Fave Fives #30: Southern Gospel Performances

The 30th Faves list had to be big.  And something I really, really enjoy.  Music is a huge part of our family life.  The following list features the performances I’ve deemed to be the most stirring I’ve seen and heard.  They’re not necessarily my favorite songs (though I really do like all of them), it’s the arrangements and interpretations that I’m highlighting here.  Warning, some of the songs do have … drum roll, please … drums.

1. Champion of Love by The Cathedrals.  This line-up was simply the best quartet ever.  Give them a masterfully arranged power ballad and you’ve got one of the most memorable performances of all time.  I’d like to know whose idea it was to have Ernie Haase not sing until the end.  His tenor part just explodes!  The song is anchored by a powerful and passionate lead while George Younce peppers in some really low bass notes at just the right times.  Amazing!

2. Let Freedom Ring by the Gaither Vocal Band.  A really good unison is very under-appreciated.  It really takes some skill for four men to sound like one voice, and GVB nails it here.  Then there’s David Phelps.  Buckle your seat belts at around 3:05.  The ultimate power tenor’s interpretation of such powerful words is truly moving.

3. God’s Building a Church by Gold City.  First, I think this is a really fun and exciting song.  Then you’ve got prime examples of freakishly high and tsunami-inducing low.  If you can get past the nasally tenor, you’ll get to the really fun stuff.  Tim Riley pulls a bit of a fake out by singing some middle-of-the-road bass notes in the first chorus.  Then he goes down an octave.  Whoa!

4. Wonderful Grace of Jesus by The Cathedrals.  Okay, back to the best quartet ever.  This acapella rendition of an old hymn is a music clinic.  They also masterfully sing in unison, then pull off one of the coolest key changes I’ve ever heard.  My fellow music-philes will appreciate the complex chords they just nail beautifully.  Also, the visual appeal of the quartet sharing one mic and adjusting their individual distances from the mic to attain the perfect blend makes this performance an all-around classic.

5. Since Jesus Passed By by Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.  Ernie Haase obviously learned a few tricks from The Cathedrals.  They use two mics here, but their movements to adjust the blend is more pronounced and, maybe, more impressive.  Tim Duncan gets a chance to show off the beauty of his upper range.  He’s not the lowest bass around, but I think he has the smoothest singing voice of all the basses in southern gospel.  The highlight for me is Ernie Haase achieving a crescendo by walking up to the mic at about 2:13.

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8 comments so far

  1. Renae on

    So I seem to remember you wanting Brittany, Rebekah, and I to sing Champion of Love in Sunday night Jr Church… Something about you standing in a corner in a white sheet :)… I love Gold City and the song “Let Freedom Ring”

  2. Jay on

    Remember Brittany had the biggest crush on Scott Fowler (the lead singer)? I don’t remember the white sheet thingy. What was that all about?

  3. Renae on

    It was about special music… we use to sing in sunday night Jr Church… we joked about singing “Champion of Love” and when we said “stands a champion robbed in white” we were going to point to you in the corner… 🙂 elementary humor I guess!

  4. Becka on

    lol I vaguely remember that, but pretty sure it wasn’t Jay’s idea to stand in the corner or for us to sing. lol

    Those songs were amazing! I really enjoyed listening to them! Awesome. Going back for another round…. 🙂

  5. Tina on

    Hi there! I had the privilege of being there in the Ryman Auditorium for the Catherdral’s farewell. They really brought the house down with these two songs. The very best performance I’ve ever seen was at the National Quartet Convention just after Glen Payne died. They sang “Healing” and it was so incredibly powerful.

    Thanks for posting this. Found you on Google searching for info on Gold City. You have some really uplifting things on this blog! Keep it up!

  6. Jay on

    Tina, thanks for stopping by! You were at those performances?? That’s too cool! We have a couple Cathedrals videos (including the farewell concert) and we all just love them! We’re so glad Legacy Five makes an annual west coast swing. It really is something to hear these folks sing in person.

  7. Pokey on

    Great music, we like the same sounds of praise!
    Imagine that, . . . .

    :-} pokey

  8. Randy on

    Signature sound and Legacy get 2 thumbs up they always deliver a great performance.


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