Golden Gate Quartet - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol 1 1937-1938

Published Thursday 29th May 2008
Golden Gate Quartet - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol 1 1937-1938
Golden Gate Quartet - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol 1 1937-1938

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21408-11926
LABEL: Document DOCD5472
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

As has been observed before on the Cross Rhythms website, the Golden Gates were one of the seminal groups who down the decades took their elaborate harmonies from rural black church obscurity to the concert halls of Europe. They had their beginnings in Norfolk, Virginia and by 1937 were broadcasting on Station WIS out of Columbia, South Carolina. They also began to record 78s having signed with RCA who released the 23 sides here on their Bluebird label. The Golden Gates' very first track "Golden Gate Gospel Train" was an early prototype of what was to become hard quartet music by the 1950s. Elsewhere the harmonisers' style is more old school jubilee with songs like "Behold The Bridegroom Cometh", "Job" and "Travelin' Shoes" interspersed with secular ditties like the barbershop favourite "(Put On Your Old Grey) Bonnet". The group's humour and inherent hipness is demonstrated in their great rendition of "I Was Born 10,000 Years Ago" (known to country music enthusiasts as Uncle Bill Macon's "I'm The Man That Rode The Mule Around The World"). Their version of Stephen Foster's "Massa's In The Cold, Cold Ground" is simply embarrassing although their take on Foster's "Swanee River" here is surprisingly enjoyable.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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