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Ciné-Stars : Golden Gate Quartet

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Album Review

Carrere's Golden Gate Quartet is an odd record from a latter-day version of the classic gospel quartet. By this time, the original version of the group was long gone, but the new incarnation still sounded quite good. However, the choice of songs was strange. Half of the album consisted of classic gospel songs, and half was comprised of classic pop songs like "The Great Pretender," "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Only You." Granted, the group sounds quite good on those songs, but it would have been better if they had recorded an album devoted entirely to pop instead of doing it halfheartedly. As a result, the record is only fitfully entertaining, when it could have been nothing but fun.


Formed: 1931 in Berkeley, VA

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Pioneer Virginia gospel/pop quartet of the '30s and '40s. Calling their innovative approach to sacred hymns "jubilee" singing, the Golden Gate Quartet, propelled by Willie Johnson and William Langford, enjoyed massive acceptance far outside the church. Their smooth Mills Brothers-influenced harmonies made the Gates naturals for pop crossover success, and they began recording for Victor in 1937. National radio broadcasts and an appearance on John Hammond's 1938 "Spirituals to Swing" concert at Carnegie...
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