Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 4: 1939-1943

Golden Gate Quartet

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Complete Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 4: 1939-1943 Review

by arwulf arwulf

Vol. 4 in Document's comprehensive history of the Golden Gate Quartet begins with three devotional songs recorded for Victor/Bluebird in late December 1939. Their final Victor session took place in June 1940 when they backed gutsy folksinger Leadbelly on six amazing sides, including "Midnight Special," "Pick a Bale of Cotton," "Rock Island Line," and "Whoa Back, Buck (Whoa God Damn)." Although these gems are not reproduced here, they have been reissued under Leadbelly's name (Leadbelly's four-CD box on JSP is highly recommended). Before the year was out, William Langford, who had been with the group since before its first recording date in 1937, left the organization and formed a unit to be known as the Southern Sons. In December 1940 the Gates backed vocalist Joshua White on a Library of Congress recording session with Clyde Reddick filling the gap left by the departure of Langford. It wasn't until April 1941 that the Gates resumed recording, now for Columbia and its OKeh subsidiary. It was at this point that the word "Jubilee" was permanently dropped, officially abbreviating their name to the Golden Gate Quartet. Tracks four through 15 constitute their entire output from 1941, a year that began auspiciously with their appearance at Franklin D. Roosevelt's inaugural ball, where they made history as the first African-American ensemble ever to sing at Constitution Hall. By the time they recorded "Run On," "Dip Your Fingers in the Water," and "My Time Done Come" in late March 1942, the United States was thoroughly embroiled in the Second World War. This volume closes with the little bit of material the Gates were able to wax during the following year. The wartime offerings "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'" and "Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer" are followed by four brief performances issued on the Armed Forces V-Disc series. During this period the group appeared in the motion pictures Star Spangled Rhythm (1942) and Hit Parade of 1943. More than any previous volume in Document's Golden Gate Quartet retrospective, this segment of their story reveals a great ensemble in transition.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Golden Gate Quartet 02:39 Amazon
Golden Gate Quartet 02:41 Amazon
3 Golden Gate Quartet 02:45 Amazon
4 Golden Gate Quartet 02:44 Amazon
5 Golden Gate Quartet 02:49 Amazon
Golden Gate Quartet 02:42 Amazon
7 Golden Gate Quartet 02:35 Amazon
8 Golden Gate Quartet 02:11 Amazon
9 Golden Gate Quartet 02:10 Amazon
10 Golden Gate Quartet 02:41 Amazon
11 Golden Gate Quartet 02:27 Amazon
Golden Gate Quartet 02:35 Amazon
13 Golden Gate Quartet 03:20 Amazon
14 Golden Gate Quartet 02:33 Amazon
15 Golden Gate Quartet 02:07 Amazon
Golden Gate Quartet 02:46 Amazon
17 Golden Gate Quartet 02:22 Amazon
18 Golden Gate Quartet 02:46 Amazon
19 Golden Gate Quartet 03:11 Amazon
20 Golden Gate Quartet 03:04 Amazon
Golden Gate Quartet 02:09 Amazon
Golden Gate Quartet 01:31 Amazon
23 Golden Gate Quartet 01:53 Amazon
24 Golden Gate Quartet 02:00 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick