Question of the Week: Dianne Wilkinson

My personal highlight from the Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Cathedrals Tribute taping was catching up with songwriter Dianne Wilkinson afterwards. Here, she shares some of her thoughts on the event.

Daniel: So Ernie Haase and Signature Sound has just wrapped up their video taping of their Cathedrals Tribute project, live in Anderson, Indiana, and I am here with Dianne Wilkinson, who wrote several of the songs they featured this evening. Could you share some of your general thoughts on the night, and some of your specific thoughts on the new song arrangements?

Dianne: Well, Daniel, it was like deja vu for me, ’cause in 1983, when the Cathedral Quartet recorded “We Shall See Jesus” on the Live in Atlanta project, my late husband and I were on the front row. So I heard that. And tonight, I heard these young men come out, and I knew that they were gonna do “Boundless Love” and “We Shall See Jesus.”

The thing that makes me so happy about the way they did the songs: They protected the feel of the songs from what the Cathedrals had, but they put their own style on them still. I thought that was great.

I’m delighted that they did “We Shall See Jesus,” because so many of the other ones who do Cathedrals songs, they avoid that song, ’cause it’s Glen’s song. So that young man just stepped up there—twenty-six years old!—sang his heart out. And I could just almost see Glen just clapping and saying, “Bravo for Devin!”, ’cause he did such a great job.

And you know I’m a musician—

Daniel: Yes.

Dianne: You know I’ve got this rhythm thing goin! When they started the drum licks on “Boundless Love” [listen to the mp3 for an audio version!]—that had me, right then!

The other thing that’s so great about both of these songs is that they were both [originally] recorded live and we didn’t get the big orchestra treatment. And of course, on the CD, it’s gonna have that.

To be invited, to have a great seat, and to be surrounded by Debbie Bennett, and by Van Payne and her children and grandchildren, and to have George’s children right across the aisle—very, very emotional for me, ’cause they’re like family to me. So I wouldn’t take anything for getting to be here tonight.

And I think Signature Sound has done a spectacular job with this. No wonder it took two years! They picked exactly the right ones. It was classy, it was a perfect honor to the most beloved quartet we’ve ever had.

So did I love it?

I loved it!

You loved it too!

Daniel: Sure did! Thank you very much!

Dianne: You’re welcome.