Blue Ridge Quartet

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The Blue Ridge Quartet (1946 – 1985) was a musical group founded in 1946.[1]

History[edit]

The Blue Ridge Quartet was organized by Frank Stamps's Stamps Quartet Music Company of Texas. They started in Raleigh, North Carolina, but ultimately settled in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

When they began in Raleigh at the beginning of 1946 they operated out of radio station WRAL. Among the original members of the group in 1946 were Leonard "Red" Mathis, tenor; James Smith, lead; Wayne Roseberry, baritone; Shaw Eiland, bass; and Mike Cunningham, pianist. Eiland and Roseberry were former members of the Stamps-Baxter Lone Star Quartet, also headquartered in Raleigh. After a short time Elmo Fagg and Jack Taylor, both from the Lone Star Quartet, joined them. It wasn't long before Wayne Roseberry left and Everett Payne became the baritone singer.

Burl Strevel joined the quartet in 1947 to sing bass, and they moved over to WDBB radio in Burlington, NC. In 1948 they moved to WSPA radio Spartanburg, SC and dropped the "Stamps" name. Former Lone Star Quartet lead and baritone Clarence Turbyfill joined to sing tenor. In 1949, Kenny Gates became the Blue Ridge Quartet's pianist. When Turbyfill left in 1950, Ed Sprouse became the group's tenor. When Payne left in 1953, Gates picked up the additional duty of singing the baritone part. This lineup of Sprouse, Fagg, Gates, and Strevel remained together for a number of years.

Around 1956, Strevel left to join the Sunshine Boys. After some turnover, the bass slot was filled by George Younce. Jim Hamill was hired for the baritone slot with Gates remaining at piano. After a year or so, Bill Crowe replaced Hamill and began a long tenure with the Blue Ridge Quartet.

When George Younce left the group to join the Cathedral Quartet in 1964, Burl Strevel returned to sing bass. Shortly after, former Sunshine Boys member Fred Daniel replaced Ed Sprouse at the tenor position.

When Elmo Fagg retired in 1968, he was replaced by Laverne Tripp. The 1970s saw the beginning of several years of unprecedented chart success and group popularity. Don Seabolt replaced Fred Daniel in 1972 and Jim Wood also filled the lead slot later in the decade.

The Blue Ridge Quartet shared a number one song on the Singing News chart with the Oak Ridge Boys from February through November 1971. The song was "I Know." Other number one songs for the group include “That Day Is Almost Here” (December 1971-February 1972) and “After Calvary” (October–November 1972).

Burl Strevel died of a heart attack on November 12, 1981. After that point, Bill Crowe owned and managed the group until they disbanded in January 1985.

Members[edit]

Tenor
  • Leonard Mathis (1946-194?)
  • Clarence Turbyfill (1948-1950)
  • Ed Sprouse (1950-1965)
  • Fred Daniel (1965-1971, 1975-1977)
  • Don Seabolt (1971-1975, switched to lead)

· Rodney Hoots (1978-1979)

  • Bo Travis (????-????)
Lead
  • James Smith (1946)
  • Dan Williams (1946)
  • Elmo Fagg (1946-1968)
  • Laverne Tripp (1969-1975)
  • Don Seabolt (1975-1978)
  • Jim Wood (1978?-1984)
Baritone
  • Wayne Roseberry (1946-1947?)
  • Everett Payne (1947?-1953)
  • Kenny Gates (1953-1959)(also played piano)
  • Jim Hamill (1959)
  • Bill Crowe (1960-1985)
Bass
  • Shaw Eiland (1946)
  • Burl Strevel (1947-1956, 1964-1981)
  • Cecil Gholston (19??)
  • Norman Allman (1956)
  • George Younce (1957-195?, 1959-1964)
  • Jim Stewart (195?-1959)
Piano
  • Mike Cunningham (1946)
  • Jack Taylor (1946-194?)
  • David Reece (194?-1949)
  • Kenny Gates (1949-1967?; 1968?-1978)(also sang baritone)
  • Otis Forrest (1967-1968)
  • Ed "Dee" Reynolds (1983-1984)
  • Roger Golden (????-????)

