Well, to be clear, former members of Signature Sound. But that would have been too long of a title. We’ve got Josh on tenor, supported by both Doug Anderson and Ryan Seaton plus Roy Webb on piano. Josh, of course, is a former Gold City tenor, and Roy was also employed by Gold City after his tenure with Signature Sound. This is an unusual combination, but it’s a reminder of how talented every one of these guys is.
Dustin Doyle just made his live debut as Signature Sound’s new baritone singer the other day. He sang “Redemption Draweth Nigh,” the song he picked for his audition. Meanwhile, I just discovered some great up close and personal videos of Doug Anderson and the guys from about a month ago. They’re from a retreat session in Shipshewana, Indiana, and since Indiana is Doug’s home state, some old friends of his came up to show their appreciation. So the retreat kind of doubled as a going-away party for him, and it just looks like a sweet time all round. A user named Joyce Williams has uploaded several of these videos (about 15-20 minutes long each), full of funny stories, heart-to-heart reflections from both Doug and Ernie, and some performances by request. I’ll point readers to her channel for all of them but embed a couple that I found especially fun.
In the first half of this one, Ernie Haase shares his top ten moments with Doug on the road. I’d never heard any of these stories before, but oh my, these are some good ones. Some are funny, others are embarrassing (and funny), some are touching, and one of them is a little bit scary (it involves going jogging in a spot in Israel where you do NOT want to go jogging). Ernie really bares his soul in a couple of these moments, particularly the last one:
And the number one top ten moment for me, ever, was you reaching across the aisle late one night, giving me a fist bump, telling me everything was going to be all right, when this group was going to hell pretty quick. And for staying and being my best friend, and helping me get this group off the ground.
The second half is some other stuff, but that was the part that really got me.
And here’s Doug singing an old sugar stick of his: “Gone.” If you watched the first video, you know they’re laughing at the beginning because they’re thinking about the fact that Ernie specially requested Doug sing this, and the hook reminded everyone that Doug was going away. (But that was nothing compared to Ernie setting up “Forgiven Again” by saying Doug was going to spend more time with his family, and then Doug singing the first line of that song: “I left my family, the love I had known…”)
Here’s an impromptu group performance of “All the Gold in California.” Never heard them try this one before!
One friend of Doug’s who shared some words also happens to know Bill Gaither. According to him, Bill once said in a conversation about Doug, “I can’t believe I let him get away!” So congrats, Ernie. You one-upped Bill for thirteen years!
As Charleston reels from the unspeakably evil actions of Dylan Roof (while amazingly making statements of love and forgiveness at the same time), here’s a new Steven Curtis Chapman song dedicated to them. While it’s typical of his more recent material in that the melody could be more tuneful, it has a characteristically strong chorus and very moving lyrics. Rejoice in the reminder that good will always overcome evil!
Some of us don’t have the space to amass a vinyl collection or the vinyl players to enjoy it on, but we still love vintage music. The other day, I found a goldmine of Cathedrals music on Youtube, including albums from the 60s/70s/80s that you still can’t purchase digitally. The music has been digitized from the user’s collection, and while the quality varies from record to record, it’s better than a through-the-air recording like some other vintage Cats uploads. The user hasn’t gathered most of them into playlists, but if you go to his channel and click “See more” enough times, from a certain point on it’s nothing but vintage Cathedrals records. Better yet, here’s a link to all the songs at once, generated by searching “Cathedrals” on the channel, though this doesn’t group songs from the same album all together. Also, it appears that the videos for Climbing Higher and Higher were accidentally uploaded with no sound. Otherwise, full albums all told include:
With Brass, 1966
Focus on Glen Payne, 1968 (full playlist here)
Welcome to Our World, 1972 (full playlist here)
You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet, 1979
Featuring George Younce, 1983
Voices in Praise Acappella, 1984
The Prestigious Cathedral Quartet, 1984
An Old Convention Song, 1985
Worship His Glory in Acappella Praise, 1993
Some of Their Finest Moments, 1994 (best-of collection, middling quality)
Radio Days, 1996
Acapella Favorites, 2000 (best-of collection)
I haven’t even scratched the surface of it all yet, but one album I do have in my collection already that’s uploaded here in excellent quality is 1984’s Prestigious Cathedral Quartet. Recorded with tenor Danny Funderburk, baritone Mark Trammell, and pianist Roger Bennett, this album featured a few of the Cathedrals’ signature songs and a few forgotten gems. It includes one of my absolute favorite Cathedrals songs ever, which to my knowledge has never been recorded by anyone else. It should be. It’s called “Next Time We Meet,” and it’s absolutely haunting. Somebody please bring this one back. Thank you:
Folks may not know that there is a thriving community of Indian Christians who sing many of the same old American praise choruses and gospel songs we do. I was first introduced to this phenomenon at the wedding of a friend who married a young Indian man after meeting him at Moody Bible College. His father serenaded the couple and chose a Maranatha praise chorus. At the reception, a family friend performed the Scott Wesley Brown wedding song “This is the Day” with his younger brother—another blast from the 70s past.
