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Golden Gate Quartet on WBT Charlotte, 1942

Golden Gate Quartet on WBT Charlotte, 1942

The Golden Gate Quartet is widely considered to be the most successful African American jubilee quartet. The group started in Norfolk, Virginia, and by 1936 appeared regularly on WBT Charlotte. They stayed at the station through the 1950s, and were featured in 1942 on a special program marking WBT’s 20th anniversary. This recording of that appearance showcases the quartet’s smooth harmonies. The jubilee singing tradition was launched by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a group of African American singers at Fisk University in Tennessee who sang spirituals and other American songs. The Fisk Jubilee Singers got their start in 1871, and many jubilee ensembles formed in their wake as the jubilee style grew in popularity through the first half of the twentieth century. Early jubilee singing groups adhered closely to the style of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, performing religious songs in close harmonies. As time went on, many jubilee groups branched out to perform popular, non-religious music. The Golden Gate Quartet was among those that crossed over into pop music success, recording for Victor Records beginning in 1937.

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Golden Gate Quartet, 1942 by LEARN NC

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