The Transitional Period 1930 – 1945
The group was founded as “The Golden Gate Jubilee Singers” in 1934. The group was formed by four students at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia. The original members were Willie Johnson (baritone), William Langford (tenor), Henry Owens (second tenor), and Orlandus Wilson (bass).
The group would sing in churches and on the radio. Their sound came from a combination of barbershop quartet arrangements with blues and jazz rhythms. They gained popularity from their unique sound and ability to imitate train sounds in their songs.