Discography[edit]

The following is an incomplete discography: 1958-1960 LP-451(Thru This World I sadly Roam),LP-452(Ride That Glory Train),LP-3503(The Streets of Gold)

  • 1961 The Blue Ridge Quartet (Sing Records, LP-453,S-53): Wings of a Dove: Wings of a Dove, I know Who Holds Tomorrow, Child of the King, No Shadows, When the Saints go Marching In, His Hands, Love like the Love of God, Jesus is His Name, Follow Me, The Smile on His Face never Fades, If You Believe, Unto Him.
  • 1962 A Session With ... The Blue Ridge Quartet (Sing Records LP-455): HAPPY IN MY HEART; LORD KEEP YOUR HAND ON ME; IT IS NO SECRET; NOT MY WILL; MANSIONS CAN'T BE BOUGHT IN HEAVEN; LEAD ME GENTLY HOME; WAIT A LITTLE LONGER, PLEASE JESUS; MY ONLY HOPE; I SAW A MAN; SOMEONE TO CARE; VICTORY IN JESUS; MODEL CHURCH.
  • 1963 Passing Thru (Sing Records MFLP 457): Sweet Peace Within; Down the Sawdust Trail; Valley of my Dreams; Now the Day is Over; My Savior Cares for Me; It was Love; He's Living in my Heart; Touch the Hand of the Lord; Lord I've Tried; He is the One I Need Most; Jesus is Everything to Me; Better Hurry Up.
  • 1964 Rose Covered Love (Sing Records, MFLP 458): I Shall Not Pass (by Kenny Gates); Start Looking For Me (by Elmo Fagg); Where Shall I Be?; Rose Covered Lane; When The Book Of Life Is Opened (by Ed Sprouse); His Love is Extended to You; Friends I Know; Sinner's Prayer; The Country Preacher; Do Not Wait Too Late (by Ed Sprouse); I Need Nothing More; By the Way of the Cross (by Elmo Fagg).
  • 1965 The Blue Ridge Quartet (Canaan Records CA-4605/CAS-9605): The Streets Of Gold; Precious Memories; Lord I'm Coming Home; I Dreamed I Searched Heaven For You; Not My Will; Stop And Pray; Lead Me Guide Me; Mansion Can't Be Bought; Suppertime; The Haven Of Rest; How Great Thou Art; Take My Hand.
  • 1966 The Love Of God (Canaan Records CA-4616; CAS-9616): Move Up A Little Closer; When You Travel All Alone; Michael Row The Boat Ashore; How Long Has It Been; Somebody Touched Me; Jesus Prayed Alone; The Love Of God; Gonna Build A Mountain; Room At The Cross; Yesterday Today And Tomorrow; I Wanta Go There; No More Alone.
  • 1966 Who Am I (Canaan Records CA-4622; CAS-9622) His Eye Is On The Sparrow; Just A Closer Walk With Thee; A Soldier's Prayer; I Met God On A Mountain; Here's My Buryin' Ground; Oh Glory Hallelujah; Who Am I; Ten Thousand Angels; Win The Lost At Any Cost; Palms Of Victory; Grace Greater Than All Our Sins; Every Day Will Be Sunday.
  • 1967 Blue Ridge Quartet Sings America's 12 Favorite Hymns (Canaan Records CA-4637; CAS-9637): Beyond The Sunset; Abide With Me; Whispering Hope; God Will Take Care Of You; Ivory Palaces; Jesus Savior Pilot Me; How Great Thou Art; The Old Rugged Cross; What A Friend We Have In Jesus; Amazing Grace; In The Garden; Rock Of Ages.
  • 1967 Satisfied (MARK V RECORDS #70906A): SATISFIED; HIDE THOU ME; WAIT A LITTLE LONGER, PLEASE, JESUS; IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE;

THE OLD COUNTRY CHURCH; SUPPERTIME; THIS HEART OF MINE;JUST A ROSE WILL DO; MANSIONS OVER THE HILLTOP; PEACE IN THE VALLEY; RAINBOW OF LOVE; WASTED YEARS.

