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Dixie Hummingbirds

Dixie Hummingbirds

The Dixie Hummingbirds are probably the best known of the black gospel quartets, having performed for over 50 years throughout America and Europe. They became the inspiration for countless R&B and soul singers, from Jackie Wilson and Clyde McPhatter to Bobby "Blue" Bland and The Temptations.

The group was formed in Greenville, South Carolina, by James Davis in 1928, a year before the Great Depression. The members were Barney Gipson (lead), Davis (tenor), Barney Parks (baritone), and J.B. Matterson (bass). In their early teens they sang in the Bethel Church of God in the junior chorus. Soon Fred Owens became the bass and the group became the Sterling High School Quartet. Davis changed the name to the Dixie Hummingbirds.

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