Recording Oddities: The Cathedrals – “Keep On Singing” LP

Recording Oddities: The Cathedrals – “Keep On Singing” LP

A very common occurrence in the music industry is when an album is completed with one particular lineup, only to have a group member depart either immediately before or immediately after the album is released. Once a replacement is found, they are often added to the existing album, replacing the former member’s part (thanks to the magic of recording technology). In most cases, this means leaving the rest of the album as-is, and simply inserting the new part to match what was already there, mainly to save time and cost.

Most of the time, this happens when an album has been completed but unreleased – the group will recut the necessary parts before releasing it, so the general public only gets the most recent group. There are instances, however, where an album has already been released, just to be recut and reissued. But even in those instances, the only changes were replacing old members with new and leaving the other vocals as-is, essentially retrofitting the new vocals to the old recording.

In the case of the Cathedrals, however, they just went ahead and recut EVERYBODY’S vocals in 1979.

For those of you who are unaware, 1979 was the year that George Younce and Glen Payne lost their other three group members all at once with little warning. They had just released a table album entitled Keep On Singing that featured the departing members (and if the Cathedrals’ biography is accurate, Glen may have been finishing up that particular album in Cincinnati when he got the call that those members were leaving). The album was finished and sold at concerts. Then when Kirk Talley and Steve Lee joined, they reissued the album with the new vocalists. But rather than just replace the existing vocals, George and Glen apparently joined them in the studio and recut all the vocals (and since this was a table project to which they owned the master, they didn’t need record label approval).

The evidence? This audio clip that was assembled and edited by our very own David Bruce Murray:

Obviously, Roy Tremble’s melody lines are different than Kirk’s Talley’s take on it, but when played side-by-side, you can also tell that Glen’s step-out lines are noticeably different.

Now, why would they take the time to recut the whole thing vs just replace the existing vocals? Well, keep in mind that this was a budget release in 1979. Smaller studios at that time typically had 8-16 tracks total to work with, and often downmixed to free up space. It may have just been impossible to separate the tenor and baritone tracks without losing the other vocals, thus necessitating a complete recut.

Or maybe they just wanted to resing the songs! Perhaps Kirk or Steve (or Roy) would be able to chime in on this one…

Kyle Boreing

<p>Kyle has been writing for MusicScribe since 2008. He is a gospel music soloist, occasional quartet singer, and church music director who pays way too much attention to recordings. He is an alumni of Stamps-Baxter School of Music and has shared the stage with artists such as Mercy’s Mark, the Dove Brothers Band, and The Oak Ridge Boys.</p> <p>Visit his website at www.kyleboreing.com, or follow him on Twitter @kyleboreing.</p>

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2 Comments

  1. Tad Kirkland
    Reply July 08, 09:23 #1 Tad Kirkland

    I’ve recently copied my Cathedrals albums from the Kirk Talley years to MP3s. I had a few others (probable table projects) where several songs from the Roy/George Amon years had been re-recorded with Kirk/Steve or Mark. Some were label songs like Yesterday and Shout All Over Heaven that could have been re-tracked as well.




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  2. Rob
    Reply February 23, 13:54 #2 Rob

    I bought this album (and still possess it) in the 80’s during one of my many visits to Will Rogers Auditorium in Ft. Worth for the quarterly “Battle of Songs”. It is the Kirk Talley/Steve Lee version. Fast forward to 2014 when I decided to have a Cathedrals revival and start collecting their entire discography. It was only during the past 2 years that I discovered that my version of the album wasn’t the original and thanks to the YouTube recording of the Tremble version, I was able to discover that the only visible difference between the albums, besides the recordings themselves, was the sequence of songs on the back cover. I recently purchased an album from Ebay by comparing the sequence on the back cover to the one I had at home. The sequence on the EBay album matched the YouTube recording which confirmed that I was purchasing the Tremble version…. or so I thought!… When the album came in the mail, and with great anticipation, I opened it (this was a new sealed album) and noticed right off the bat that the sequence on the record label did not match the back cover..Much to my chagrin, when I played it, I realized it was the Talley Version packaged in the old album cover,an oddity in itself. I am now awaiting another shipment of what I believe is the Tremble version (confirmed by the seller who listened to it for me). When all is said and done, it appears I will own 3 versions.. The Tremble, The Talley, and The Talley in the Tremble cover. …whew! I’m starting to wonder if this is all worth it! : )




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