Golden Gate Quartet

Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 3: 1939

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The third of Document's six volumes dedicated to the Golden Gate Quartet continues with a systematic overview of all the issued sides recorded in February and October 1939 at the Andrew Jackson Hotel in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Tracks one through 20 were drawn from those two sessions' output, which is composed almost entirely of religious titles like the Reverend Thomas A. Dorsey's "(Take My Hand) Precious Lord," "If I Had My Way (I Would Tear the Building Down)," and "Every Time I Feel the Spirit." Secular exceptions are Larry Clinton's "Whoa Babe" (a big hit for Lionel Hampton), Harold Arlen's pop tune and jazz standard "Stormy Weather," and Louis Armstrong's "Ol' Man Mose." Tracks 21 and 22 were recorded live at John Hammond's second From Spirituals to Swing concert, which took place in New York's Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve 1939. With "Gospel Train," the Gates revisited their very first recording, which was made in 1937. Although some sources place them at the first From Spirituals to Swing concert, which had taken place one year earlier, reliable discographies on which Document based this series indicate the year 1939. Vol. 3 ends with three out of six sides cut on December 26, 1939. What you get here are the three secular titles from that date. They are a bouncing version of Irving Berlin's "My Walking Stick"; the tragic "Darling Nellie Gray," Benjamin Hanby's 19th century folk song about a pair of lovers separated by slavery; and "What's New?," a wistful melody by bassist Bob Haggart (originally titled "I'm Free") with words by Johnny Burke.

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