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Four Vagabonds

Four Vagabonds

Male R&B Quartet from United States.

The Four Vagabonds were radio stars of the early and mid 1940s. As 50's vocal harmony lovers will tell you, the Four Vagabonds are grandfathers of R&B harmony. Their 1946 Apollo recording sessions links them to R&B recording history. Surprisingly, many educated black music fans are completely unaware of the Vagabonds. They sang popular songs, which some blues-oriented listeners may find challenging. Regardless of the repertoire, the Four Vagabonds were expert practitioners of improvisational harmony singing. The balance of their harmony is an extraordinary thing, the evenness of the four voices. The singers' pitch is exceptionally accurate, especially lead vocalist John Jordan. The Four Vagabonds' mastery of "barbershop chord" construction is evident in many stunning touches, most particularly the "instrumental choruses," which add another dimension to the Four Vagabonds' art. Objectively, their horn imitations is impressive not because it sounds so much like a brass band, but because the Vagabonds manage to make it gorgeous beyond description.

In more ways than one, the Four Vagabonds bridge the gap between 1930s vocal quartet jive and R&B vocal groups of the Post-WWII era. Their commercially recorded repertoire makes it clear their real stock-in-trade was the haunting romantic harmony ballads such as "I Had The Craziest Dream," "If I Were You" and "Taking My Chance With You." The best of these can truly be described as classics of American folk and popular music. Even seemingly sappy songs take on spirituals proportions when submitted to the Vagabonds' quartet harmony arrangements.

Discography

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Four Vagabonds : Complete Works 1941 - 1951,  Vol 2 : 00  1 CD :  : 5636

Four Vagabonds : Complete Works 1941 - 1951, Vol 2

Review: The Four Vagabonds were radio stars of the 1940s - they were considered by many to be the grandfathers of R&B harmony! Their commercial recordings make it clear that their real stock-in-trade was haunting romantic harmony ballads; the best of these can be truly described as classics of American folk and popular music.

Songlist: I Had The Craziest Dream, Yeah Man, Juke Box Saturday Night, Hio Hip hooray, Can't Get Out of This Mood, Slender Tender and Tall, Three Dreams, Take It From Here, Hasta Luego, You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To, Moonlight Mood, Why Don't You Fall In Love With Me?, I Lost My Sugar in Salt Lake City, I've Heard That Song Before, Saving Myself For Bill, Hit The Road To Dreamland, Could It Be You?, It Can't Be Wrong, Can't Get Snuff In Your Cuff, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Sharp As a Tack, Stick To Your Knittin' Kitten, Hey Good Lookin', I Don't Want Anybody

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4641c | 00 1 CD | $15.98 | Primarily a cappella Black Vocal Groups


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