In 1952, what many consider the group’s definitive lineup — a roster of Tucker, Davis, Bobo, Beachey Thompson, James Walker (replacing Owens) and ace guitarist Howard Carroll, a roster which held intact for close to a quarter century — signed to the Peacock label, where over the course of the following decade they recorded a series of masterpieces including 1952’s “Trouble in My Way,” 1953’s “Let’s Go Out to the Programs,” 1954’s “Christian’s Testimonial,” 1957’s “Christian Automobile” and 1959’s “Nobody Knows the Trouble I See.”. [citation needed]. Davis changed the name to the Dixie Hummingbirds. James Davis retired in 1984 after 56 years on the circuit. All Rights Reserved. [citation needed], Tucker introduced energetic showmanship – running through the aisles, jumping off stage, falling to his knees in prayer – copied by many quartets that followed. Gospel Singer. Kahn and Tucker produced an album for ABC entitled We Love You Like A Rock. In 1942, the Hummingbirds would make the move with James Davis, Barney Parks, Ira Tucker, Wilson Baker and William Henry. Copyright Vocal Group Hall Of Fame Foundation. The inital members … The group would eventually go to Philadelphia Pennsylvania where Barney Parks' father lived. Possibly the world's greatest Gospel group, the Dixie Hummingbirds (who recently celebrated their 70th anniversary) have managed to keep the sound of modern Gospel vital in popular music, and have been hugely influential in both the secular and the non-secular world. The new members were tenor Wilson Baker and bass singer Jimmy Bryant. The Hummingbirds’ reception there encouraged them to tour. The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music by Jerry Zolten. Gospel group founded in 1928 by 12 year old James Davis and his classmates. [1] In 1946, The Hummingbirds signed a record deal with Apollo Records, a growing New York Based label. [1] Carroll did not do much singing; he preferred to play the guitar. The group recorded a number of albums for Peacock Records in the 1950s and 1960s. [5], Recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least twenty-five years old, and that have "qualitative or historical significance". Jump to navigation Jump to search This article ... Willie Bobo (cited in past members) was born in 1934, I suspect one of these is wrong — Preceding unsigned comment added by 210.185.103.186 10:29, 14 August 2016 (UTC) Following local activity, the group went to the National Baptist Convention in Atlanta where they met such top acts of the day as the Heavenly Gospel Singers, THE SWAN SILVERTONES, and Kings of Harmony. Upon relocating to Philadelphia in 1942, the Hummingbirds’ popularity began to grow — Tucker, in particular, wowed audiences with his flamboyant theatrics, rejecting the long tradition of “flat-footed” singers rooted in place on stage in favor of running up the aisles and rocking prayerfully on his knees. The Dixie Hummingbirds Before bringing out The Birds, LaDiva Davis read the names of some of the members that have passed including William Bobo, Beechy Thompson, James Walker, and Paul Owens. William Bobo replaced him. The Dixie Hummingbirds: Eighty Years Young has been shown on the Gospel Music Channel and has played at numerous film festivals. Ira Tucker, Sr. died due to complications from heart disease on the morning of June 24, 2008, at the age of 83. Talk:The Dixie Hummingbirds. In 1966 the Hummingbirds performed at the Newport Folk Festival and were an instant sensation. They changed their name so that they would not convey any sentiments to slavery. [citation needed], The group sang the backup vocals on Paul Simon's "Loves Me Like a Rock", and "Tenderness", from his album There Goes Rhymin' Simon. Profilo: Gospel group founded in 1928 by 12 year old James Davis and his classmates. Davis changed the name to the Dixie Hummingbirds. The group continued under Tucker’s leadership until June 2008, when Tucker died due to complications stemming from heart disease. Around this time, the Hummingbirds asked Howard Carroll (1924–2017) to be a part of the group, replacing Paul Owens. The North provided better opportunities and was better in dealing with justice for African Americans. Tucker had been singing with his own group the Gospel Carriers. After earning a standing ovation for their performance at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival (captured on the Gospel at Newport LP), the Hummingbirds essentially retired from mainstream appearances to focus solely on the church circuit. In 1941, the Hummingbirds moved to Washington D.C., where Davis had an Aunt with whom they could stay. In 1942, the group relocated to Philadelphia. The group continues with the present lineup of William Bright, Lyndon Baines Jones, Carlton Lewis III, Torrey Nettles & Cornell McKnight, thereby preserving the rich legacy left by Tucker, James Davis, William Bobo, Beachey Thompson, James Walker, Howard Carroll, et al., with possible new additions to their personnel down the road. [4], The Dixie Hummingbirds are recipients of a 2000 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The Birds were the obvious winners and Tucker became a member that same night. The original Dixie Hummingbirds were together for 35 years. The Dixie Hummingbirds were formed in 1928 in Greenville, South Carolina. The group formed in 1928 in Greenville, South Carolina, by James B. Davis and his classmate Barney Parks under the name the Sterling High School Quartet. The Hummingbirds continued into the ‘80s with a number of personnel changes. Hammond did not like the "Dixie" in their name. The group formed in 1928 in Greenville, South Carolina, by James B. Davis and his classmate Barney Parks under the name the