10 Years Ago: Glen Payne Goes Home
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Boone, NC - Today marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of Glen Payne, lead vocalist for the legendary Cathedral Quartet.
Below is an article from the December 1999 issue of Singing News.
Southern Gospel Music Mourns The Loss Of Another PioneerGLEN PAYNE 1926-1999Written by Dr Jim Goff & Danny JonesHe was a hero of the faith, soldier of the cross, singing out the grand old story.Glen Payne, beloved leader and talented lead vocalist of the legendary Cathedral Quartet, passed away October 15, 1999, following a battle with liver cancer He was 72 years old.Born near Rockwall, TX, on October 20, 1926, Glen Weldon Payne's life spanned much of the history of Southern Gospel. As a young boy, he traveled to Dallas to attend the Stamps-Baxter School of Music. Like many farming families, the Paynes had been hard hit by the Depression and, thanks to a letter from Glen's grandmother, VO Stamps offered the boy a scholarship to attend the annual school held in the Oak Cliff suburb each June. It was a gesture of warmth and friendship that the boy would never forget and, for the next sixty years, he would determine to make good on the famous song publisher's investment.Glen attended the school for four summers beginning in 1939, learning shape notes and taking voice lessons. He was there in June 1940, when VO Stamps conducted his last school shortly before passing away from heart failure two months later. VO's brother, Frank, made sure the Payne boy continued to get the annual scholarship. In 1944, Glen moved to Dallas and took a job with the Stamps-Baxter Company, working in the plant and singing in one of the many company quartets before finally heading off to help America and the Allies in the final days of World War Two. Late 1945 found Glen in the Philippines, serving in the occupation army. After his release from service at the end of 1946, he returned to Dallas. By now, Frank Stamps had left Stamps-Baxter to form his own Stamps Quartet Music Company. Mr Stamps hired the young man again, both to sing and to help assemble songbooks for the new company. Glen sang baritone for a time with the Harley Lester Stamps Quartet and then as a member of the Stamps All-Star Quartet. Within a decade, he had made a name for himself and was now singing lead for the successful Stamps-Ozark Quartet of Siloam Springs, AR. His distinctive curly mane set him apart, as did the clarity of his voice. Such was the beginning of one of the greatest lead singers in Southern Gospel history. By 1957, Glen had signed on to sing lead in the Weatherford Quartet, a group that produced a long line of great singers in the Southern Gospel tradition. The late-50s ensemble of Glen along with Earl and Lily Fern Weatherford, Armond Morales and Henry Slaughter remains to this day one of the greatest assemblings of Gospel Music talent in history - the word usually used to describe them is "smooth."