What Elements Did they Use?
The Jubilaires were a quartet which is an ensemble of four voices. They used a jubilee style of singing. So, they were a jubilee quartet and this means that they sung sacred texts in moderate tempo. They also sung in a close four-part harmony. Furthermore, they were a gospel quartet as they sung vocal harmonies, featuring melismatic lead singers and instruments.
Who Were They?
Famous Songs and achievements
The Jubilaires obtained a position at Arthur Godfrey’s CBS Radio Show and once Willie Johnson joined the group as the leader, they appeared in the film Duchess of Idaho. Some of their famous songs were recorded under Queen Records (which was an addition of King Records that specialized in African American music). These songs included :”I Know/Get Together With the Lord” and God’s Almighty Gone Cut You Down/Go Down Moses”.
The Commodification of Quartets
In the 1930’s the regular radio broadcasting, commercial recording and touring influenced the popularization of quartets. This led to race series which were targeted towards African American audiences.
The Impact on Future Genres
During the time that the Jubiliares performed, quartets were actually starting to fade out. This led to the crossover quartet which consisted of a group that switched the performance of sacred texts to secular repertoire. In fact, the extremely popular African American music, Rhythm and Blues was heavily influenced by the sacred (or gospel) quarter style.
Summary of my Opinion
Sarachik, Justin. “The Jubalaires Were Doing Gospel Rap Back in the 1940s.” Rapzilla, 11 July 2016, rapzilla.com/2016-07-the-jubalaires-were-doing-gospel-rap-back-in-the-1940s/.