Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Earliest Negro Vocal Quartet
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Christian, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
A priceless slice of history
Lee Hartsfeld | Central Ohio, United States | 09/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are recordings of enormous historical significance, which, in retail language, means "low sales" (or whatever the retail-correct term is). Not only are these recordings EXTREMELY OLD, they SOUND extremely old. The attentive title-browser no doubt sees "1894-1928" in parantheses and says to himself, "Hey, these are OLD" or "They had recordings back THEN?"So, why wade through the scratch or put up with a "high" end in the 8,000 khz range, if not lower? Because the music is marvelous. Want to hear the roots of Leadbelly, proto-"Saturday Night Fish Fry" novelty material, and some of the earliest recorded Black gospel? It's here, and most of it has been more than adequately restored; in fact, some of the cylinder recordings boast remarkable fidelity in view of their age and scarcity.
The performances are uniformly superb, with those of the Dimwiddie Colored Quartet a particular standout. Even through the hiss and seashell-interior acoustics of 1902, the Dimwiddie singers are astonishingly smooth, even while presenting the full range of gospel emotion and tempi. On this CD, we hear Black quartet singing evolve smoothly and confidently toward the more familiar styles of later groups like The Ink Spots and The Mills Brothers. Musically and historically, this is a priceless document. In other words, "low sales." Too bad!"