Memories

Memories

Do you have any funny, inspiring, or memorable stories of your encounters with the Cathedrals? Submit them to editor@southerngospeljournal.com!

From Sarah Kortright:

I just wanted to share a memory that I am so grateful for.

When I was a little girl, my mother and us girls used to spend Saturdays cleaning the house. We would put on a Cathedrals album and crank it up loud, singing along to our hearts content. Even though I strayed very far from God over the years, I still had all their songs deep down in my heart. The Cathedrals impressioned me so much that I just could not forget their voices. God used them through all the changes they went through over the years, getting His message down into people’s hearts like a seed, the special way that music can do.

I am so thankful that they did what they did and how God used it in my life.

Sarah Kortright

Bitburg, Germany

From Matt Bartels:

I wanted to add some memories of the Cathedrals…………I first heard them on radio, back in 1984 or so. I don’t remember the exact song, but I think it was from the album “Live in Atlanta”. Regardless, I was hooked, and found that album and bought it. I was impressed beyond belief. Over the years I collected as many of their recordings as I could. I had the chance to see them finally on December 31, 1986 in Taylor, Michigan. We had driven about 5 hours to see them, and we arrived at the church early. I was in the church foyer, when suddenly George Younce walked in. As a teenager, I didn’t know what to say, but he just said hi, and we talked for a bit while he set up the record table. I was able to get my picture with him, Danny and Mark…………

Later in 1994, I had the chance to interview Scott Fowler and Glen Payne prior to a concert in Steinbach, Manitoba. I was doing my university music degree grad recital on southern gospel music. I contacted their office, and at first I was told they wouldn’t be able to have any time for me. I guess to lend credibility I had my music professor call them, and they consented to give me time to interview them……….they said they had about 15 minutes, but it lasted more like 40.

Whenever I hear their music, or watch them on youtube, it still pulls on my heart………..usually I end up crying…for me, they will always remain the all time best male gospel quartet. As a tenor myself, I always wanted to sing for the Cathedrals, and I will always be envious of the guys who did get that chance!!

Matt Bartel

From Kymberly Starr:

I just wanted to say I appreciate your website and stumbled across it on accident…George Younce was such an inspiration to me personally and a good and decent human being….His encouragement and support continue to uplift me and will for the rest of my life…He was truly the kindest person I have ever met…..

From Thomas E. Enyart:

As an avid fan of the Cathedrals since watching them on Sunday mornings on Cathedral of Tomorrow,back in the 60’s, the records, 8- tracks, cassettes, cds, dvd’s and computers. Thousands of hours of listening,members coming, going, young in the field,growing in the Lord,times changing, Gaither brings all them together before they all start going to Heaven,to start the choir that will never end, and they’ll sing like the’ve never sang before..We’ll remember them forever; Glen ,George,and Roger.

From Jen (Nichols) Lake:

I grew up at the Cathedral of Tomorrow in the 70s, and some of my favorite memories are of the times when the Quartet came home to sing at church. I still remember all of us kids singing and dancing around in the open area below the stage while they were performing. To those of us who attended the church, we felt like we owned the Cathedrals. They belonged to us, and we were so proud that our musicians were the best of the best, as if we were a part of the group. Now, all grown up, I look back proudly on their career in Gospel music. They set the bar for so many other musicians. They were an inspiration to many of us to give our best for God.

I still remember the crush I had on Kirk Talley and how upset I was when he moved on. It just wasn’t the same for me after that. Just kidding, Danny. You know how fickle little girls can be. But that image from my girlhood will always be the image of the Cathedrals for me: Glen, George, Roger, Mark and Kirk, leaning on the trees in that album cover and singing on the stage right in front of me at my home church. And that sound, that harmony, it rings in my ears to this day. They were available for God and he used them mightily.

From Dwight Parker:

I was at a concert in Birmingham Al. to see the Cathedrals the night Glen Payne died. Glen had been sick but they were doing concerts with out him. Roger Bennet was singing Glen’s part and playing piano. It was Scott Fowler, Roger Bennet, George, Ernie Haas. They did and awesome concert. We had intermission And when the Cathedrals came on stage they said they had just been informed that Glen had died. They sat a stool at the front of the stage and George sat down and cried and sung 4 or 5 solo songs while the other guys stood in the background and cried. George sung “Going Home” “Suppertime” then the other guys came back up and they did another awesome concert, even put a little humor in about Glen. Was the best concert I have ever been to.

From Adam Wallace:

Back in July of 2006 I went to a singing school and Danny Funderburk was one of the instructors.

I sang at a performance training and Danny was one of the instructors listenning to me. When I got done with the song Danny asked me if I would sing a song with him at his concert that night and I did.

