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The Swan Silvertones

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 show sponsored by the Swan Bakery Company on the Knoxville station WBIR in 1942. They developed a national reputation during their contract with King Records from 1946 to 1951, recording some 21 recordings (mostly in the jubilee gospel style) including "I Cried Holy" and "Go Ahead." They joined Specialty Records from 1951 to 1953, but issued only four singles (in a more contemporary, harder style) before they were dropped by that label. The early group had lead singers Jeter and Solomon Womack, tenors Robert Crenshaw and John Manson, baritone John H. Myles, and bass Henry K. Bossard.

They really came into their own when they signed and recorded with Vee-Jay and recorded with that label from 1956 through 1964. The smoother Vee-Jay sound is probably due to arranger Paul Owens, who joined the group in 1952. Influenced by vocal jazz groups like the Four Freshmen and the Hi-Los, Owens smoothed out the sound and made it more contemporary, even progressive. Starting in 1956, the group began adding instruments to what had been up until then a purely vocal or a cappella sound. The excellent guitarist Linwood Hargrove added greatly to the emerging Vee-Jay sound and the additions (on recordings) of jazz sidemen Bob Cranshaw on bass and Walter Perkins -- founding members of MJT (3) -- on drums completed the sound.

Perhaps their greatest hit was "Oh Mary Don't You Weep," released in 1959 -- an incredible listening experience. It is in this song that Claude Jeter intones the phrase "I'll be a bridge over deep water, if you trust in my name" that inspired Paul Simon to compose "Bridge Over Troubled Water" some years later. The Swan Silvertones had a great effect on many rock (Al Kooper) and country (Gary Stewart) artists. During their nine years at Vee-Jay, the main members of the group were tenor (and falsetto) Claude Jeter, baritone John H. Myles, tenor Paul Owens, and bass William Conner. Other singers who were in the group during that time were tenors Dewey Young, Robert Crutcher, and Louis Johnson. When Vee-Jay closed in 1965, the group moved to Hob Records, where they did one last album before Claude Jeter left to record on his own and focus on his ministry. ~ Michael Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

One of the best, love it.
Never heard it better :-) This is the best version ever
lrabb3
OLDIE BUT GOODIE! LOVE IT!
OH YES HE IS SO SWEET ,YES HE IS.
milllou
I love the Swan's!
OH LORD, I miss my mama soooooooo bad!
I love this song
just sitting here thinking getting ready for church listing to this song it take me back to that little small town in linden alabama
love love love
love this music
It will forever be in my heart. There's nothing like serving The Lord Jesus Christ, suffering for Him, loving Him until the end. I do find my hiding place in Him. His love is unconditiona l and true. I too thank God for The Lord Jesus Christ whom He sent to wash away my sins. I want to get on board more seriously in 2012 being His true child, not step child. It's REAL. Thanks for listening and you all have a blessed day.
There's just somethng about Old School gospel that grabs you and wont let you go.
The Gospel Singers and their songs are my roots. Soul felt songs.
i had to learn to get out of my own way so that i could get what is rightfulley mines who eles could love u whit all your mess. thats way i love songs like this
i just love old time gospel.remin d s me of my mom and aunts back in lawrencevill e , va.,50 years ago
Haven't heard this in a very, very long time! It reminds me of good times when I was younger and going to various quartet singings.
bvtown57
just love it all
I haven’t heard this song in years, my former Pastor; Robert Bills use to sing this song. Thank you for playing it, I loved it years ago and it still sounds good.
Sis. Boone
Soul stirring to say the least.
dynamite.
deaconlove1
I was blessed to be a member of this group in later years with lead singer and manager Louis Johnson before he passed.When I was a boy,listenin g to this group is why I started to sing gospel.
Nothing like Old Time Gospel!
Reminds me of mom, blasting her music on Sunday morning back in South Carolina, when she was making sure we all get up for our walk to Matthew Hill Holiness Church
kelvinaparso n
I'm old school, even when it applies to gospel. Love their sound and ministry
jayespangler
NBTSYATEMS 4U ------- AMEN! i JUST FOUND THIS STATION ABOUT 6AM . TRULY A BLESSING TO AWAKEN FROM A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP AND LISTEN TO TALENT THAT ONLY GOD CAN GIVE AND TO THINK THAT HEAVEN WILL BE EVEN BETTER . PREACH ON. THANK YOU PANDORA
Every Time the devil try to get me to go wrong I just listen to these old time Gospel. I get strong by the Spirit and walk right and talk right Preach the word in power and conviction Glory
Elder Torrence
these songs bring god closer to the heart
this is good, i mean real good.this gospel music has touch my heart,thanks to this station
I love this group. They feel good!

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