The Golden Gate Quartet

Pioneer Virginia gospel/pop quartet of the '30s and '40s. Calling their innovative approach to sacred hymns "jubilee" singing, The Golden Gate Quartet, propelled by Willie Johnson and William Langford, enjoyed massive acceptance far outside the church. Their smooth Mills Brothers-influenced harmonies made The Gates naturals for pop crossover success, and they began recording for Victor in 1937. National radio broadcasts and an appearance on John Hammond's 1938 "Spirituals to Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall made them coast-to-coast favorites. By 1941 The Gates were recording for Columbia minus Langford, and movie appearances were frequent: Star Spangled Rhythm, Hollywood Canteen, and Hit Parade of 1943, to name a few. Some experiments with R&B material didn't pan out during the late '40s, and Johnson defected to The Jubilaires in 1948. The group emigrated to France in 1959; led by veteran bass singer Orlando Wilson.

Discography

Good Book

I Soon Will Be Done With the Troubles of this World
Shadrack
Ezekiel Saw the Wheel
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Rock My Soul
The End of My Journey
Gospel Train
Go Down Moses
Joshua Fir the Battle of Jericho
Sometimes I Feel LIke A Motherless Child
Didn't it Rain
Hush Hush
Oh Happy Day (a cappella)
Down By the Riverside
Was in the Water
Swing Down Chariot
Nobody Knows the Toruble I've Seen
Oh Happy Day

When the four young black men first began harmonizing together in Norfolk, VA in 1934, they could hardly have imagined being invited four years later to New York to perform in the now legendary "From Spirituals to Swing" concerts at Carnegie Hall. About that time they cut their first recorded sides, laying down an amazing 14 tracks in 2 hours. Nearly 70 years later, the group is still spreading the Gospel and delighting audiences with their upbeat, rhythmic hits. "Good Book" is essentially a "best of" studio CD, containing 18 tunes. "I Soon Will Be Done With The Troubles Of This World," "Ezekiel Saw The Wheel," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Rock My Soul," "Gospel Train"ìwe've heard them before, but they're new and fresh here. "Oh Happy Day," "Down By The Riverside," "Swing Down Chariot"ìthe GGQ invites us aboard the Gospel train, and it's a great ride!

Listen to Ezekiel Saw the Wheel and Down By the Riverside Real Audio.

2829 CD $15.98

Rock My Soul

Gospel Train
Jonah in the Whale
Go Where I Send Thee
Sampson
Massas In the Cold Cold Ground
Preacher and the Bear
Noah
Our Father
Job
Rock My Soul
Stalin Wasn't Stalin
Jezebel
Dip Your Fingers in the Water
He Never Said A Mumblin Word
Didn't it Rain
The Sun Didn't Shine
Anyhow
Blind Barnabas
Comin In On A Wing and A Prayer
Times Windin Up

When the GGQ burst onto the gospel music scene in the 1930's out of the Tidewater region of Virginia, black churches were quite musically conservative and not given to rhythmic experimentation or nods toward popular music. Thus there was a fair amount of head-shaking when the GGQ emerged as the leader of a very fine pack of Gospel groups during a very difficult and trying time in American history. Appearing on a North Carolina radio station led to a move north, then to a Bluebird recording contract. The strong beat and counterpoint in those first recordings are looked upon as a turning point in Gospel music, a rebirth of the spiritual. "Rock My Soul" has 20 marvelous tunes, recorded from 1937 to 1943, all of them upbeat, rhythmic, harmonic hits. Listen to "Golden Gate Gospel Train," "Jonah In The Whale," "Go Where I Send Thee" and the vocal "horns" on "Massa's In The Cold Cold Ground," the title tune„this is amazing stuff. Humorous songs like "Preacher and the Bear" and "Jonah In the Whale" have as much novelty pop in them as Gospel. "Stalin Wasn't Stallin" (about the defeat of Hitler by the Russians) and "Comin' In On A Wing and a Prayer" feed nicely on the "God is on our side" sentiment of WWII. Not at all maudlin or dire like some Gospel groups, the GGQ are cheerful, joyous and celebratory in their music, and we think they are one of the best, and most interesting, of all time!

Listen to Gospel Train in Real Audio.

2831 CD $15.98

Complete Recordings Vol 4: 1939 - 1953

My Prayer
What Did Jesus Say?
The Valley Of Time
Daniel Saw The Stone
Jezebel
Time's Winding Up
God Told Nicodemus
The Sun Didn't Shine
Blind Barnabas
Anyhow
Didn't It Rain
Toll The Bell Easy
He Never Said A Mumblin' Word
Moses Smote The Waters
Handwriting On The The Wall
Run On
Dip Your Fingers In The Water
My Time Done Come
Stalin Wasn't Stallin'
Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer
Summer Rain
The Gospel Train
The Preacher And The Bear

Here, the Golden Gate Quartet provides the listener with a wonderful selection of tracks from pure jubilee performances to popular songs of the day.

3037 CD $15.98

Gospel 1937 - 1941

Massa' In The Cold Cold Ground
Saints Go Marching In
Golden Gate Gospel Train
Gabriel Blows His Horn
Lead Me On And On
Sweet Adeline
Preacher And The Bear
Noah
Take Your Burdens To God
Travelin' Shoes
Packing Up - Getting Ready To Go
Born Ten Thousand Years Ago
Jonah In The Whale
I Looked Down The Road And Wondered
Everytime I Feel The Spirit
My Walking Sticks
Daniel Saw The Stones
Whoa Babe

Nicely sequenced reissue of classics. and a few hiddden gems, from these masters of gospel vocal harmony.

3008 CD $14.98


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