The rain was pouring hard as I made my way off the tram into the Dowell Field House in Springfield, Missouri, Saturday June 19th. Gathered together were Legacy Five, The Mark Trammell Quartet, Greater Vision and Danny Funderburk for a special concert to remember the Cathedral Quartet. Hundreds of people came to “Remember The Music” and I was privileged to be among them. The night started off with the Ascension Quartet opening with two songs, then, the real fun began when Legacy Five took the stage with the classic “New Born Feeling.” ( L5 fans will remember that song from their latest CD – Just Stand.) Up next were two of L5’s most popular songs, I Found Grace and I’ve Been Changed. This was the first time I was able to see L5’s new tenor, Gus, sing with them live, so I was very excited to see him sing the second verse of I Found Grace, which he sang well., though it was a little hard to hear him on the ending. Glenn introduced his solo I’ve Been Changed by these words, “I love singing this song because it’s my testimony song.” – And if you could have been there to see him sing it with the passion that he did, you would know that he meant every word he sang. Another new song, called Thankful For The Change, followed from their Just Stand project. Howie was especially excited on this one, engaging the crowd to clap and just showing a joyful countenance. With that song completed, Scott (Fowler) came forward and expressed his gratefulness for the Cathedrals and all that they represented. He said, “There wouldn’t be a Mark Trammell Quartet, a Greater Vision, or a Legacy Five if it wouldn’t have been for the Cathedrals.” After a complement like that, it was only fitting that an old Cathedrals song should follow! Life Will Be Sweeter Someday was that song. Right in the middle of that song a man came up to the front of the seating area to get a picture of L5 singing on stage, and Fowler said, “Hold on guys! This guy wants a picture!” So they all stopped singing and Tim stopped playing and came to pose for the man’s camera. . . .then they went back to singing like it was the most natural thing! On the same song, when Tim started into the piano solo part where Tim speeds it up really fast, Howie says, “That had some boogie-woogie in it!” – and adds some of his own dance moves too! After all the fun, Fowler pulls out his Bible and tells the infamous “Florida Story” and concluded by proclaiming that “Jesus is all there is!” This set up for their last song When They Found Nothing. When they came to the break before the last chorus in the song, Fowler very victoriously said, “He is not here – He is risen!!!” The whole auditorium rose to their feet.
Danny Funderburk came on stage next, opening with a song called The Offer Still Stands, and followed by Everybody Praise The Lord. He also sang the old song I’m sure we are all familiar with called He Set Me Free. The next song he sang had the exact tune as the Cathedrals Prodigal, but this one was called Rise Up And Walk. Danny gave his testimony concerning his health and told a joke about his medical bracelet. Apparently, he put his own cell phone number on the tag for the “contact in case of emergency.” He ended his set with a song that was requested called Angels Don’t Mind At All, and Statue of Liberty. The latter received a standing ovation.
The Mark Trammell Quartet was next in the line up for the night. This was also the first time I was able to see this group as a quartet and not a trio, and I have to say that Pat makes an excellent fit for them! They began their portion of the evening with a slower song called Gentle Shepherd, then sped things up with Glory Hallelujah I’m Going Home. Dustin was playing the piano on these first two songs, and the latter was encored, though when Dustin went for a third encore Joel pretended to whack his fingers. Of course that received some giggles from the audience. Mark introduced Pat and let him sing a solo, How Big Is God. Leave Your Sorrows (and come with me) followed along with Mansion Over the Hilltop. Mark commented on how all of the songs they sang so far were old, “When you get this color hair, you appreciate things that are old,” he said. He then went on to tell why they became a quartet after all of these years. His answer came in form of a story. He said that last year at the National Quartet Convention he asked certain people who came to his booth to name their top ten favorite quartets, they couldn’t do it. “Now twenty five years ago,” Mark said, “you could do it no problem, but you can’t today.” So they became a quartet because they want to keep the music alive. They ended their time on stage with Loving the Lamb, which stirred the crowd to their feet before the song finished.
