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Ernie Haase & Signature Sound is a Southern Gospel vocal quartet founded in 2002 by Ernie Haase, former Cathedral Quartet tenor, and Garry Jones, former Gold City pianist.
The Cathedral Quartet announced their farewell tour in 1999.
Lead singer Glen Payne died on October 15, 1999 before the end of the tour.
Upon request of Glen Payne, the remaining members finished the tour with pianist Roger Bennett performing Payne's vocals.
Following the tour Bennett and baritone Scott Fowler formed Legacy Five while Ernie Haase continued his solo career.
After a time former Cathedrals bass George Younce and the legendary Jake Hess along with Bill Gaither formed the Old Friends Quartet with Ernie Haase Wesley Pritchard and Garry Jones. The Old Friends Quartet disbanded after about two years on the road, as Younce's ill health prevented them from doing much traveling.
Haase along with Jones, still had a love for quartet singing and wished to create a quartet that was 21st Century in image and attitude, but traditional in sound, emulating the great Southern Gospel groups of the 20th Century, including the legendary Statesmen Quartet, the Stamps Quartet, the Blackwood Brothers and of course, the Cathedral Quartet.
Haase and Jones gathered three other young men (lead singer Shane Dunlap, baritone Doug Anderson, and bass singer Tim Duncan) with similar love and respect for Gospel music, and the Signature Sound Quartet was born.
Jones and Haase dissolved their business relationship after the first year and Dunlap left the group as well. They were replaced by Ryan Seaton (lead singer) and Roy Webb (pianist).
From the group's inception their name was heard everywhere, and when audiences saw the fun and energy that the group gave at their concerts, they responded enthusiastically, rocketing the Signature Sound Quartet to instant stardom.
With the fame came some controversy, as some Gospel music lovers objected to the "outlandish" look of the group, which included short ties and oddly-colored suits. Still later, the group began styling their hair in "modern" stand-up spiked style, which further added to their controversy.
The fan reaction, however, was far more positive than negative.
Trade magazines began referring to them as "the next Statesmen," implying that the mold-breaking style they created brought to mind the similarly outside-the-box thinking of the classic group.
In 2004, the group changed its name to Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, to avoid confusion with other similarly-titled regional groups.
They signed with the Gaither Music Group and became regular performers with the Gaither Homecoming tours and videos.
Like-minded legendary singer/producer Bill Gaither eventually began scheduling a second series of concerts with only Signature Sound and the Gaither Vocal Band appearing together.
Due in part to the popularity of these concerts, the two groups decided to record a single album together, which came out in October 2007. The group is also at work on an album due out in 2008.
In May 2007, pianist Roy Webb came off the road to be with his dad, who was dying of cancer. On May 29, 2007, it was announced that Webb had resigned from the group.
Later, it was announced that Gordon Mote would be the group's piano player during their Get Away Jordan summer tour. Producer and Songwriter Wayne Haun is serving as their pianist for the 2008 Summer tour.
In October 2007, the group released a DVD/CD project entitled Together, which was recorded with the Gaither Vocal Band. It was hinted on the DVD that future collaborations are upcoming.
The group is currently at work on a project that is slated for a Fall 2008 release. It was announced on February 22, 2008, that a DVD would be shot for the project in April. The project is entitled Dream On.
The group is currently composed of Ernie Haase, Ryan Seaton, Doug Anderson and Tim Duncan.
According to Ernie Haase, the groups 2008 Summer Tour Kicked off in Anderson, IN.
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