Robert Anderson (singer)
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|Birth name||Robert Anderson|
March 21, 1919|
|Died||June 15, 1995
Hazel Crest, Illinois
|Years active||1933 – 1995|
|Associated acts||The Roberta Martin Singers
The Knowles and Anderson Singers
The Robert Anderson Singers
Robert Anderson was born in Anguilla, Mississippi, and moved to Chicago with his family as a child. During his childhood, Anderson learned piano by ear and assisted Roberta Martin with coaching the Sunday school choir at the Metropolitan Community Church. In 1933, Anderson became one of the original Roberta Martin Singers. Because he didn't like their busy travel schedule, Anderson initially left the group in 1939.
Robert Anderson began his solo career in 1939 with R.L. Knowles. They formed the Knowles and Anderson Singers and traveled together until 1941, when Anderson rejoined the Roberta Martin Singers and stayed with them until 1943. Anderson possessed a baritone voice coupled with a style often compared to that of Bing Crosby or Billy Eckstine. Unlike many of his Chicago gospel contemporaries, Anderson was not known for stage antics, shouting, or other movements while singing. Anderson's style contained very little physical movement, with much attention paid to phrasing, tone, and dynamic style. In 1942, he formed Good Shepherd Music House, which he based in Gary, Indiana. Good Shepherd Music House published his compositions, such as "Prayer Changes Things", "Why Should I Worry", and "Oh Lord, Is It I?" In 1943, he performed "Something Within" at the National Baptist Convention. After that performance, his career began to take off. In 1947, Anderson formed a group that would back him and share lead vocals. This group was known as his Gospel Caravan, which would later be renamed The Caravans in 1951. Anderson and The Caravans' first recordings were made in August 1949 and released in September 1949 on the Miracle Records label. In 1951, Anderson and The Caravans joined the United Records label. During an April 18, 1952 recording session, Anderson and The Caravans split ways. After the breakup, Anderson continued to record with a new group of singers called The Robert Anderson Singers. In 1954, Anderson and the Anderson singers joined Apollo Records. In 1955, Anderson began recording as a solo artist, recording and performing sporadically through the mid-1990s for labels such as Vee Jay Records and Savoy Records. Anderson served as choir director at the Hertzell United Methodist Church until his death in 1995.
Robert Anderson died in Hazel Crest, Illinois on June 15, 1995. Anderson was 76 years old.
- Horace Clarence Boyer, How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel Elliot & Clark Publishing (1995), ISBN 1-880216-19-1
- Bil Carpenter, Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia Backbeat Books (2005), ISBN 978-0-87930-841-4
- Cedric J. Hayes, Robert Laughton The Gospel Discography: 1943-1970 Eyeball Productions, Inc (2007) ISBN 0-9686445-8-9