The Cathedral Quartet is widely considered to be one of Southern Gospel Music’s most beloved groups. This stellar quartet has left quite a legacy. Several former members still carry on the music of the group today. One such group is the appropriately named, Legacy Five.
Legacy Five (sometimes styled as Legacy 5 or L5) was formed by Scott Fowler and Roger Bennett shortly after the great Cathedral Quartet retired in December of 1999. Fowler had served as baritone for the legendary group since 1990 and Bennett served as pianist for two tenures (1979-1986) and 1989 until the group’s retirement.
In January of 2000, Legacy Five, then comprised of Josh Cobb, Glenn Dustin, Scott Howard, Fowler, and Bennett, hit the road. In the early days, the group was certainly influenced by the Cathedrals. Scott Fowler states, “George and Glen tremendously influenced us and taught us everything we know about this music. In those days, we also spent a lot of time around Bill Gaither. He was doing lots of the videos and live concert appearances. He had the Cathedrals on many of those in the early days of the video phenomenon.” These two major influences can still be heard in their music today.
The group saw great success in its early years with their first album release, Strong In The Strength. The group’s first Top 10 hit, “I Stand Redeemed,” featured young tenor Josh Cobb. Cobb won the Horizon Award in 2000 at the Singing News Fan Awards, but left the group shortly after. He was replaced by tenor Tony Jarman, who remained with the group until 2004. During his tenure, the group recording one of their greatest hits “I Found Grace” which topped the charts in September 2003.
Frank Seamans joined in 2004 and during his tenure the group continued to record chart topping hits such as “Strike Up The Band,” “I’ve Been Changed,” “Hello After Goodbye,” and “Just Stand.” Seamans left the group in 2009 and was replaced by former LeFevre Quartet tenor Gus Gaches. Gaches brought a powerful and clear tenor voice to the group with memorable features such as “Only The Living,” “Christ Is Still The King,” and “For No Earthly Reason.”
Roger Bennett battled leukemia for most of his tenure with the group. In 2006, Tim Parton served as temporary pianist while Bennett was too ill to perform. Bennett passed away on March 17, 2007 and will always be remembered for his strong faith and his happy and outgoing personality. Tim Parton was then named the group’s official pianist and also supplied a fifth vocal part like his predecessor. Parton stayed with the group until 2011 and can now be seen with the newly formed Jim Brady Trio since January 2015.
Glenn Dustin’s subwoofer rumbling voice quickly became a fan favorite and anchored L5’s sound until late 2012 when he came off the road. Dustin won the Singing News Award for Favorite Bass in both 2004 and 2007. He had many standout features during his tenure, but perhaps his most requested and signature song was “I’ve Been Changed”, which expresses the testimony of someone coming to Christ after years of living in sin.
Fast forward to the year 2016, Legacy Five is still delighting audiences all over the world. The current lineup is stronger than ever. Josh Feemster is the newest addition to the beloved quartet. Feemster sang lead for Mercy’s Mark Quartet from 2004 to 2008. An excited Scott Fowler states, “Josh has as much passion and excitement in his voice as I have heard since the ‘80’s with Danny Funderburk. He is a trained singer and it shows. I can’t wait for people to start hearing him with us.”
Scott Howard has served as the baritone and resident funny man of the group and continues to deliver moving performances. His warm baritone voice has become a mainstay in Southern Gospel and has had many standout features over the years including “So Many Things,” and “Destination Known.” Fowler has this to say of Howard: “Scott Howard is the only baritone Legacy Five has ever had. He has been here from day one. He also serves as Gospel music’s ‘stand-up comic.’ He is a funny, funny man. Scott and his wife, Kelly, live in Thompson Station, Tennessee and have three children and one two-year-old foster child.”
