The (missing) Cathedral Tributes

In another life, I used to do a lot of print design, so I tend to pay abnormally close attention to these things, I guess. But I noticed that Legacy 5 has taken down any direct mention of what was, until recently, being billed as “The Cathedrals Remembered” tributes put together by Currington Promotions. Currington is promoting a series of concerts in which several (though not all) former Cats members perform old Cats favorites. Nostalgia-fest Round 2,134. Kirk Talley and Ernie Haase are the most famous former members who have been conspicuously absent from these concerts since they started up last year.

I first noticed the absence of the Cathedrals name on the L5 website. Basically the same brochure that is in the February issue of the Singing News (p44-45) is posted online, except that the word “Cathedral” – as in “Cathedral Tribute” – has been dropped so that it now reads simply “Tribute Concert” (a pdf of the current brochure is here). But then again the word “Cathedrals” is used in a the running text a few lines later. So thinking I was maybe just making something out of nothing, I did a little research (ok, all I did was compare two L5 eletters but still … this is a blog, so “research” is a loose term)

Turns out, though, this is not just some coincidence. The January 31 eletter contains an ad for the “Cathedrals Remembered” concert. The February 7 eletter? “Reminder on Currington Promotions concerts,” the headline reads. “Just want to remind you about the special tribute events featuring Legacy Five, Greater Vision, the Mark Trammell Trio and Danny Funderburk.” The word “Cathedrals”? No where in sight.

It is Friday night and I am sitting at home catching up on a week’s worth of miscellaneous reading and browsing, but still … if I were a more a cynical guy, I might wonder if somebody’s legal muscle isn’t leaning on Currington and the groups affiliated with these “tribute concerts” to cease and desist using the Cats name. Assuming the Cathedrals estates haven’t authorized the use of the name (and I don’t know one way or another), are there any copyright or intellectual property lawyers out there who can weigh in on the likelihood that using the Cats name in these “tribute” concerts is actionable?

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  1. Marlin R. Taylor wrote:

    The Cathedrals name and many of their musical recordings are owned/controlled by the estates of George Younce and Glen Payne - and they are protective, demonstrated by statement on George’s website re use of pictures.

    And, they are represented by very nit-picky legal counsel in Nashville (which is not necessarily wrong).

    Whether it’s use of pix on our website or featuring an entire Cathedrals recoring on the air, I at least pop off an E-mail asking OK - with the response always being “yes,” but occasionally with some defining of limits.

    I would fully expect that if this weren’t properly cleared, or commitments weren’t being lived up to, there’d be a cease-and-desist.

  2. Cindy wrote:

    I don’t receive the L5 newsletter but the MTT eletter DID refer to it as a “Cathedrals Remembered” concert. Also, the Currington Promotions website clearly says the name Cathedrals at the top. I am thinking that this is just a L5 thing then? Doesn’t really matter to me. I already have my ticket and hotel room reserved. I am driving 12 hours to see them. I realize that every Cathedral fan has their favorite era and this is fine. We all have our likes and our dislikes. But I will say this…had Ernie been included, I would have thought twice or 3 or 4 times about driving so far for this special event. He just wasn’t my cup of tea. Not trying to offend here by any means. My favorite era just happens to include Danny Funderburk and Gerald Wolfe so this is a wonderful opportunity to me. As old JD use to say, I can’t wait!

  3. Gus wrote:

    Cindy’s comments were so tactful and gracious. I do appreciate class and she showed it.

    For myself, I am happy if L5 drops the Cats references. From my perspective, they have a heritage in the Cats but no legacy because they have abandoned the Cats’ style. I yearn for Glenn’s pure tones that always nailed the notes - instead of this “contemporary” slide-into-and-around-the-note style. And just because Roger is an owner doesn’t make him a singer. Let EH&SS carry on the Cats legacy and let L5 drop the references.

  4. Kyle wrote:

    One has to wonder if the remainder of the Cathedrals ownership went to George solely when Glen died (which, I’m sure, would’ve gone to Ernie when George died, had that been the case).

    Personally, Legacy Five has done their Cathedrals thing. They are established (7 years and counting), and have become their own group without having to rely on the nostalgia. Sure, they still do Cathedrals material, but they don’t put at least two Cathedrals covers per disc….

    Even Ernie and SSQ seem to have at least planted their feet firmly. Most of the younger crowd they are trying their hardest to appeal to have never heard of George Younce or the Cathedrals (for all they know, George was just Ernie’s father-in-law). Ernie needs to take a hint from L5 and start building their own stuff more.

    Granted, Gerald and Mark have both been away from the Cathedrals long enough that neither need the nostalgic tribute anymore. Danny seems to do the most Cathedrals material of anyone anymore, but that’s probably because he’s not near as busy as the other guys and is simply doing the stuff that made him popular.

    Wow, I got turned around on that one pretty fast….

  5. Dale Steenhoven wrote:

    In an email from Greater Vision on 2-17-07, there is an ad for THE CATHEDRALS REMEMBERED, and a link for further information:

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