Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. 6-7

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-ix

We started sharing research back in 1980, based on a mutual interest in the African American gospel quartet tradition. Ray Funk was the third member of our original research team. Between the three of us, we located and interviewed hundreds of quartet veterans and spent hundreds of hours reviewing historical...

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Introduction: “Say Four Come . . .”

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pp. 3-10

Early-twentieth-century African American sacred harmony singing, spiritual and gospel, was, in a sense, shaped by the interaction of two historical impulses. The first was to perpetuate folk music traditions, a cornerstone of black cultural identity; the second was to master standard Western musical and cultural...

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Chapter One. John Work II and the Resurrection of the Negro Spiritual in Nashville

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pp. 11-112

The treasury of African American folk song known as the spirituals arose anonymously from slave cabins and brush arbors and was initially perpetuated as an oral tradition. The Original Fisk Jubilee Singers of Nashville, Tennessee, were first to demonstrate the usefulness of the spirituals, the “genuine...

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Chapter Two. “Time, Harmony, and Articulation”: Quartet Training and the Birmingham Gospel Quartet Style

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pp. 113-216

Jefferson County, Alabama, incorporating the city of Birmingham and the neighboring towns of Bessemer and Fairfield, was a cradle of black gospel quartet singing. Grassroots music pedagogy, presided over by community-based quartet trainers, was the critical factor behind the intense outbreak of...

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Chapter Three. An Alabama Quartet Expert in Chicagoland

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pp. 217-271

For many years Chicago was the capital of African American entertainment commerce. State Street’s legendary vaudeville theater and cabaret district was a haven for the first generation of jazz and blues musicians and composers. Progressive race music educators made their home in the city, and world-famous...

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Chapter Four. The “Alabama Style” and the Birth of Gospel Quartet Singing in New Orleans

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pp. 273-266

New Orleans is a universally celebrated musical homeland with a deep but underestimated heritage of African American vocal quartets. For the better part of a century, a cappella quartets thrived in black New Orleans; more prevalent than brass bands, they were also more directly connected to folk music...

Notes

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pp. 367-429

General Index

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pp. 431-458

Song Index

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pp. 459-468