Posted by: coomercove | September 26, 2007

The final Cathedral Quartet lineup

In The Cathedrals thread at the Singing News forums, quaidnewcome said,

“I’ve never understood the hype about the Haase and Fowler lineup. There were better singers in their respective vocal slots in the past.”

I completely agree. For years, I have wondered why the final Cathedral lineup was as popular as it was. The one time I saw the Cathedrals live was with this lineup and I left after the second song. The Haase/Fowler lineup did not have a bad sound, but they were not nearly as good as the lineups that preceded them. They certainly weren’t as good as I was expecting when I attended the concert. I’m not familiar with the Cathedrals before the mid 70s, but I think every lineup from that time to the departure of Mark Trammell was better than the final lineup. I realize the appeal of every Cathedral lineup relied upon George and Glen, but I feel they were THE appeal for the last several years.

So, how were two talented, lovable, old men enough to make two other no where near great singers the most popular quartet and sweep the Singing News Fan Awards for several years in a row? I come up with two reasons.

The first is a lack of competition. The Fan Awards reward consistency. Gold City was rebuilding (actually reloading) after Brian and Ivan left. The Kingsmen at this time were, I’m sorry, not that great. The Statesmen and Blackwoods were not a factor. The Kingdom Heirs had just added Arthur Rice to begin their ascent. Greater Vision was a couple of years away from signing with Daywind and becoming super popular.

The second is the Gaither effect. It just so happens that the same time the Cathedrals were sweeping the Fan Awards that the Homecoming videos were winning video of the year every year. Everyone was buying the videos and George and Glen were featured on most, if not all of them.


  1. I believe the reason they won so many Fan Awards was that a lot of fans believed they were the best.

  2. But Daniel, the Fan Awards aren’t for the best; they are for the most popular. I was questioning how they became so popular when, compared to their prior lineups, their sound took a step back. I will give the lineup credit for the “High And Lifted Up” project. That was a wonderful recording.

  3. There was a statement made once that the last version of the Cats musically basically coasted into retirement, with all due respect and the full admission that they had definitely earned the right to do so. I agreed with the statement at the time, and still do, though H&LU and Faithful were great projects. The Raise the Roof CD particularly was really disappointing to me. I always thought it sounded like a budget project and not a major release. I think Brandon has hit the nail on the head with the source of their popularity.

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