Quartet – The Selah Jubilee

Origin and Influences
The Selah Quartet was founded around 1927 by Thermon Ruth. They were a group drawn from the membership of a church choir, while Ruth was the dj at a church in Brooklyn, New York. This group was influenced by early Jubilee Quartets like the Fisk University Jubilee, who pioneered/mainstreamed Jubilee singing.
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Elements
Jubilee quartets were usually comprised of 4 male voices, in voice parts ranging from first Tenor to second Bass. Syncopation, call and response also played a vital part in the creation of the Jubilee sound. Jubilee Quartets sang in a concise and emotion-stripped fashion.
Primary Performers
The Selah Jubilee Singers became the first gospel group to play in the famed Apollo Theater, known for its vaudeville acts, after Therman Ruth convinced the owner, Frank Shiffman, to allow a gospel act.
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Commodification

The commodification of quartet music eventually led to radio broadcasting, touring, and a huge crossover phenomena into the world of white listeners. Many times if Jubilee Quartet Singers were blacklisted over time to give way to white upcoming Jubilee singers. 

Social Implications

The Selah Jubilee Singers opened up many doors for Gospel singers. The Gospel style of the Selah Singers also opened the genre of R&B music today. 

Summary of Opinion

The Selah Jubilee Quartet were an amazing and talented group of men, who opened many doors for today’s Gospel/ R&B singers. I have become more interested in the upcoming art of Blacks and how we have evolved since.

Kailen Aldridge

Kailen Aldridge

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