Enough” (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound), “What Remains of Me” (Dixie Melody Boys with The Isaacs), “Hold On” (The McKameys), “Four Days Late” (Karen Peck and New River), “I’ll Trust The Potter’s Hand” (The Whisnants)

Live Play-By-Play

Click “Read More” to read the live blog; it is hidden from the home page for space considerations.

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Saturday News Roundup #185

Worth Knowing

  • The Kingdom Heirs’ current radio single—”Just Beyond the Sunset,” penned by Dianne Wilkinson—will be #1 on the October 2013 Singing News chart.
  • Perrys baritone Bryan Walker married Bethany Allred last Saturday. Perrys alumni Loren Harris filled in for Walker during his honeymoon.
  • Gaither Vocal Band lead singer Michael English’s father, Clifton Aubine English, passed away on Wednesday. Here’s an obituary.
  • Aaron Wilburn had gall bladder surgery on Tuesday. He is recovering well.
  • Bill Dykes, former baritone for The Cathedrals and for Jerry and the Singing Goffs, is recovering from major colon surgery.
  • Karen Peck & New River has renewed their recording contract with Daywind, signing a multi-album deal. Karen commented, “We are very honored to be a part of the Daywind family. We are excited about what The Lord has in store for our future together!”
  • Danny Funderburk, Ernie Haase (with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound), Scott Fowler (with Legacy Five), Mark Trammell (with the Mark Trammell Quartet), and Gerald Wolfe (with Greater Vision) were in the studio this week, recording vocals for a Cathedral Family Reunion CD, to be released this November. The album, announced in May, will at least be released in conjunction with Ernie Haase’s Stow Town Records. Stow Town is distributed by Provident/Sony. Provident/Sony releases a sales book marketing their new releases each quarter; Landon Beene, executive producer for the project, announced on Facebook this week that Provident will feature this CD on the cover of their 4th quarter book, and that this is the first time a Southern Gospel release is the cover feature.

Worth Watching

Thanks to MusicScribe’s Diana Brantley, here’s our first look at the new Dixie Echoes lineup:

Also worth watching:

Now this, my friends, is what a Kingsmen concert is supposed to sound like!

A third video worth watching: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound lead singer Devin McGlamery released a solo album several months ago. This week, he released his first concept video, based off of one of the songs from that album. It is posted here.

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Song Snapshots #20: I Have Seen the Lord (Signature Sound)


Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs.

Like so many of Southern Gospel’s finest songs, “I Have Seen the Lord” was inspired by a sermon. At the time the song was written, co-writer Belinda Smith was attending Grace Church of the Nazarene in Nashville.

“When you work in music all week,” she explains, “it’s kind of fun to slip into the balcony and sit back and listen to what other people do. I’m not going to say I wouldn’t support a church musically, but it’s Nashville. Everyone’s so talented musically! So nobody there knew I was a songwriter.”

One Easter, Pastor Richard Ball kept using the phrase “I have seen the Lord” in his sermon. The phrase stuck with her. One day, in a co-writing session with Sue C. Smith, she mentioned the idea, saying, “We should write this.” They did; Signature Sound Quartet recorded it on their debut recording, Stand By Me.

After the recording came out, she mailed a copy to Pastor Ball. She said, “Hey, I write songs, and you don’t know this, but I thought you would get a kick out of hearing this.”


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