(2006/SPECIALTY) 14 tracks
(2016/Acrobat) 54 tracks.
(2005/Gospel Friend) 25 tracks The Dixie Hummingbirds were the most successful male quartet to come up in the wake of the Golden Gate Quartet, the most celebrated quartet ever. Building their style on precise vocal attacks, showmanship and original song material, they became true masters of their craft. Their enduring popularity rested on well modulated harmonies, slight body movements and the vocal pyrotechnics of lead singer Ira Tucker. He served the model for rhythm & blues and soul singers from Jackie Wilson and Clyde McPhatter to Bobby Bland. Tucker also introduced the concept of the ´´activity” singer, who ran up and down the aisles, jumped from stage etc., using the body to underscore lyric content. The Birds shrewdly adapted to the changing trends in music tastes. At the fading of the gospel quartet movement in the mid 1960s, the Birds found home in the folk music circuit. The group came in demand for backup work on records for Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. This CD gives examples of the Dixie Hummingbirds abundant recordings, from the outset of their career with Decca in 1939, continuing with Apollo, Gotham and Okeh and ending up on Peacock, where they scored their biggest success.
(2013/Gospel Friend) 27 tracks An abundance of musical talent combined with an undaunted determination helped the Gay Sisters (or Gay Singers) to become one of Chicago’s most in demand gospel groups. Consisting of the three sisters, Evelyn, Mildred and Geraldine, and little brother Donald, the Gay siblings developed a remarkable skill for solo as well as harmony singing. Evelyn and Geraldine also mastered the piano. Recording for Savoy in 1951, their career got a flying start. Their best selling records enabled the group to tour and appear with such major stars as Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, the Davis Sisters and Jessie Dixon. Evelyn also did recording sessions as a pianist with Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers. The late 1960s opened new opportunities as the group, now led by brother and Reverend Donald, was offered recording contracts by Chess and Peacock. Although the resulting sessions yielded excellent records, (on the Checker and Song Bird labels) the lack of promotional support led to a halting career. Successful or not, members of the family continued performing in church and making occasional recordings well into the 2000s. This is the first time that the Gay Family’s entire musical heritage has been compiled on one CD.