The Soul Stirrers

Who were they and what were Jubilee Quartets ?

The Soul Stirrers were a gospel quartet group, formed in Trinity, Texas. Their music had a massive impact on modern soul music and gospel. Their music was very modern for its time; it did not sound like the traditional jubilee style. Jubilee quartet groups were acapella groups; which would usually have a lead singer. The rest of the group would be background singers, and most of the time, they played instruments. Jubilee quartets groups were African-American groups, so they were heavily influenced by African American music like the negro spirituals.

Thoughts on the Soul Stirrers

In my opinion, the soul stirrers were the most influential gospel quartet because of how they had brought a whole new sound and style to traditional quartet groups. They also had a significant impact on soul music. One of the different things from The Soul Stirrers than most quartet groups was having two lead singers rather than 1 with 4 background vocalists. They would have alternating lead singers. R.H Harris created this method when he joined the group and became lead. He was also the one that introduced a soulful style singing and a more modern way of the gospel. Harris was the original lead of the group. 

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke became the lead of The Soul Stirrers after R.H Harris left and Paul Foster, who had shortly covered for Harris. Though little did people know how big of an impact Sam was about to bring to the group. Sam had a smooth, soulful voice that many people enjoyed. Sam was also the first sex semble in the gospel genre. He was very young when he started the group; he was 19; many women thought Sam’s voice and himself were sexy. Sam made many hits with The Soul Stirrers like ‘Jesus Gives Me Water’ and ‘That’s Heaven To Me.’


To conclude, The Soul Stirrers had a significant impact on gospel and soul music. Though they were a gospel group, their music was not like the traditional gospel quartet groups heard back then. They brought a more modern type of gospel forward and changed the traditional sound. They were more soulful and brought forward the concept of having more than one lead singer. Their impact on music has influenced some of the sounds we hear today when we listen to today’s gospel and R&B and soul.

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