Negro Spirtuals

Golden Gate Quartet's Negro Spirituals

Older Negro Spirituals

A 1940s Negro Spiritual Style

 The Golden Gate Quartet became a staple in the African American communities for their new styles of Negro Spirituals. As we listen to the style of older Spirituals, we can compare how  Golden gate has developed the sound of the Negro Spirituals to make their style. We can see that the music style has evolved from the traditional  Negro Spirituals to Negro Spirituals of the 1940s to arranged Negro Spirituals.

The Beginning

Willie Johnson, Henry Owens, William Langford, and Orlandus Wilson started as students singing at Booker T  Washington High School in 1934.
From singing in churches to making it to the radio, they became known as the Golden Gate Jubilee Singers.

 Their melodies and harmonies added jazz and flavor to these old hymns, making them popular in the 1940s -1960s. By Taking several techniques from the Mills brothers, they tried to use their voices to imitate musical instruments.

The Music

This music was known as negro spirituals. Negro Spirituals were American-made in 1740. Negro spirituals have a message not just for black people but for anyone who listened to it. These messages were often words of Christianity but could hold secret messages of escaping the south or telling stories between enslaved people.

The Legacy Left

The group members have changed tremendously as the group went along, and negro spirituals styles have changed. Throughout the 85 years of music, the group has been featured in many movies and has toured worldwide. The impact of the group has not only created and paved the way for many quartets to follow. Still, it has brought these negro spirituals back into the loop of music so that 80 years later, students are educated on enslaved people’s songs and songs written by their African ancestors.

New styles of Negro Spirituals

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