Matt Fouch joined the quartet in 2012 following the departure of original bass singer Glenn Dustin. Fouch came to the group after serving as the bass singer for Soul’d Out Quartet for eight years. Scott Fowler has high praise saying, “Matt is an exceptional bass singer and has really come a long way since joining us several years ago. He is consistently nominated as a fan favorite every year in the Singing News Fan Awards. A real talent!”
Following Tim Parton’s departure, young pianist Trey Ivey joined the group. “Trey is 26 years old and is the most talented pianist, producer and arranger for his age. Period. Trey was recently voted Gospel Music’s Favorite Young Artist and that doesn’t surprise me in the least. Trey’s future is very bright in Gospel music and Legacy Five is honored to have him on our team,” says Fowler.
Then there’s Scott Fowler. Fowler serves as the lead singer and leader of the group. He has become a fan favorite vocalist over his 28-year career in Southern Gospel music. Fowler holds a special honor in Southern Gospel history. Fowler explains, “A bit of trivia here: only two people in Gospel music history have ever won both the favorite lead and favorite baritone singer in the Singing News Fan awards – myself and Glen Payne. Pretty good company, I’d say.” This is just one of many accolades the members of this blessed and talented group have received.
Over the years, Legacy Five has released many incredible recordings including Strong In The Strength, God’s Been Good, Just Stand, A Wonderful Life, and Great Day. Their latest album is no different. “Talkin’ About Heaven is our latest CD and the first one with our new tenor, Josh Feemster. The theme of the CD is Heaven. There are no sad songs that will make you cry on this CD. It is all happy songs about the hope and promise of the joy that awaits all those who believe,” says Fowler. This joy filled CD was originally recorded and released as a table project with Gus Gaches, but now includes Feemster’s vocals. Each member gives great performances on a collection of fun and mostly convention style songs.
As you can imagine, the quartet has had their share of experiences in the over 15 years of their career. One particularly memorable experience occurred following 9/11. Fowler explains, “Just a couple of weeks after 9/11, NYC opened up an observation deck overlooking the World Trade Center. Legacy Five was there the day it was dedicated by Mayor Rudy Giuliani. There was still smoke rising from the rubble. We waited in line for four hours for our three minutes on the deck. We spent our three minutes singing “America The Beautiful”. It was a moving experience and was filmed by the local New York City news and aired that night.”
He cites their recent trip to Israel as one of their many memorable experiences as well. Scott also adds, “But to be completely honest, the best memories are the ones that never get reported. They are the amazing testimonies we hear from folks who have been forever changed by the music God gives us.” This is the goal of Legacy Five’s ministry, which God has greatly blessed.
The year 2016 will be busy one for the popular quartet. “We are really looking forward to some multi-day events we are hosting this year,” Fowler exclaims. “In March, we co-host Praisefest Branson with Greater Vision. In April, we co-host Daywind Quartet Festival at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In May, we co-host Praisefest Toronto. Memorial Day weekend, which is the last weekend in May, we will host our very first multi-day event in The Dells, Wisconsin. Then October 9th and 10th we will host our annual Mackinac Island, Michigan retreat with our Canadian friends, The Freedom Singers. November will have us on our Mexican Riviera cruise and then in December we end the year with our annual three-day Celebration New Year’s Eve event at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, in Nashville, Tennessee. Information on all these events is available at www.legacyfive.com under the tab, ‘SPECIAL EVENTS.’” If this busy schedule is any indication, Legacy Five is sure to have a great year of music and ministry.
Legacy Five shows no sign of slowing down as they continue to release quality records and chart topping songs such as “Ask Me Why,” “Living in The Palace,” and “He Is To Me.” They perform for sold-out crowds all over the nation and most importantly praise God and spread the Good News to the world. They continue to stay true to God’s call on their lives and their mission statement. The mission is simple according to Fowler: “To present the gospel through our music with excellence with the goal of drawing ALL MEN unto HIM and to encourage the believer.” The future is bright for this beloved group as they continue the legacy of this great music.
By Justin Gilmore
First published in the February 2016 issue of SGN Scoops
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