march 2011


Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Honor Cathedrals; Duncan Exits Group, Owens Enters

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound perform ‘An Old Convention Song’ from their Tribute To The Cathedrals Quartet CD/DVD

After eight years as the bass singer for Dove Award winning, Grammy-nominated Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Tim Duncan has left the group to pursue other goals. He has been replaced by Ian Owens.

“After eight years of service to Ernie Haase & Signature Sound I have been feeling in my heart that my time has come to an end,” Duncan said in an official press release. “I’m sad on one hand yet excited on the other hand. Ernie and the boys are like brothers and always will be. I covet your prayers.”

“I realize changes are inevitable, it always brings a challenge as well as new opportunity,” Haase says of Duncan’s departure. “We will always be grateful for Tim’s contribution to the group over these past years. We love Tim and wish him and his family great success.”

Formerly with the Cumberland Quartet, Owens made his mark when he stepped in and stepped up as the bass singer for the Imperials following the retirement of Armond Morales and added more depth to the Imperials sound with his sonorous rumbling.

In a January 14 interview with Daniel J. Mount at the Southern Gospel Blog, Ernie Haase addressed the question of what he has in mind for the group’s next chapter in terms of sound and song selection.

“We have been writing and listening a bunch over the last two years,” Haase says. “So, I think you will hear some really good original songs from EHSS on the next project. But there has been a paradigm shift since the Homecoming videos hit in the mid-‘90s. And that is, people want to hear what they know. So, we will always grab from the vast catalog of hits from our wonderful Southern Gospel industry and try our best to recreate the familiar into a new EHSS song. Much like ‘Get Away Jordan.’ That makes the older fans happy and enlightens the younger fans to the history of Southern Gospel music.”

ernieErnie Haase & Signature Sound’s latest album, Tribute To the Cathedral Quartet, is available in CD and DVD versions. The latter includes vintage photos, footage of and reminiscences of the Cathedrals, and the song selection EHSS explores in a dynamic live performance includes some of the Cathedrals’ monuments, which Haase knows well from his near-decade-long tenure with the group, from 1991 to the end of 1999, when the ill health of founding member George Younce (who actually joined a year after Glen Payne founded the group as a trio in 1964 and converted it into a quartet; personnel changes were numerous over the next 35 years, but Younce and Payne remained the Cathedrals’ solid center) brought their music ministry to an end with a farewell concert in Akron, OH, where it had all started for the group in ’64. Two of the members of the final Cathedrals lineup, Scott Fowler and Roger Bennett, moved on to form Legacy Five. (See related story below.)

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, ‘I Thirst,’ from the group’s Tribute To The Cathedrals Quartet CD/DVD

 “It is no secret that I love The Cathedral Quartet,” Haase says. “As a young teenager, I had a poster of them on my wall right next to my favorite sports’ icons. George and Glen; their music changed and formed my life. To have been part of George and Glen's history and to have been there for their last ten years was nothing less than ‘epic’ for me. Now, ten years after The Cathedrals’ retirement, we are blessed to pay tribute and bring the music of The Cathedrals to a new generation.”

Members of the Payne family, the Younce family and Roger Bennett’s family joined in the festivities when EHSS honored the Cathedrals, as did Bill Gaither (for whose Spring House label EHSS record) and veteran gospel singer-songwriter Squire Parsons.

“There are few artists in history who were better examples to follow than George Younce and Glen Payne" says Bill Gaither. "When they founded The Cathedrals, they started more than a great quartet; they modeled character, team spirit and countless other qualities that young groups could learn from. I know Ernie’s early years as a young artist singing with The Cathedrals helped shape his worldview and his vision as an artist, and it is wonderful to see Ernie Haase and Signature Sound honor the spiritual and musical legacy of The Cathedrals so beautifully. This is a wonderful celebration.”

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound’s Tribute To the Cathedral Quartet is available at


Trey Ivey Joins Legacy Five

Twenty-one-year-old Trey Ivey has joined Legacy Five as the group’s new pianist. Hailing from Cleveland, Georgia, Ivey will soon make Nashville his new home.

treyIvey played the piano for The Mike Lefevre Quartet from November 2006 until March 2010 and most recently was the pianist for The Old Paths. One of those on whom he made a lasting musical impression was Legacy Five’s Scott Fowler. “I first heard Trey a couple of years ago at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky,” Fowler recalls. “I remember thinking then that this young man was a great player and would do nothing but get better. I made a mental note to myself to keep an eye on Trey. When Tim Parton announced he would be leaving, I knew I needed to make contact with Trey. All of the Legacy Five guys are excited to have Trey a part of our team.”

Says Ivey: “I am so thankful that God allows me to do what I love to do. I am very excited about joining Legacy Five and look forward to seeing what the future holds. It is a real honor to follow in the footsteps of two of my heroes, Roger and Tim.”

Trey Ivey plays Scarlatti’s Sonata in D minor, K1


Legendary Songfellows Quartet Keeps On Rollin’ With Rick Strickland, Brad Smith Now On Board

The Legendary Songfellows Quartet, rolling on since the 1920s, is making some personnel changes, according to group leader Bob Jones, Jr., son of founder Bob Jones, Sr., who formed the original quartet in San Diego in 1944, and was an active member until he passed away at age 93. Jones Sr. is credited with introducing the western United States to Southern Gospel music.

"Just like the Bible tells us, there is a season to everything,” Jones, Jr. says. “We all go through those seasons and seasons bring about changes. Oftentimes those changes bring excitement and new beginnings and at this time with some members leaving to pursue other interests, God has brought us new personnel that are no strangers to Gospel Music Fans nationwide. So joining Baritone Ed Hill and me are two familiar faces. On each end of the quartet will be, Tenor Rick Strickland and Bass Brad Smith.”

Rick Strickland

Strickland, who currently resides in Greenville, TN began his career in 1983 with The Singing Americans at a time when that group’s "I Bowed On My Knees and Cried Holy" was a multi-award winning song, and became the group’s signature song. As a tenor, Strickland has spent more than 27 years with various groups, including The Sound, The Kingdom Heirs and The Stamps Quartet.

Smith comes to the Songfellows with an impressive resume as well, having performed with groups such as The Impacts, The New Speers, and The Statesmen.

Ed Hill, who has been the baritone vocalist for the past year with The Songfellows, is enjoying his time too getting reacquainted with many of the people that have supported him throughout his 40-plus years singing with groups such as The Prophets, The Statesmen, Singing Americans, and The Masters V, which later became The Stamps Quartet.

Vintage Songfellows, with Bob Jones, Sr. and Jr., ‘Sho’ Do Need Him Now’

Brad Smith

The Songfellows Quartet was based in California for more than fifty years and moved to Nashville in 2006. They now tour and appear in concerts all across the nation. Their style is traditional four-part, big full harmony Southern Gospel Quartet singing. "There are not many quartets like us left,” Jones, Jr. says. “The days of the Statesmen, Stamps and Cathedrals have passed, but a love for that sound and feel in gospel music has not. With this lineup of veteran singers, the folks who missed those great groups will get a taste of what it was like in the 'Golden Era' and discover the music that launched this great style of Gospel Music." The Songfellows Quartet performs regularly on the nationally syndicated television show Brush Arbor Jubilee.

More information on the new Songfellows Quartet lineup is available at and

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