Over the years the sound of the male gospel quartet has had an influence on every genre of music to date. The sound that filled (and still fills) the African-American Baptist and AME churches was inspired by the call and response music of African slaves who worked on the plantations during the days of slavery in America. Songs of hope, dreams of freedom and the love of God were the main ingredients for the majority of these songs. Often, there were messages within these songs that helped many slaves escape to freedom. It was a form of communication to prevent the "slave master" from understanding conversations between slaves. In the late 1800s, many of these groups entertained the masses and the genre was well established. Through the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s groups such as "The Golden Gate Quartet", "The Five Blind Boys" (of Alabama and Mississippi), "The Highway Q.C.s", "The Soul Stirrers", "The Staple Singers" and "The Impressions" carried on the tradition as well as set a standard against which countless others are measured to this date. In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, artists like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Johnnie Taylor, Lou Rawls, Bobby Womack, Billy Preston, Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway and a multitude of others continued the tradition and incorporated the quartet style into secular music. This is the reason we had and still have groups like "The Temptations, "The Four Tops", "The Jackson Five", "The Rance Allen Group", "Take Six", "Boyz II Men" and countless others. The influence of the gospel quartet has survived for centuries and will remain right here until the lights go out on this planet. Believe that! James Allen Simpson, Jr. (CEO Solid Rock Records) Greg McKoy Born in Grand Rapids, MI in 1961, Greg is one of nine children born to the late Elder Carl Lee McKoy and Mildred McDougal whose roots stem from North Carolina. Greg got his start in music within the church being the son of a Pastor and the grandson of a Bishop (the late great Bishop Paul McKoy). Greg's legacy began with playing piano and the Hammond organ around the age of eight years young at his grandfather's church to include playing piano at home-church services before his father became a Pastor. Throughout his life, Greg has always been active in music activities - playing the clarinet in grammar school, participating in chorus and performing-arts clubs during his school tenure. Greg's musical talent and skills have afforded him the opportunity to tour the world performing music with special interest on the Gospel genre. In this collection of spirituals, one can hear the originality and spirit of authenticity as passed on from the forefathers of original gospel music. To those who are blessed to hear this divine collection and feel the presence of God's Spirit, you too will know you are NEVER ALONE.
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