The Boswell Sisters: Shout, Sister, Shout


Shout, Sister, Shout


The Boswell Sisters


Shout, Sister, Shout! (Living Era)

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Martha Boswell (vocals), Connee Boswell (vocals), Vet Boswell (vocals), Tommy Dorsey (trombone), Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet), Joe Venuti (violin), Arthur Schutt (piano), Eddie Lang (guitar), Chauncey Morehouse (drums, vibes),

Mannie Klein or Jack Purvis (trumpet), Joe Tarto (bass)


Composed by J. Tim Brymn, Alexander Hill and Clarence Williams


Recorded: New York, April 23, 1931


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

In his book Jazz Singing (1990), Will Friedwald calls The Boswell Sisters "the greatest of all jazz vocal groups." Preternaturally attuned, they could start singing independently in separate rooms, gravitate towards one another, and find upon meeting that they were not only at the same spot in the same song, in tempo and in key, but in perfect harmony! This spooky synchronicity is well displayed in "Shout, Sister, Shout"—part jazz, part gospel, with shifting meters dramatizing its morally prophylactic message: One thing the Devil can't stand is a hallelujah song. If only Linda Blair had known! Exorcists take note.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


  • 1 mrebks // Feb 22, 2009 at 05:49 PM
    Boswells got soul--don't even need to qualify it as white; Ella and other Black vocalists dug the sisters too. Somethin' about the South... as Dick Gregory put it, "Down South they don't care how close you get, just so you don't get too big." (and don't forget the second half of that formula: "Up North they don't care how big you get, just so you don't get too close.") that's the strange secret of Southern music, Blacks and whites feeding off each other even while kept apart by segregation. (or at least that's how one elder white guy sees it.)