Friday, July 02, 2010

Ernie Haase Signature Sound

Continuing to blog a bit here about the concert in Shipshewana from (now) two weeks ago. (The beatings will continue until morale improves. Which is to say that I'm going to keep on blogging about Gospel music even if none of my readers are interested in it, though I'm not entirely sure why.)

It would probably be an understatement to say that Ernie Haase is one of the most powerful gospel music tenors of the past fifty years, but I'll just stop with that generalization. He has a truly wonderful voice--able to hit high notes, but also mature and strong--and is, in my opinion, justly beloved by his fans. "Oh What a Savior" is considered to be a song that Ernie "owns," and for good reason.

At the concert two weeks ago, Ernie had a kind of quietness about him. He came out at the very beginning of the concert in jeans and a casual shirt (about which he made a humorous comment) and led the audience in prayer, which somehow I hadn't expected. He did not sing "Oh, What a Savior" nor, as far as I can remember, any "big ballads" that showcased his amazing voice. There was plenty of high energy from the group as a whole, including songs like "Swingin' On the Golden Gate" (not actually one of my favorites), but Ernie himself, by himself, was low-key. He made some comments, always with self-deprecating humor, that made it seem that he was tired and feeling his age. (He's only forty-five.)

Ernie clearly loves children, though he and his wife (Lisa, daughter of gospel music great George Younce) have no children of their own. In a classy break from our tell-all celebrity culture, Ernie doesn't talk about this, though indirect evidence indicates that it is a sadness to them. Toward the end of the concert he sang a song that I'd never heard before, which he said he originally wrote as a lullaby for his nieces and nephews. If you have children, don't be ashamed if it makes you a bit misty-eyed.

After the concert, Ernie was very kind in meeting his fans. Eldest Daughter asked him to sign an old Cathedrals CD (from the group he used to sing with) that was cut in the year she was born. When she told him that (that it was recorded in the year she was born), he said, "Oh, don't do that to me!" smiled, and signed it.

EHSS is on a vacation now for a few weeks. May they come back refreshed to bless more people with their lives and music.


Anonymous said...

Don't lose heart, I love your Gospel music posts. Keep up the good work, we Anglicans (and Catholics) need to hear Christ honoring music even if the style isn't our tradition.

Lydia McGrew said...

Thanks, Anon, whoever you may be. I do really appreciate that. :-)

Anonymous said...

Lydia, I agree with you 100% Ernie Haase has the most beautiful tenor voice I've ever heard...And not to mention what a kind and loving spirit he has for his brothers of EHSS, family and friends...I respect him and the guys of EHSS for the extra lengths they go to for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...God smiles down when this young man sings...Thank God for the whole EHSS team I know their fans truly love them....

Anonymous said...

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound hold a very special place in my heart.My husband has Parkinson's Disease and when he was introduced to the Gaither Vocal Band and EHSS it changed his life.
The all so obviously love the Lord..their faces shine with it.He (my husband) was begging to die and God used their music to show him that there is still so much to live for..sharing the Gospel and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I pray that EHSS will carry on for a long time yet...God bless them all.Kathy

Lydia McGrew said...

Thank you for that comment. I know those kinds of stories are such a blessing to EHSS. I just saw an interview with Ernie and the guys for Romanian television--it appears, a Christian TV station. (And to think that Romania was behind the Iron Curtain just--to me it seems--a short time ago!) In it he talked about how meeting people to whom their music has made a difference gives them strength and encouragement.

It gives me encouragement just to get your positive comment. May God bless and strengthen you and your husband through all that lies ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

Ernie Haase has The most beautiful voice that I've ever heard!.. but so much beyond his voice, is his spirit, personality and heart! ~ EH is 1st class all the way!.. the goodness of God shines through him and his joyous ministry. ~ I pray that God will always bless EH and always be with him!