Last but certainly not least, was one of Southern Gospel’s favorite trios, Greater Vision. They opened their set with their snappy tune He’d Still Been God, then slowing it back down for I Could Never Praise Him Enough. Better Hurry Up was their next song, fans will recognize that one from the popular Jubilee CD. Gerald, with his good sense of humor took it upon himself to tell us a joke about our very unique state here in the Ozarks. He said that last night they were in Memphis, TN, and that L5, The Mark Trammell Quartet and GV were suppose to follow each other to the venue tonight. But, he (Gerald) doesn’t like to drive through the night, he prefers to drive in the early morning. So in the morning when he was ready to go, he found out that the other two groups went on with out them. No big deal, he punches the address in on the GPS system, he waits as it says “calculating.” Then a woman comes on and starts telling him what to do, in his own words he says, “I’m use to that, so we started down the road.” “When I-55 ended, we get on this road where there are these things,” he says with a wave of his hand (I guess there in no words to describe small towns in MO!) “Then we start going like this,” and he motions up and down for hills, “then this,” and he motions side to side for our curvy roads, “then – we get ten miles from the address of this building, and the lady on the GPS says, ’I give up’.” (Only those of you who have had the privilege of driving MO roads will appreciate the hilarity of that joke!) They featured their tenor, Chris, on the next number, Hallelujah Square. My Name Is Lazarus followed, and the crowd loved it. They said that they have been singing this song for thirteen years, and by the response of the standing ovation they received that night, I believe it! Gerald dedicated Faces to a missionary from New Zealand who was there that night, which closed their time on stage.
The second half of the evening began the Remember The Music segment, where Danny, Scott, Mark, Glenn and Gerald came on stage to sing some of the most popular Cathedrals songs. With Gerald playing the keyboard and Mark the bass guitar, they began this part of the evening with Plan of Salvation. The next number, The Master Builder, featured Mark. All the guys were snapping their fingers and bobbing their heads to that one. You could tell it was a favorite! Then Scott sat out on the worshipful There’s Just Something About That Name and I Will Serve Thee. Danny was featured next on Somebody Touched Me. Gerald insisted that they sing Moving Up To Gloryland, however, Glenn insisted that he didn’t know the words! Gerald said, “Now I wrote out the words on a piece of paper and gave it to you so you could learn it !” “My dog ate the paper,” replied Glenn. (The audience laughs. Though I’m not sure if it was from the joke or the look on Gerald’s face!) Glenn goes on, “I grew up listening to Gold City.” (Audience laughs again, though Gerald is not finding this funny.) So to remedy the situation, Glenn offers, “Pat knows it.” Gerald asks if Pat is in the room and if he would come up and sing this song with them. Pat was sitting in the audience so he quickly came up on the stage and borrowed Glenn’s mic. When they came to the “mo-o-o-o-ving” part, Scott told Danny to, “sing it sister!” Danny turns to Scott on the next “mo-o-o-oving” and Scott pretends like Danny spit in his face and uses his hand to wipe it off, meanwhile, Danny is laughing too hard to sing. After the key change, Pat tried his hand on the “mo-o-o-oving” and I think he received more of a response from the crowd than Danny did! LOL! Boundless Love was next on the set list, followed by Gerald, Mark, and Glenn singing Land of the Living as a trio while Tim played the piano. After that they were deciding what to sing and settled on Homeland. Gerald asked Glenn, “Do you know this one?” Glenn replies, “Yeah, I know this one.” Gerald asked him, “How do you know this one when Gold City didn’t sing it?” Glenn says, “This is the only one!” (They were having fun that night.) When this song ended, the audience decided that it was request time and started shouting out Cat songs that they wanted to hear. Some shouted, “Step Into The Water” and others, “I’ve Just Started Living” and a number of other old favorites. I’ve Just Started Living was the taker and Danny sang it well, though he had trouble hitting some of the high notes. When that song finished, Gerald had everyone sing The Family of God and God Is So Good as congregationals. Then they closed the night with the mighty Champion of Love, with Scott singing the first verse and Gerald taking the lead on the second verse, followed by a standing ovation from the whole auditorium.
To sum up the night, I would have to say that we had an amazing couple of hours of Gospel music by some of my personal favorites. I loved the way that both L5 and the Mark Trammell Quartet sang songs off of their new projects, they were great to hear live. And for seeing Greater Vision for the first time in concert, I can honestly say now, that I know why everyone loves them. Hearing My Name Is Lazarus live was priceless! All of the groups did an awesome job both individually with their own group, and in remembrance of the Cathedrals. It truly was an Evening to Remember – Great job guys keep it up!