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Four Boys and a Guitar

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Album Review

This LP gives listeners a fine overview of the Mills Brothers during their first three years on records. Backed only by an acoustic guitar, the remarkable vocal group imitates instruments and swings up a storm on 16 studio recordings including "Bugle Call Rag," "Coney Island Washboard," "Tiger Rag," "Sweet Sue" and their theme "Goodbye Blues." All of this classic music has since been reissued on CD in more complete form by the British JSP label.


Formed: 1924 in Piqua, OH

Genre: Jazz

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

An astonishing vocal group that grew into one of the longest-lasting oldies acts in American popular music, the Mills Brothers quickly moved from novelty wonders to pop successes and continued amazing audiences for decades. Originally billed as "Four Boys and a Guitar," the group's early records came complete with a note assuring listeners that the only musical instrument they were hearing was a guitar. The caution was understandable, since the Mills Brothers were so proficient at re-creating trumpets,...
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