Sterling High School Quartet. Walker joined the quartet in 1952 and stayed until his death in 1992. The Dixie Hummingbirds made their first recordings in 1939 when only James Davis and Barney Parks remained. The members were Barney Gipson (lead), Davis (tenor), Barney Parks (baritone), and J.B. Matterson (bass). In September 1939 (Davis disputes the year as being 1938) The Hummingbirds drove to New York using contacts that Bryant had to record with Decca Records. The single also won a Grammy for "Best Soul Gospel Performance." The Hummingbirds began on Philadelphia radio at station WCAU as the Jericho Boys and the Swanee Quintet, and performed in packed stadiums without the benefit of a hit record. The first to leave the ensemble was the group’s founder, James Davis. The Dixie Hummingbirds Marker Though the quartet has included more than 19 different members over the past 70 years, no personnel change was quite as profound as the 1938 addition of Ira Tucker, Sr. who still performs with the Dixie Hummingbirds today. The Dixie Hummingbirds formed in 1928 in Greenville, South Carolina. The Best of The Dixie Hummingbirds Thank You For One More Day: 70th Anniversary of the Dixie Hummingbirds. Most importantly, they were promised work from Charlie Newsome, a booking agent they had met in Jacksonville, Florida, who had been managing a group called the Royal Harmony Singers. He found Beachy Thompson of the Willing Four out of Baltimore, who at the time recently opened for the Hummingbirds at their anniversary program. Soon Fred Owens became the bass and the group became the Sterling High School Quartet. http://vocalgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Bedside-Of-A-Neighbor.mp3, http://vocalgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Christian-Automobile.mp3, http://vocalgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Loves-Me-Like-A-Rock.mp3, http://vocalgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Nobody-Knows-The-Trouble-I-See.mp3, http://vocalgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Thank-You-For-One-More-Day.mp3. Produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeff Scheftel, and executive produced by University of Hawaii musicologist Jay Junker, the film is now available on DVD, featuring extensive interviews with Ira Tucker, Sr., Abraham Rice, Cornell McKnight, Lyndon Jones, Willie Coleman, Torrey Nettles, and William Bright with archival footage, and following the current group as they perform in numerous venues and rehearse under Mr. Tucker's spirited guidance, in their hometown of Philadelphia, and across the vast landscape of America. By 1944, he was even regularly jumping off stages — indeed, the frenetic showmanship of soul music may have had its origins in Tucker’s manic intensity, itself an emulation of country preaching. The Dixie Hummingbirds discography and songs: Music profile for The Dixie Hummingbirds, formed 1928. Albums include Loves Me Like a Rock / Learn How to Fall, Masked and Anonymous, and Nuggets of the Golden Age of Gospel 1945-1958. The Dixie Hummingbirds are an influential American gospel music group, spanning more than 80 years from the jubilee quartet style of the 1920s, through the "hard gospel" quartet style of gospel's golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, to the eclectic pop-tinged songs of today. He was replaced by the … Willie Bobo, one of the legendary gospel basses and the Heavenlies’ bass that night, also joined the Dixies soon after. Past members: James Davis (1916-2007) (founder), Ira Tucker (1925-2008) (lead singer), Willie Bobo, Jimmy Bryant, Barney Gipson, Claude Jeter (1914-2009), J.B. Matterson, Fred Owens, Paul Owens, Barney Parks, Beachy Thompson, James Walker, William Henry (bass) (1922-1997), Howard Carroll (1924-2017) guitarist, Willie Coleman, bass guitarist and vocals In 2003, the Hummingbirds were the subject of an award-winning book about their 75-year career span, Great God A'Mighty! As time went on he developed his showmanship, becoming the first to run up and down the aisles and jump off stages; it’s very possible that James Brown learned the moves from Tucker. After their 70th Anniversary many of the members retired, all but one, Ira Tucker. [citation needed]. Soon after, the group recorded its own version. Impressed with the Hummingbirds, they were given the gig. Renowned African American gospel vocal group originally formed in 1928; members received a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship in 2000. [1], These recordings proved successful and the Hummingbirds were back in the Billboard charts. He told Davis, who urged him to try them out, which he did for a day and a half before deciding he could stay no longer. Formed in Greenville, SC, by James B. Davis, the Dixie Hummingbirds began their career during the late '30s as a jubilee-styled act; joined in 1938 by 13-year-old baritone phenom Ira Tucker and bass singer extraordinaire Willie Bobo, a former member of the Heavenly Gospel Singers, the group made its recorded debut a year later on Decca, issuing singles such as "Soon Will Be Done with the Troubles of This … Also that same year the group obtained the lead singing services of Ira Tucker of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Check … They did, however, burst back into the popular consciousness in 1973, backing Paul Simon on his pop smash “Loves Me Like a Rock.” The death of Willie Bobo in 1976 brought to a sad end a lengthy chapter of the Hummingbirds’ history — his membership in their ranks dated back to the late 1930s — but the surviving members forged on; just two years later, Ebony Magazine named them “The World’s Greatest Gospel Group.” After Davis retired in 