The Cathedral Quartet's George Younce dies aged 75.

MAJOR Southern gospel figure and founding member of the legendary Cathedral Quartet, George Younce died in April. Born of 22nd February 1930 in Paterson, Carolina, Younce began singing gospel music growing up in the small North Carolina town of Patterson. After three years of military service with the 82nd Airborne Division from 1950 until 1953, in 1954, Younce began singing with The Watchmen. Later he joined The Homeland Harmony Quartet, The Weatherfords and The Blue Ridge Quartet, before moving to Akron, Ohio, in 1964 to join long-time friend Glen Payne at Rex Humbard's Cathedral Of Tomorrow. Payne had previously organized The Cathedral Trio in 1963, and with the addition of Younce, the Trio became even more successful as a quartet. The Cathedrals spent the next five years appearing on Humbard's nationally televised church services until 1969 when they left Humbard's Cathedral and began travelling on the full time quartet circuit.

Throughout the next 30 years, The Cathedrals, under the leadership of Younce and Payne, achieved major popularity earning Gospel Music Association Dove Awards as well as multiple Grammy nominations. They also enjoyed appearances on the famed Grand Ole Opry and NBC's Today Show.

After the retirement of The Cathedrals in 1999, Younce continued to participate in the highly acclaimed Bill Gaither Homecoming Video Series and also appeared on the successful Gaither Homecoming concerts. During one of those tapings, Younce teamed with son-in-law Ernie Haase, who had also been a member of The Cathedrals, as well as Gaither Homecoming regular Wesley Pritchard, and fellow gospel music legend Jake Hess to perform a song. That performance led to the formation of The Old Friends Quartet. Throughout the next few years, The Old Friends Quartet headlined numerous concert events. Eventually, health problems
began to take their toll on both Younce and Hess, and the Quartet was forced to take a step back from performing. In September 2004 Younce made a surprise guest appearance at the Gaither Homecoming concert at Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. That performance was to be Younce's last public appearance. His funeral took place at Akron Baptist Temple on Tuesday, 19th April. CR

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