Songfellows Quartet In Concert
January 22, 2019, 6:45 pm
The Songfellows Quartet is one of the longest active gospel quartets in the 100 plus years of this genre of music. The Songfellows Quartet actually began as Bob Jones and the Stamps Harmony Boys in 1946. This group has been active for over 70 years. Bob Jones Sr. was the founder and sang with the group until 2005 at the age of 93. Bob brought this style of music to California and the Western States. He was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame for his six decades of great accomplishments. Bob Sr. was a pioneer in changing the style of this music from basic four part harmony written in the “convention songbooks” to featuring arrangements that were creative and dynamic. This style extended the normal range of singing high and low. Convention songbook arrangements were limited to what the average alto and bass singers could reach. Professional quartets extended those ranges and added dynamic phrasing to create an exciting and entertaining musical presentation. Bob Sr. is credited with influencing the musical styles of such groups as the Weatherford Quartet, the Imperials and the Cathedrals and many more.
While the quartet worked mainly in the Western States their radio and television appearances made the known to gospel music fans all over America. When they began to be featured at the National Quartet Convention in the early 1990’s the gospel music fans in the Eastern half of the country became enthusiastic supporters of the Songfellows.
Bob Jones Jr. joined the quartet as a teenager. First he was the baritone and later as the lead singer. Both Bob Sr. and Bob Jr. managed the group until Bob Sr. passed at age 93. His last performance was at 92 at his induction ceremony at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. In 2006 Bob Jr. moved the quartet from Los Angeles to Nashville. The members that moved with him initially moved back to the balmy west coast climate and were replaced by veteran singers. Nick Bruno and Gary Sheppard of the Kingsmen, Harold Gilley of Palmetto State, Randy Bird of the Blackwood Brothers, Ed Hill of the Prophets, Statesmen and Stamps, Rick Strickland of the Singing Americans, Kingdom Heirs, and Stamps Quartet and Mike Allen of the Gaither Homecoming videos all have served with the quartet.
Rick Strickland, Ed Hill, Mike Allen and Bob Jones Jr. now make of the group and they have been together for several years.
In 2009 the quartet’s record company started a television show called Brush Arbor Jubilee. The first year it was seen on twenty one local markets throughout the South. In 2010 the Rural Media Group (RFD-TV) launched a new network called Rural TV. The Brush Arbor Jubilee moved to the new network and expanded the show’s reach nationally. The next year the Rural Media Group acquired FamilyNet cable channel and Brush Arbor Jubilee and the Songfellows audience potential moved up to 45 million television households.
Admission is free. A love offering will be received.