1984, Tucker was the last remaining link to the quartet’s formative years; despite the subsequent deaths of Walker in 1992 and Thompson in 1994, Tucker continued leading the group at the century’s end, recruiting new blood to keep the Dixie Hummingbirds’ spirit alive for years to follow, celebrating their seventh decade with 1999’s Music in the Air: The 70th Anniversary All-Star Tribute. The album contained Stevie Wonder's "Jesus Children", on which Wonder played keyboards. Soon Fred Owens became the bass and the group became the Sterling High School Quartet. The Hummingbirds signed to Regis Records, which changed its name to Manor Records, owned by Irving Berman, in 1945. A pioneering force behind the evolution of the modern gospel quartet sound, the Dixie Hummingbirds were among the longest-lived and most successful groups of their era; renowned for their imaginative arrangements, progressive harmonies and all-around versatility, they earned almost universal recognition as the greatest Southern quartet of their generation, and their influence spread not only over the world of spiritual music but also inspired secular artists ranging from Jackie Wilson to Bobby “Blue” Bland to the Temptations. No early inductees have been added since 2018 and none were inducted at all between 2000 (Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole) and 2009 (Wanda Jackson). She also honored those in retirement including Mr. James Davis, Howard Carroll, and Reverend Joe Williams. The Dixie Hummingbirds. The members were Barney Gipson (lead), Davis (tenor), Barney Parks (baritone), and J.B. Matterson (bass). The group was formed in Greenville, South Carolina, by James Davis in 1928, a year before the Great Depression. Soon after Together with such gospel musical talents as … At that time they were performing under 3 names: The Dixie Hummingbirds in churches, the Swanee Quintet in Philadelphia, and the Jericho Quintet when at the Café Society. The group first formed in 1928 in Greenville, South Carolina, and it soon hit the rural church circuit along the Deep South. William Bright, a member of the Dixie Hummingbirds, died on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. And now celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Dixie Hummingbirds in 2008, indeed he is "The Last Man Standing" and by all means "Still Keeping It Real". Hammond was looking for an Gospel act to work in the club. Bryant abruptly left after clashing with the group. Their virtuosity did not go unnoticed by audiences, and throughout the mid-’40s — an acknowledged golden age of a cappella quartet singing — the group regularly played to packed houses throughout the south. The Hummingbirds decided that they needed a new label. Davis changed the name to the Dixie Hummingbirds. In 1945 the group recorded for Apollo and then Gotham. The group was formed by James Davis in Greenville, South Carolina. Swan Silvertones great Claude Jeter also spent some time with the group in the ‘50s. During the ‘30s the group went through a succession of bass singers until Jimmy Bryant of the Heavenly Gospel Singers joined in 1939, just as the group signed to Decca Records. The Dixie Hummingbirds are probably the best known of the black gospel quartets, having performed for over 50 years throughout America and Europe. Since that was how ours career seemed to be going [laughs], I figure that was a good name, and the guys went along with it[1], The Hummingbirds traveled around the South singing spirituals. Bright had an extensive vocal range that allowed him to sing quartet parts from tenor to bass. Southern African American quartets injected new rhythmic drive and performing panache into their jubi… Beachy Thompson of the Five Gospel Singers and the Willing Four joined the group in 1944, and by World War II’s end the lineup was Tucker (lead), Davis (tenor), Thompson (baritone), and Bobo (bass). One night the Carriers competed in a battle of the gospel groups against the Dixie Hummingbirds and the Heavenly Gospel Singers. [1], The Hummingbirds had signed and recorded with Gotham and Okeh Records. By making this move, they had to change the name of the group to cut ties with the school. [7], Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire", "Grammy Hall of Fame, Alphabetical by Title", 'The Dixie Hummingbirds' at Vocal Group Hall of Fame website, Recording of Dixie Hummingbirds performing "Jesus is Coming Soon" in Orlando in 1985, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Dixie_Hummingbirds&oldid=994700550, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from October 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2017, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 17 December 2020, at 02:44. While performing at the Café Society, the Hummingbirds were often backed by Lester Young's sextet. Davis recalls how they changed their name to the Dixie Hummingbirds: I figured that was the only bird could fly both backwards and forwards. With engagements picking up, they had to find a replacement, and they soon heard of a young singer from nearby Spartanburg. Formed in Greenville, South Carolina by James B. Davis, the Dixie Hummingbirds began their career during the late ’30s as a jubilee-styled act; joined in 1938 by 13-year-old baritone phenom Ira Tucker and bass singer extraordinaire Willie Bobo, a former member of the Heavenly Gospel Singers, the group made their recorded debut a year later on Decca, where they issued singles including “Soon Will Be Done with the Troubles of This World,” “Little Wooden Church” and “Joshua Journeyed to Jericho.”. The original Dixie Hummingbirds performed together for more than 60 years. 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