Golden Gate Quartet: Stormy Weather


Stormy Weather


Golden Gate Quartet


Travelin' Shoes (Bluebird/RCA 66063-2)

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William Langford (tenor vocals, guitar), Henry Owens (tenor vocals), Willie (“Bill”) Johnson (baritone vocals), Orlandus Wilson (bass vocals)


Composed by Harold Arlen


Recorded: New York, 1939


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Of the 1930s male vocal groups who sang Negro spirituals in a jazzy style called Jubilee, the most successful was Virginia's Golden Gate Quartet. Expanding their traditional repertoire, the GGC here universalizes the plight of a lovesick woman ("Since my man and I ain’t together") by cleverly changing five words: "Can't get my poor self together." Listeners may be reminded of the contemporaneous Mills Brothers—especially by the vocally imitated wah-wah "trumpet" solo—but the GGC spent more time in church than at the barbershop. If you doubt that gospel + jazz = doo-wop, check out this track.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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