The Obligatory Standing Ovation

Been listening to quite a bit of Enlighten on Sirius/XM, on my daily drive back and forth to work.  I’m still amazed at how often the Cathedral’s version of “Oh What A Savior” is played.

It got me to thinking about all the times I’ve heard this song performed in concert.  Most quartets, from regional to top-tier, like to showcase their tenor with this particular song.

I also recalled that I don’t believe there was a single instance of me hearing this song in concert where it didn’t receive a standing ovation from the crowd.

It didn’t matter how great, or poor, the performance was, the crowd stood in thunderous applause.  So, does the song alone warrant a standing ovation, no matter the performance?

Is the crowd so trained to stand on the song, it is an auto response at this point?  Like Pavlov’s theory; you do something long enough out of repetition, it becomes a natural response.

I know there is one “Standing Ovation” I like; this song.

Land Of The Lost…..Songs

cathedrals1985especiallymaxI attempted to start a series several years ago, that took a look at forgotten/overlooked Southern Gospel songs.  The only two posts in the series covered Gold City’s, “The Search Is Over”, which was overshadowed by the more popular song from recording, “Midnight Cry” (Movin’ Up; 1987).  The second post took a look at the Kingsmen’s “Nearing The Shore” from the 1981, Live…Naturally album.  Of course, songs like “Excuses”, “Beautiful Home”, “When My Feet Touch The Streets Of Gold” and  “Love Lifted Me” are the songs most listeners remember.

Today, I wanted to take a look at the Cathedrals 1985 recording, Especially For You.  Songs that will immediately come to mind are “Who Can Do Anything”, “His Tomb Is Empty Now” and covers of “He Didn’t Come Down” and “Shout All Over Heaven”.

The forgotten song from this particular album, is one that I consider to be the best on the recording; the Danny Funderburk penned, “He’s My Lighthouse”.  This up-tempo song is the Cathedrals at their prime.  Play it again.  Play it again, indeed.

*Video Credit (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)

Ten On Ten (Redux) – Cathedrals

cathedrals1994raisetheroofmaxThis week the ten on ten (redux) will re-visit the Cathedrals.  On March 13, 2012, I presented the original ten on ten feature for the Cathedrals highlighting the group’s ten best albums.  This redux feature will now shine the spotlight on the three lowest ranking albums of the group’s career.  First, the original list highlighting the Cathedrals ten best recordings.

  1. Live In Atlanta (1983)
  2. High And Lifted Up (1993)
  3. Something Special (1982)
  4. Sunshine And Roses (1978)
  5. The Prestigious Cathedral Quartet (1984)
  6. Master Builder (1986)
  7. Symphony Of Praise (1987)
  8. I’ve Just Started Living (1989)
  9. For Keeps (1975)
  10. Focus On Glen Payne (1968)

The lowest ranked albums in the Cathedrals discography are as follows:

  1. Raise The Roof – 30th Anniversary (1994)
  2. Live In Jacksonville (1999)
  3. Worship His Glory: A Capella Praise  (1993)

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  There are over 200 songs penned in Southern Gospel music with the word ‘Love’ in the title.  Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and stated, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love”.  One of the biggest songs in Southern Gospel chart history that used the word love in its title was the Cathedrals cut of Dianne Wilkinson’s; “Boundless Love”.

*Video Credit (Kyle Boreing)

Top Ten Back Then

#9In this week’s top ten back then selection, we look back 38 years to January 1978.

While Tatoo was welcoming visitors to Fantasy Island for the first time, the Cathedrals landed at #8 on the January 1978 Singing News top 40 chart.  The song, “I’ll Sail Away Home”, was penned by Haskell and JoLee Cooley and found on the Cathedrals 1977 recording, Then And Now.

1978Some other fun facts from January 1978:

  • The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII.
  • NASA selected its first American women astronauts.
  • The Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever album spent 24 weeks at #1.