Last March I went to a Cathedrals Rememberred Concert and saw Danny before the concert. He remembered me and and gave me a big hug.

At intermission he asked me to come up and sing with him and so I did. In the group that I sang in it was Danny, Gerald Wolf, Mark Trammell and me.

From Doug Taylor:

I had been to each annual “Evening With the Cathedrals” (held at the Reynolds Auditorium in Winston-Salem, NC) and was excited when they decided to record a live video there – “Travelin’ Live”. Needless to say, it was the thrill of a lifetime! What was so much fun about watching them record a video were the mistakes they made live, which of course were later corrected vocally on the cassettes – such as when George called out to “do that trio part again – I love that trio!” on “Boundless Love” and Glen started singing one verse while Danny and Mark started singing the other verse!!! The look on Glen’s face was pricesless – it was a look of “I don’t know if I’m on the right verse or not, but y’all better join up with me!!!”

From Chad Coomer:

I worked as a disc jockey at Southern Gospel WHOS in Decatur, AL from age 13 through breaks at home from college-I got to attend many concerts through the years and the Cathedrals were my favorite. While completing a degree at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK I had to take a course in church music administration. I asked my professor if I could do something on Southern Gospel Music. He said I could. There happened to be a big concert at the Mabee Center in Tulsa-the Cathedrals were on the bill with several others. I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Glen Payne that night. He took time to share with me some history on Stamps Baxter School of Music and quartet history-that was back in 1990-. I was so impressed with him taking the time to talk with me. I wish I still had that paper I wrote.

From Guy Swanner of Gospel Music Productions in Lithia Springs, Georgia:

Danny Funderburk is one of my dearest friends, he told me about one time in Louisiana he and Mark Trammell caught a hugh bullfrog in a ditch and put it in George’s boot box. George got on the bus all tired, sat down pulled his boots off and pulled the box from under his bunk. Opened it and the bullfrog jumped in George’s chest and over his head. Mark verified this (not that Danny would stretch it.) and said George almost lost it and yelled to Robbie Willis that the bus would not move til that blamed bullfrog was gone.

Ernie Haase, great Tenor with the Cathedrals and now Signature Sound Quartet, had his first traveling job with Squire Parsons. They were doing a three night preaching and singing gig in Tuscaloosa, Ala, had finished up and were leaving that night. Ernie was always and still is a great prankster. Squire had gone back into the Motel for something and Ernie was hiding behind a support pillar and was going to jump on Squire’s back when he came out. What he didn’t know was the local Law had the place staked out for drug operations, etc. When Squire came out, the cops had Ernie spread eagle and were getting ready to handcuff him. He was trying to explain to them he was the Tenor singer on that bus. Squire said as tempting as it was to vow he did not know him, he finally said yes and they put Young Ernie safely on the bus.

From Lorne Matthews:

Lorne [Matthews] and George [Younce] were ‘bunk mates’ in the bus; Lorne was in the top bunk and George in the bottom bunk. Lorne, a late sleeper, said when George would get up of the morning, he would get right in his ear and say in the deepest bass voice a human being could ever have early in the morning “Get up you lazy critter,” and then just growl in low tones. Lorne loved George.

From Terry S (quartetman)

Another funny thing about the Travelin’ Live video is when Glen started singing the different verse of Boundless Love, Mark and Danny swapped parts. I can’t recall who started it (I think Danny), but it ended up with Danny singing Mark’s part and Mark dropping Danny’s down an octave if I remember correctly.

At the first Cathedrals concert I went to (somewhat shortly after Scott joined), I caught George during intermission. I was much taller and bigger than he, but he was like a giant to me. I asked if they could do “What A Meeting.” He said he thought they could. When they got on stage, he made a point of saying the song was a request, located me in the large audience and looked me in the eye. However, he got the song wrong . He sang Supper Time. 🙂 Even though the song was wrong, the memory is special. He was very personable and had a way of making anyone feel like an old and valued friend.

The next memory was from a friend of mine. He went to his first Cathedrals concert when Tremble and Webster were with them. Webster came out at sound check and hit a fairly low note. My friend thought, he is a pretty good bass. George came out and dropped the note an octave from where Webster sang it. 🙂

From Jonathan Andrews

I have been a Cathedral Quartet fan since I first heard them on tape about 20 years ago. Dad had put together a little group at our church that I sang bass in. One of the first songs we did was Can He, Could He Would He, by the Cathedral Quartet. Someone said years ago when Brother Glen and Brother George had to rebuild the quartet when all three of the other guys left that Geeorge and Glen “were the Cathedrals”, well I don’t know if I totally subscribe to that thought. But they are definitely two of my favorite people in Gospel Music history.