Early Gospel Singers – R

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To help with further browsing click on the large ‘Initial’ to return to the Early Gospel Singers Introduction, or click another initial to take you to details of more early gospel singers.

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Name: Rev. William Ransom
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Biography Synopsis: Recorded four sermons in Atlanta, Ga. assisted by Sisters Callie Hunter and Pauline Tidwood, and Brother William Christopher.
– Blues & Gospel Records (1890-1943), Dixon, Godrich & Rye, 4th Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 1997
Recording career: 1927
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Name: Ravizee Singers
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Biography Synopsis: Ravizee Singers comprised: Mary, Hattye, Isaac and William Ravizee.
– Blues & Gospel Records (1890-1943), Dixon, Godrich & Rye, 4th Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 1997
Recording career: 1927 – recorded some 10 sacred songs
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Name: Dock Reed
Aka: Born Zebediah Reed he recorded many songs with his cousin Vera Hall Ward
Born: Sunter County, Alabama, 1898
Died: 4th January, 1974
Biography Synopsis: Alabama farm worker Dock Reed and his cousin Vera Hall Ward were both recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress. Dock, by all accounts, was a deeply religious man who never sang secular music, while Vera was known to perform a few of these “sinful” songs.
– Smithsonian Folkways (http://www.folkways.si.edu/albumdetails.aspx?itemid=151)Dock Reed and his cousin Vera Ward Hall were perhaps John Lomax’s favorite performers, comparable, if not superior, in artistry, he believed, to Lead Belly…..  Jo Tartt, Jr., a white friend who made a striking photograph of Reed in 1970, depicted this farmer and basket maker as a “south Alabama preacher, molasses maker, [and] cedar fence-post cutter.”
– Association for Cultural Equality (http://www.culturalequity.org/alanlomax/ce_alanlomax_profile_doc_reed.php)
Recording career: 1937 – 1974
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References / links: Biography by Peter Stone on ‘Association for Cultural Equality’ website:(http://www.culturalequity.org/alanlomax/ce_alanlomax_profile_doc_reed.php)
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Name: Mrs L. Reed & Mrs T. A. Duncans
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Name: Rev. D. C. Rice and Sanctified Congregation
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Name: Roberta Martin Singers
Biography Synopsis: The Roberta Martin Singers were an African-American gospel group based in the United States. The group was founded in 1933 by Roberta Martin, who in that same year had just become acquainted with the then new trend of Christian music known as gospel, which was different than the traditional spirituals which were popular at the time. Theodore Frye and Thomas A. Dorsey were directing a junior choir at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois, and asked Martin to serve as the accompanist. From this junior choir, Martin selected six young men at random to form a group, Eugene Smith, Norsalus McKissick, Robert Anderson, Willie Webb, James Lawrence, and W.C. Herman (who lost his life in World War Two). This group was named the Martin and Frye Singers, and in 1936, the group adopted the name of The Roberta Martin Singers. The Roberta Martin Singers (RMS) were well known for their unique sound, which contained no traditional bass, but a dark treble sound with the elasticity that the new music required. For a brief period of time, the group was known as the Martin and Martin Singers, when Sallie Martin joined Roberta’s group. That venture was short lived. In 1939, Anderson briefly left the group and returned in 1941 before departing for a final time in 1943, also in 1939, Martin added the first female voice to the group, Bessie Folk.
– Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Roberta_Martin_Singers)
Recording career: 1933 to the present day
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Name: Rev. T. T. Rose and Singers
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Name: Elder David Ross
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Name: Royal Harmony Singers
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To help with further browsing click on the large ‘Initial’ to return to the Early Gospel Singers Introduction, or click another initial to take you to details of more early gospel singers.

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Please Note:

As this is a continuously developing website, several entries only give the names with no biographical details. Please be patient as these entries are included for completeness, indicating the details are ‘coming soon’ and will be added when time allows.

If there are any early (pre war) gospel singers missing from the lists that you think should be included, please email the details to alan.white@earlygospel.com. Thank you in advance for your assistance.