Recently, I was looking for a good cover of a John W. Peterson song and found not one, but two covers originating in India. That led me to find more videos of one particular family who recorded a family hymn sing. They could have stolen my hymnal! Songs they cover include “There is Power in the Blood,” “Heaven Came Down,” and “Because He Lives.” The young man has also uploaded some guitar/vocal videos with more gospel covers, including “This World is Not My Home” and “I Just Keep Trusting My Lord.” It’s very heart-warming to see several generations gathered around to belt out the old hymns. In the words of another hymn:
Thee let old men, thee let young men, thee let boys in chorus sing;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens, with glad voices answering:
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
And the heart its music bring, evermore and evermore.
Enjoy a few of my favorite clips! Continue reading “Youtube Find: Gospel Music in India”
From the looks of this video, the 1989 Dove Awards was a rather clumsily orchestrated affair, but it did honor some great musicians, and for one hour, it brought together a co-hosting team I never would have pictured in my head: George Younce, Cynthia Clawson and Rich Mullins. As Russ Taff says while introducing them over his scripted pages: “I think that the next hosts are very strange. That’s what it says in here.” It’s quite funny to watch. George is far and away the most comfortable person up there, what with Cynthia smirking and cringing over her myriad tongue slips and Rich squirming in his tuxedo (complete with cummerbund and bow tie, and yet he has a mullet also, which is just weird).
*At 1:04:00, after a couple of his trademark corny jokes, George says a few personal words about Cynthia and Rich.
*This segment includes three of Take 6’s 5 (!!) Dove wins and is very entertaining, prompting more than one joke from George—Contemporary Black Gospel Album of the Year at 1:14:22, back-to-back with Contemporary Black Gospel Recorded Song of the Year for “If We Ever” at 1:18:50, then Group of the Year a bit later at 1:54:10. The bass singer is especially entertaining on Recorded Song: “Doom-doom-doom, skiddly-skiddly, bank-bank. Oh, translated, we’d like to thank all of our parents…” George: “I wonder how old that bass singer is.” They keep having to think of more people to thank at each award. For Group of the Year, the bass singer is sure to include “my dog Spot, who’s in the audience.”
*At 1:21:00, Gold City performs “Midnight Cry,” but it’s George’s intro that’s pure gold as he casually throws the script out the window. “And these young friends of mine… [pauses, looks up]. Let me re-phrase that. I hate young people.” Continue reading “Youtube Find: George Younce, Cynthia Clawson and Rich Mullins Co-Hosting the Dove Awards”
The other day, I discovered that someone has put all of EHSS’s vintage albums with Shane Dunlap and Ryan Seaton on Youtube. I’m very happy about this, because I think they made some fine music in this era, even though I can understand the economics of letting old material go out of print. These albums include Stand By Me, Stand By Me Live, Glory to His Name, Building a Bridge, The Ground is Level, and Great Love. Ernie Haase’s OOP solo albums Amen, Journey On, and Celebration Time have also been made available by this uploader. You can click here to browse through each album in its own playlist. Below is a collection of some of my personal favorite “forgotten tracks.” Enjoy them while you can—I notice this same uploader has put pretty much his entire Christian library on Youtube, including very much in-print work from mainstream CCM artists (*cringe*), so he’s probably due for a visit from the copyright police any time.
“I Can’t Wait for Heaven” (Stand By Me): This toe-tapper features Shane Dunlap. Like much of the group’s debut project, which was produced by Garry Jones, it has a very Gold City feel.
“There is a Savior” (Glory to His Name): Pure perfection. Ernie kills me every time with that falsetto… thing he does at the end:
“The Other Side of the Cross” (The Ground is Level): I know this is the Statlers’ signature tune, but in my opinion this version is much better sung. Continue reading “Youtube Find: Vintage Ernie Haase & Signature Sound”
I’d never run across this recording before, but I love the song, the sound and the harmonies. It’s all the more poignant since Phelps’s sister Sherri passed away. One more piece of evidence that Phelps is not only a monster vocalist, but a writer worth paying attention to.
While perusing Youtube last night, I hit upon a little goldmine of old Gaither Vocal Band music. Special thanks to user Diego James Christian for uploading quite a bit of stuff that’s out of print, much of it in near-mp3 quality (though some is obviously taken from a cassette). I have no idea how he got the high quality ones sounding this good, but it’s fantastic. I put together two playlists for their debut and sophomore efforts. Click here for The New Gaither Vocal Band and here for Passin’ the Faith Along. Both of these albums hold up pretty well, for late 70s/early 80s type music. Sure, “Don’t Play With the Devil” and “Into the Word” are suspiciously reminiscent of the BeeGees, “Not By Might” is a shameless rip-off of Billy Joel’s “My Life,” etc., etc. But blah-blah-blah. Who cares? Enjoy the music. I’d also like to give a hat tip to Dustin Allman, Chris’s son, for reviewing the debut. I never would have discovered it otherwise.
Below the fold are some favorite selections from each album. Continue reading “Youtube Find: Out-of-Print Gaither Vocal Band Music in HQ”
This quartet is called the Alborada Quartet, and they recorded some music in the 1980s. I’ve been able to find out virtually nothing about them. But they sing acapella quartet music, in Korean, like you’ve never heard it sung before.
Close your eyes and just listen to this blend:
Now take a listen to this arrangement of the black spiritual “No More Sorrow.” I know they are borrowing it from another incredible and little-known quartet called Breath of Life who had a television and radio ministry in the 1970s.
I sure wish I could obtain that project somehow.