*Video Credit (Southern Gospel Music)

2015 NQC – Tuesday Night Recap

CFRTuesday night of the 2015 National Quartet Convention is now in the record books.  The night overall was mediocre.  But, a few performances broke through the mediocrity to make the hit list.

  • How good is it to see Pat Barker on the stage again?  I didn’t realize he was doing the Cathedral reunion concerts.  The closing performance of “We Shall See Jesus” was stellar!
  • The Perrys performed a new song tonight that has future hit written all over it; “Keep On”.  Their set seemed fairly short overall, with only three songs.
  • One of the best family groups touring right now has got to be the Nelons.  Their harmony is phenomenal and I have already said it many times, but Amber Thompson is the best there is!
  • Thank you Mark Bishop for one of the most quirky, awkwardly awesome sets of music I have ever seen performed on the NQC stage.  Performing with his daughters and other band members, known as Forget The Sea, the style presented was reminiscent of folk/rock group, Of Monsters And Men.  I look forward to listening to the album when it releases in January.
  • I never tire of hearing Brian Lester perform, “He Didn’t Throw The Clay Away”.  The Lesters heritage is the longest in Southern Gospel music.
  • Another Southern Gospel legend, Ray Dean Reese of the Kingsmen is still hitting those low notes for the group.  Working on 50 years performing with the same group.  Awesome.
  • After a fast paced, muddled start to their set, the Inspirations closed with a nice acappella version of Squire Parsons classic, “Beulah Land”.
  • Overall, the program once again moved along with very little down time in between artists.

  • “The Love Of God” has already been performed by three different groups this week and it is only night three.
  • One of the many things the audience receives when watching/listening via webcast is every poorly sung note.  The amount of singers who were off pitch, flat and just had a train wreck of a long drawn out song ending were too many to count.  But, live performances are not supposed to be vocally perfect.


**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “Keep On” – Perrys  (2) “Loving The Lamb” – Mark Trammell Quartet  (3) “Then Came The Morning” – Nelons  (4) “He Didn’t Throw The Clay Away” – Lesters  (5) “Baptize Me” – Mark Bishop & Forget The Sea  (6) “As We Speak” – Greater Vision  (7) “I’ve Never Seen The Righteous Forsaken” – Kingsmen  (8) “It Matters To The Master” – Collingsworth Family  (9) “We Shall See Jesus” – Cathedral Reunion (**Favorite song performance of the evening)

Best Set of the Night:  Like last night, another strong closing.  Best set goes to the Cathedral Reunion segment.

And Southern Gospel’s Greatest Song Is….


The voting has ended in our search for Southern Gospel’s greatest song.  After starting with over 500 songs from the 1960’s to current, we narrowed it down to the final ten.  After voting finished, the song to win the title of Southern Gospel’s greatest song is Dianne Wilkinson’s, “We Shall See Jesus”.

The Cathedrals first recorded the song on their 1983, Live In Atlanta, recording.  While the song was never a radio single for the group, it went on to become one of the Cathedral’s biggest concert show stoppers.  Glen Payne’s feature made it all the more grand when seeing the song performed live.

Other groups would go on to record (cover) the song after the Cathedrals, but the definitive version would always belong to Glen Payne and the Cathedrals.  Congratulations to Dianne Wilkinson for penning what readers of this blog have deemed Southern Gospel’s greatest song.

Here is the final vote tally:

  1. “We Shall See Jesus” – 126 votes
  2. cathedralquartet1983voicesinpraiseacapellamax“God On The Mountain” – 118 votes
  3. “Sweet Beulah Land” – 116 votes
  4. “Because He Lives” – 103 votes
  5. “Sheltered In The Arms Of God” – 101 votes
  6. “Midnight Cry” – 94 votes
  7. “Til The Storm Passes By” – 94 votes
  8. “The Lighthouse” – 88 votes
  9. “He Touched Me” – 75 votes
  10. “Had It Not Been” – 70 votes

Be on the look out next week as I do a final analysis on the best songs broken down by decade.

*Video Credit (herecalico)