Golden Gate Quartet

The Golden Gate Quartet & Associates, Vol. 2 (1941-1952)

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In 2004 the Frémeaux label brought out a 40-track Golden Gate Quartet anthology as a double-dip sequel to the first volume, an 18-title sampling of their earlier works. Vol. 2 draws upon the years 1941-1952, a period during which the personnel changed like never before while the group took on fresh material and tried out different approaches in order to appeal to contemporary audiences. The Gates' cover of the King Cole Trio hit "Straighten Up and Fly Right" also appears on Document's intriguing 32-track compendium of the Gates' radio transcription recordings from the early to mid-‘40s. As for the "Associates" referred to in the title of this collection, disc one closes with selections by the Silver Echo Quartet, the Southern Sons, the Soul Stirrers, the Selah Jubilee Singers, and Bill Landford & the Landfordaires. These inclusions make sense as there was considerable cross-pollination and a fair amount of personnel migration between the Gates and numerous gospel-oriented vocal groups of the day. In a marvel of programmatic symmetry, disc two ends with examples by the Singing Waiters, the Dixieaires, the Southern Sons, the Nightingale Jubalaires, and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. It's a Golden Gate "best-of" and a mini-mid-century African-American gospel group anthology all at once. For a bigger dose of similar stuff served up by the same company, go for Frémeaux's Golden Age of Gospel 1946-1956.

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