Album Remakes 1: Booth Brothers revisit Cathedrals

Last week, there was some discussion of groups remaking an album recorded by an earlier iteration of that group’s lineup. That got me thinking: What if one of today’s groups remade a complete classic album by one of the great groups of yesteryear?

This post will start a weekly series exploring that possibility.

Let’s start with the Booth Brothers. The album I would like to see them re-make is the Cathedrals’ Easy on the Ears, Heavy on the Heart album. It wasn’t the album that got people noticing the 1970s Cathedrals lineup (that would be The Last Sunday or Statue of Liberty, depending on who you ask), and it wasn’t the album that made the Cathedrals a mega-group (that would be Something Special or Live in Atlanta, depending on who you ask).

But it was the album that defined the Cathedrals’ sound during that era. The album features a smooth blend and inspirational stylings, more reminiscent of the Bill Gaither Trio (with a bass) than of the Kingsmen or Happy Goodmans. Some people even refer to this era of the Cathedrals’ sound as their Easy on the Ears, Heavy on the Heart days.

The Booth Brothers’ blend would be perfect for a new rendering of this classic album.

Here’s a song list. I’ll put the original vocalist featured in parentheses, and then make comments.

  • Worthy the Lamb (George Younce, Glen Payne). This is the Gaither song, recently redone by the Gaither Vocal Band. The Booth Brothers might add a little more instrumentation, but could really go places with this song either way.
  • With Him (George Amon Webster). After listening to this song repeatedly over the past few years, I’ve never been quite sure whether it was supposed to be about Joseph and Mary or about a modern-day man whose wife and children were raptured. Either way, Ronnie Booth’s voice would be perfect for this song.
  • He Made a Rainbow of My Tears (Glen Payne, Roy Tremble). This would be good for a Jim Brady / Michael Booth feature.
  • We Have This Moment Today (George Younce). This is the only song on the project for which I would pull in a guest vocalist. Younce’s masterful vocals so define this song that it would be hard to remake the album without a bass vocalist here. I would draft David Hester to chip in vocals here.
  • Something Beautiful (Roy Tremble). The Booth Brothers’ harmonies would shine on the song; Michael Booth could take the verses.
  • He is the Dearest Friend (George Younce). While I have never heard any rendition of the song that didn’t feature a bass singer (in fact, I’m not sure if I’ve heard anyone except Younce record the song), the lyrics would particularly fit Ronnie Booth’s style.
  • It’s Finished (Roy Tremble). The Booths could add a little more production to make the song a big ballad.
  • I’ve Got More to Go to Heaven For (George Amon Webster). Ronnie Booth’s voice would be great for this George Amon Webster feature.
  • Jesus is Lord of All (Roy Tremble). This song could feature Michael Booth or Jim Brady.
  • Gentle Shepherd (no solo). The Booth Brother’s tight trio harmonies would be perfect for capturing this familiar song.
  • Jesus I Heard You Had a Big House (George Younce). For a change of pace, perhaps this song could be rendered acapella.
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Ten All-Time Favorite Songs

Last week, I posted a list of ten all-time favorite albums and invited you to contribute yours. As I promised commenter #23, Matt Baker, here’s your chance to list your all-time favorite Southern Gospel songs.

For the purposes of this list, it is fine if the originate elsewhere (hymns or CCM imports), if they’ve been recorded by a major Southern Gospel artist.

For whatever it’s worth, here is my list:

  1. It is Well with My Soul
  2. Calvary Answers for Me (Perrys)
  3. We Shall See Jesus (Cathedrals)
  4. The King is Coming
  5. I Stand Redeemed (Legacy Five)
  6. Sinner Saved By Grace (Cathedrals)
  7. Till the Storm Passes By (Gerald Wolfe)
  8. Home Free (Roger Bennett)
  9. How Great Thou Art (Kim Collingsworth)
  10. Because He Lives
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Alex Woolard leaves Driven?

Personnel changes happen so often in Southern Gospel that sometimes groups don’t bother to send out a press release. So often the first and sometimes the only way we hear about personnel changes is when someone attends one of their concerts and the group announces that a new individual is either filling in or is their new member.

Lottie Squires, a radio personality with WKCB 780, pens the Front Row Follies blog. Her June 3 concert update includes this comment:

I’ve got about a million pictures of Driven Quartet, so I thought I’d give them a break from camera flashes on Friday night.  But then I got into the church, and Roger and Mary Anne told me that Scott Penuel was filling in with them; Alex has taken a church in Georgia and isn’t able to travel anymore.

“Alex” is Alex Woolard, Driven’s tenor.

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