Thursday, April 19, 2012
Quartets and Quintets
Quartets and quintets are a mainstay of Southern Gospel music. I haven't always been a fan of Southern Gospel--a bit too countrified for me when I first started hearing it. Then after listening to some of the groups on the television gospel shows I used to watch in the early 70's, the sound started growing on me.
I began to listen more closely and realized how intricately the voices were blended to create a unified sound. The format of Southern and black gospel groups was a big influence on the early do-wop and rock vocal ensembles. The more popular music that I began to listen to, the more open I became to listening to different styles.
Also, the fact that modern styles like rock began to influence some of the gospel groups like the Oak Ridge Boys made me become more interested in the gospel format. The Oaks were doing pop songs like "Get Together" and "Put Your Hand in the Hand". Southern Gospel was beginning to gain relevance for me.
The Southern Gospel style still occupies a popular niche among certain music fans. Elvis Presley used the gospel group The Jordanaires on his recordings and as a mainstay back up group when he toured. The sound of skillfully blended voices can be a real showstopper in a live concert. It's kind of like Il Divo or the Three Tenors gone country gospel.
Have you listened to much Southern Gospel or Black Gospel music? Do you have any favorite artists in these genres? Can you think of a song that hit the pop charts that falls into on of these genres?