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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Music in the Spotlight

Today I want to place the spotlight on music.  From time to time I will profile a Christian artist and provide an example of their music.

I first met George Younce as a little boy back when he sang with a professional quartet that traveled out of our hometown.  I remember thinking at the time that he was the best bass vocalist I ever heard.

By 1964 or so, George left that group and moved to Akron, Ohio where he teamed up with an up-and-coming quartet called 'The Cathedrals.'  Glen Payne was the lead singer and manager of the group.  Since I had always kept up with George, it was through him that I got to know Glen Payne, who in my opinion, was the best lead vocalist in Gospel Music history.

These guys became my heroes, men I looked up to as a boy.  George and Glen both had served in the military, were solid Patriots, and Christian gentlemen.

In time, around 1979 or so, The Cathedrals became the most popular group in Gospel Music.  Winning numerous Dove Awards and Fan Awards, no other group in the modern era was able to capture the attention and love of a broad cross-section of the Christian community.

The group was known for its songs that rose to the top of Christian music charts.  Every single release made it at least to the top 10, most to the top 5.  Their sales grew to the point that by the mid-1990s their recordings were always at the top in music stores, and they became the envy of other Gospel groups for the prosperity they enjoyed while most others struggled to stay on the road.

By the time the group retired in 1999, their popularity was at an all-time high.  Very shortly after their retirement Glen Payne died of cancer.  A few years later George Younce died of kidney failure.  I will always cherish the memories of these great men and enjoy the wonderful music they left behind.

This video segment was recorded in the 1960s, and it propelled the Cathedrals onto the national stage.  This was their very first 'radio hit.'  The song is special to me because when I started my own group as a 14-year old, we recorded this song on our first album because we liked what we heard when the Cathedrals sang it.

This is a great song that will have your feet tapping. And as you will see, it had Glen clapping his hands.  The song features the bass voice of George Younce, and it is entitled, "I'll Have a New Life."


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