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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. Jim Beal
Location: Coldwater, Mississippi
Born:  
Died:  
Biography Synopsis: Rev. Jim Beal from Coldwater, Mississippi was a Baptist preacher. He went to Chicago to see some relatives and was "discovered" by recording executive Jack Kapp preaching on the streets. Jack Kapp said of Rev. Beal: "He is an unadulterated Southern preacher who has the primitive Negro expression".
 - Songsters & Saints
: Vocal Traditions on Race Records, Paul Oliver, Cambridge University Press, 1984, p147
 - Blues & Gospel Records (1890-1943) Dixon, Godrich  and Rye, Oxford University Press, 1997 (Fourth Edition)
 
Recording career: Four sermons recorded 24th August 1929
Most popular song(s): "The Hand Of The Lord Was Upon Me (And I Went Out In The Spirit)"
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Document: DOCD-5529

 

 

Name: Rev. James Beard
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Biography Synopsis: Rev. Beard is believed to have been associated with the Biddleville Quintette.
 - Blues & Gospel Records (1890-1943) Dixon, Godrich  and Rye, Oxford University Press, 1997 (Fourth Edition)
 
Recording career: Four sermons recorded on Paramount, January 1927
Most popular song(s): "Memory Of Departed Friends"
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Document: DOCD-5529
 

 

Name: Rev. Beaumont
Aka: Rev. Beaumont and His Congregation
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Recording career: 12 sermons with singing recorded March/April 1929
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Document: DOCD-5329

 

 

Name: Elder Charles Beck
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Died: 1966
Biography Synopsis: ".... Elder Charles Beck himself is featured on the other 17 tracks on this compilation and they range from vocal and piano renditions of Dorsey's "Precious Lord" through to the Elder with full congregation including a wild kazoo player on the track "Changes". What is clear is that Charles was a superb sanctified piano player".
 - Tony Cummings, Cross Rhythms: extract from Document BDCD-6035
    Review (
www.crossrhythms.co.uk)
 
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Document: BDCD-6035

 

 

Name: Bessemer Sunset Four
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Name: Biddleville Quintette
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Name: Birmingham Jubilee Singers
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Name: Rev. Johnnie Blakey
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Name: The Blue Chips
Aka: Blue Chip Norridge Mayhems & His Blue Boys
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Name: The Blue Ribbon Six
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Biography Synopsis: Formed in the 1930s the all female group comprised: Jimmie Weems, Looie Billings, Willie Belle Gervin, Eva Grier, Fannie Blure, Juanita Stewart, and Mildred Jones.
Recording career: 1930s - 1946?
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References / links: 'Cleveland's Gospel Music', Frederick Burton, Arcadia Publishing 2003
       

 

Name: Rev. William Herbert Brewster
Location: South Memphis, TN
Born: 2nd July 1897, Somerville, Tennessee
Died: 14th October 1987
Biography Synopsis:

William Herbert Brewster was an influential African American Baptist minister, composer, dramatist, singer, poet and community leader.

A 1922 graduate of Roger Williams College in Nashville, Tennessee, Brewster settled in Memphis in the 1920s; he served as the pastor of the East Trigg Avenue Baptist Church in South Memphis from 1930 until his death in 1987. His lasting fame, however, is through his musical composition.

Though there are several available recordings of Rev. Brewster's gospel groups The Brewster Singers and The Brewsteraires, there are only two vocal recordings of Rev. Brewster himself. Both recordings credited to "Rev. W.H. Brewster And His Camp Meeting Of The Air" appeared on the Gotham single "Give Me That Old Time Religion"/"So Glad I've Got Good Religion". Each song features a narration by Rev. Brewster followed by vocals.

Brewster was also the composer of more than fifteen gospel music dramas, including From Auction Block to Glory (1941) which was the first nationally-staged African American religious drama that featured gospel songs written specifically for the production. He was honored by the Smithsonian Institution in 1982 for his music when it presented his musical drama Sowing in Tears, Reaping In Joy.
 - Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Herbert_Brewster)
 

Most popular song(s): Among his more than 200 published songs are the gospel standards "Move On Up A Little Higher" (Mahalia Jackson's first hit) and "Surely, God Is Able" (The Ward Singers). These songs hold the distinction of being the first million-selling black gospel records. Other Brewster songs that were hits included "Lord I've Tried" (The Soul Stirrers), "I'll Go" (Queen C. Anderson), "I'm Climbing Higher And Higher" (Marion Williams), and a favorite of African-American gospel choirs, "The Old Landmark," among many others.
 - Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Herbert_Brewster)
 
Musical Influences:

Apart from his vast legacy in the genre of black gospel music, Brewster also had a formative influence on a young Elvis Presley. Elvis occasionally attended services at East Trigg Avenue Baptist Church and listened to Brewster's sermons which were broadcast on Sunday nights on the "Camp Meeting Of The Air" over Memphis radio station WHBQ. According to Presley biographer Peter Guralnick, "Dr. Brewster constantly preached on the theme that a better day was coming, one in which all men could walk as brothers, while across Memphis Sam Phillips listened on his radio every Sunday without fail.
 - Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Herbert_Brewster)
 

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Name: Joe Washington Brown & Austin Coleman
Location: Louisiana
Biography Synopsis:

Spirituals and work songs, rooted in both the slavery era and the West African societies from which most African-American slaves were originally taken, provided cultural sustenance to African Americans in the midst of intense racial oppression. Folklorists first began collecting traditional southern music in the late-19th century. By the 1920s and 1930s, John and Alan Lomax were recording southern musicians (African-American, white, and Mexican-American) for the Library of Congress. “Run, Old Jeremiah” (L. of C. Archive of Folk Song AFS L3), sung by Joe Washington Brown and Austin Coleman in Jennings, Louisiana, in 1934, was a ring-shout, a religious song using a West African dance pattern, where the performers shuffled single file, clapping out a complex counter-rhythm. The ring-shout was common during slavery and remained popular well into the 20th century as a means of emotional and physical release during religious worship. The lyrics of the ring-shout spoke of escape from the travails of the present.
- American Social History Project (http://ashp.cuny.edu/)
 

Recording career: 1934
Most popular song(s): "Run Old Jeremiah"
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Name: Bryant's Jubilee Quartet/ette
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Name: Elder Richard Bryant's Sanctified Singers
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Name: Bull City Red
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Name: Elder J. E. Burch
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Document: DOCD-5329

 

 

Name: Rev. J. C. Burnett
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Click on the large 'Initial' at the top of the page to return to the Early Gospel Singers Introduction, or click on an initial below to take you to details of more early gospel singers:

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