  • 1968 Sing Out The Good News (Canaan Records CAS-9651). 1968 Songs We Can't Stop Singing (Canaan Records CA-4645/CAS-9645).
  • 1968 Blue Ridge Quartet Singing the Old Time Gospel (Rimrock RLP 1005): Who Is That?; Life's Railway to Heaven; No, Not One; Angel Band; Near the Cross; Will the Circle Be Unbroken; There'll Be Shouting; There's Power in the Blood; The Life Boat; Over the Silent Sea; How Beautiful Heaven Must Be; Jesus Whispers Peace; I'm in Love with Jesus; Just a Little While; Cleanse Me; Shall We Gather At the River; Lord, Lead Me On; Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.
  • 1969 And That's Enough (Canaan Records CAS9667LP): I've Been Born Again; On My Way To Glory; He Touched Me; I Want To Stroll Over Heaven; I'll Follow In Thy Steps; Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho; Daddy Sang Bass; America; To See My Savior's Face; Jesus Is Coming Soon; I Know A Man Who Can; That's Enough (Daniel, Tripp, Strevel, Crowe, Gates).
  • 1969 Green Green Grass Of Home (Canaan Records CAS-9658).
  • 1970 Sunset Is Coming (QCA 80973): Sunset Is Coming; I'm Bound For That Kingdom; When I Looked Up; Stranger of Galilee; Valley of My Dreams; Unworthy; Where No One Stands Alone; I Feel Like Traveling On; I Won't Have To Cross Jordan Alone; Just A Little Talk With Jesus; Farther Along; The Dearest Friend.
  • 1970 Ride That Glory Train With The Blue Ridge Quartet (Canaan Records CAS-9675): I'd Have No Hope; I've Been Set Free; I've Got A Song In My Heart; I'm The Least In The Kingdom; I Just Can't Make It By Myself; When I Lift Up My Head; That Glory Train; Mama's Hungry Eyes; Let Me Tell You What My Lord Can Do; He Paid The Debt For Me; Child Of The King; For God So Loved.
  • 1971 There's A Great Day Coming (Canaan Records/CAS9698): That Day Is Almost Here; I Just Came To Talk With You, Lord; Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man; A Man Who Is Wise; It Won't Be Long Til Jesus Comes; The Eastern Gate; Old Folks Home; In The Shelter Of His Arms; If I Could Have The World; The Christian Way; Jesus Took Care Of It All; I Took God's Hand (Fred Daniel, LaVerne Tripp, Bill Crowe, Burl Strevel, Kenny Gates, Blain Bucy, Jerry Browning, Butch Peters).
  • 1972 On The Move (Canaan Records CAS-9713): An Evening Prayer; There's Just No Way; Holding to the Hand of God; Gone; There is a Mansion; The Lighthouse; After Calvery; This Man Called Jesus; Right By My Side; What A Man; Redemption Draweth Nigh; I'm On My Way.
  • 1973 The Blue Ridge Quartet Puts It Together (Canaan Records CAS-9729):
  • 1975, QCA Records LP 327, The Best of the Blue Ridge: I Know, After Calvary, It's Worth It All, When We Sing Around The Throne, The Lighthouse, Somebody Touched Me. You Can't Be A Beacon, Rise And Shine, Why Me Lord?, Touring That City, Because He Lives. Album produced with a blue velvet jacket-front with gold print.
  • 1977 Blue Ridge Now (QCA Records QCA358): Pearly Gates Swing On Open; That's Why I'll Praise Him; I'll Be Going Home; The Triumph Song; Already Mine; I'm Gonna Magnify His Name; A Kid's Song; Praise God I'm Rich; He Is Really Alive; The Me I Want To Be.
  • ???? Together (with The Sheltons) (QCA Records 106317B): He'll Pilot Me; Power In The Blood; I Want To Be Ready To Meet Him; Love Lifted Me; Standing On The Promises; I Feel Like Traveling On; Nothing But The Blood; No Not One; I Am Bound For The Promised Land; Showers Of Blessing; It's Different Now; Keep Walking.
  • ???? Somethin' Within: Everybody Will Be Happy; I'll Meet You In The Morning; Somethin' Within; My Last Move; Do Lord; Until Then; Right Now I'm So Happy; The Old Gospel Ship; Home Sweet Home; I Must Tell Jesus; Empty Mansions; It's Different Now.
  • ???? A Thing Called Love: A Thing Called Love; The Smile On His Face Never Fades; I'll Have A New Life; Teach Your Children; Get Together; The Games People Play; One More Valley; Time Has Made A Change In Me; That City On The Hill; Medley Of Laverne Tripp's Songs.
  • 1980 Live at the Wheeling
  • Date unknown Blue Ridge Quartet Autograph Album (Power Pak Gospel Series PG 722): JUBILEE'S COMING; MY LAST MOVE; BITS OF HITS; WASTED YEARS; SINNER COME HOME; STAND BY ME; I'VE HAD A FEELING; WAYFARING STRANGER; IN HIS HAND; NO DISAPPOINTMENTS (IN HEAVEN).

The Blue Ridge Quartet also cut several 45 RPM records and at least two 78 RPMs with Gotham of Philadelphia, PA.

  • Date unknown (Gotham G-7440A&B): When They Call My Name (Lister); It's a Free Way to Heaven (Pruitt-Fagg-Yates).
  • Date unknown (Gotham G 7-430A&B): Heavenly Love; In My Father's House.
  • Date unknown (Gotham 406): Hold on Brother; Peace in the Valley.
  • Date unknown (Gotham G-420): Life Will Be Sweeter Someday; Heaven In A Dream.

There were also several 45s with Sing, one of which had two songs on each side!

  • Date unknown (Sing EP-904): Wings of a Dove; When the Saints Go Marching In; Jesus is His Name; Love Like the Love of God.
  • Date unknown (Sing 34001-1): Crossing the Bar (Hubert Protheroe); 2nd side not known.
  • Date unknown (Sing 34003): Invisible Hands;I Turned To Jesus.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2013.