The Earliest Negro Vocal Quartets (1894-1928) – Full Album

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This CD Album (Physical Format) – DOCD-5061 – FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING $18.99 Add to cart
Full Album Download – DOCD-5061 $8.99 Add to cart
1. Keep Movin’ – Standard Quartette
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2. Down On The Old Camp Ground – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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3. Poor Mourner – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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4. Steal Away – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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5. Gabriel’s Trumpet – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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6. We’ll Anchor Bye-And-Bye – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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7. The Camp Meeting Jubilee – Male Quartette
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8. Swing Low Sweet Chariot – Apollo Male Quartette
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9. Shout All Over God’s Heaven – Apollo Male Quartette
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10. The Bonnie Blue Flag – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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11. Laughing Song – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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12. What A Time – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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13. The Watermelon Party – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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14. Rise And Shine – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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15. The “Old Time” Religion – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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16. Jerusalem Mornin’ – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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17. Oh What’s He Done For Me – Old South Quartette
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18. Watermelon Party – Old South Quartette
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19. Bohunkus And Josephus – Old South Quartette
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20. Oysters And Wine at 2 AM – Old South Quartette
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21. Pussy Cat Rag – Old South Quartette
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22. When De Corn Pone’s hot – Old South Quartette
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23. No Hiding Place Down Here – Old South Quartette
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The Earliest Negro Vocal Quartets 1894 – 1928

Featuring the recordings of:

Standard Quartette: Male vocal quartet, including. H.C. Williams, Ed De Moss, R.L. Scott, William Cottrell; unaccompanied. Dinwiddie Colored Quartet: Sterling Rex, tenor. Voice; J. Clarence Meredith, 2nd tenor. Voice; Harry B. Cruder, 1st bass voice; J. Mantell Thomas, 2nd bass voice. Male Quartette: Vocal quartet; unaccompanied. Apollo Male Quartette: Vocal quartet; unaccompanied. Polk Miller and his Old Southern Quartette: Polk Miller, tenor vocal; James L. Stamper, bass vocal; Randall Graves and unknown, vocal; acc. Polk Miller, banjo on 10 / guitar on 11, 12, 13. Same as for F; acc. Polk Miller, guitar on 14; or: unaccompanied. on 15, 16. Old South Quartette: Vocal quartet (similar to above, without Miller); acc. unknown, guitar; unknown, banjo on 17 added.

Genre; Vocal Quartet Vocal Group, Spirituals. Acapella, Gospel, Virginia Gospel

Abridged from this album’s original booklet notes. Before blues, before jazz, the tradition of black male quartets, four-part harmony singing by African Americans was an established tradition of richness and complexity. Little recognised, almost all of the earliest aural artefacts of music by African Americans were quartet selections. All known examples of these extremely rare recordings are presented on this collection. Several of these are the only copies of a particular artefact and the listener must appreciate that these recordings stem from the dawn of recording technology and many are in poor shape such as the only known surviving cylinder by the Standard Quintette, Keep Movin’. The Standard Quintette who recorded several cylinders for Columbia in 1894 were active on the concert stage at the time. This is the first Nineteenth Century recording of African American music that has been recovered and is an event despite the fact that what music remains is buried under a great deal of surface noise. While the Standard Quintette recorded cylinders, the first records by a black quartet were the six one sided discs issued by Victor of the Dinwiddie Colored Quartet. Recorded in New York in two sessions in October 1902, these recordings of spirituals show a close harmony style. Old South Quartette is a unique and important group of singers from Richmond, Va. who became well known while performing with white pharmacist and banjo player, Polk Miller. Miller had a show of “Stories, Sketches and Songs” of black life before the Civil War. He travelled widely with this show to excellent reviews. Mark Twain in response to a Carnegie Hall performance was lavish in his praise, referring to them as “about the only thing the country can furnish that is originally and uniquely American” and calling two of their selections, “musical earthquakes”. After Miller’s death the group continued to perform into the thirties as well as appearing on WRVA in Richmond. They recorded seven cylinders with Miller for Edison in 1909 and several records for QRS in 1928. Their varied repertoire goes well beyond spirituals to entertaining numbers like Pussy Cat Rag with its vocal imitations of cats and dogs and Oysters and Wine at 2 a.m..

The other groups represented here remain a mystery other their listings in the discographies.

Ray Funk Copyright 1991: Document Records

DOCD-5061

This CD Album (Physical Format) – DOCD-5061 – FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING $18.99 Add to cart
Full Album Download – DOCD-5061 $8.99 Add to cart
1. Keep Movin’ – Standard Quartette
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2. Down On The Old Camp Ground – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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3. Poor Mourner – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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4. Steal Away – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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5. Gabriel’s Trumpet – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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6. We’ll Anchor Bye-And-Bye – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
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7. The Camp Meeting Jubilee – Male Quartette
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8. Swing Low Sweet Chariot – Apollo Male Quartette
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9. Shout All Over God’s Heaven – Apollo Male Quartette
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10. The Bonnie Blue Flag – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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11. Laughing Song – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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12. What A Time – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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13. The Watermelon Party – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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14. Rise And Shine – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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15. The “Old Time” Religion – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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16. Jerusalem Mornin’ – Polk Miller and His Old South Quartette
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17. Oh What’s He Done For Me – Old South Quartette
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18. Watermelon Party – Old South Quartette
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19. Bohunkus And Josephus – Old South Quartette
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20. Oysters And Wine at 2 AM – Old South Quartette
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21. Pussy Cat Rag – Old South Quartette
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22. When De Corn Pone’s hot – Old South Quartette
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23. No Hiding Place Down Here – Old South Quartette
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