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The Swan Silvertones 1946-1951

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The Swan Silvertones were masters of quartet singing during gospel's golden age (1944-55). This collection of the group's earliest 78s catches them in the act of transforming from a slightly coarse jubilee-style a capella act into a terrific, modern "hard" shouting-style group. Tightly woven patterns of sweet, plaintive singing buffet the thrilling falsetto vocals of the Rev. Claude Jeter, who was a huge influence on Sam Cooke, Al Green, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, and others. The Sivertones were formed by Jeter in 1938 while he worked in West Virginia coal mines. Originally called the Four Harmony Kings, they changed their name to the Silvertone Singers and later after moving to Knoxville, to the Swan Silvertone Singers in debt to the sponsor, Swan Bakeries, of the radio show they were by then fronting. That radio fame got them signed to King Records in 1946, which is where these sides are from. There's not a dud in sight here, from their spirited retooling of "Farther Along" as "Father Alone" to "Jesus Is God's Atom Bomb," which manages the difficult task of being campy and sublime.


Formed: 1938 in Coalwood, WV

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

The Swan Silvertones are a premier gospel group and one of the great music experiences awaiting anyone who has never heard them. If you are not a fan of gospel music or "religious" music of any kind, don't let that fact deter you from having this unique listening experience. This is pure music at the highest level. The a cappella quartet Four Harmony Kings was created by tenor Claude Jeter in 1938 in Coalwood, WV, but the name was changed to the Swan Silvertones when they began a 15-minute radio...
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