Swanee Quintet – So Glad Audio CD Release Date: February 1, 1998
Blessed with great vocal cords, tenacity, perserverance and a special anointing of God, The Legendary Swanee Quintet has traveled around the world, lifting up the name of Jesus Christ through song. Known for their old-fashioned traditional songs, The Swanee Quintet appeared on the gospel scene in 1940. Charlie Barnwell (Founder), Rufus Washington, Willie Bush, James “Big Red” Anderson, William Crawford, Floyd Fouch, Oscar Bing, Ruben Willingham, and Purcell Dunbar started singing together in Georgia and South Carolina in 1939. Other long time members have included: Johnny Jones, Percy Griffin, Augustus Mims, Johnnie Mims, Clarence Murray and Eddie Bynes. In 1956, the Quintet became the first black gospel group to have its own touring bus. One of their first major trips outside of Augusta was to Mount Olive Baptist Church onn Long Island, New York. It was their first guaranteed concert fee, which was $150.00. Their first broadcasts were on Augusta radio station WTNT. They later moved to WGAC Radio in Augusta, Ga. For over six decades, the Quintet has performed in almost every state including such prestigious places as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Harlem’s Apollo Theater, and The House of Blues. They have shared the stage with Gospel Luminaries such as Shirley Ceasar, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Canton Spirituals and The Williams Brothers. National figures realize the impact of the Quintet musical legacy. Bill Cosby, while hosting a TV special reopening the remodeled Apollo Theater said, “One of his favorite memories was watching the Swanee Quintet excite Apollo audiences with their special brand of gospel music.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson paid homage to the Quintet on a recent trip to Augusta, Georgia. The Quintet shared the stage with Lou Rawls on the televised cable special “The Living Legends of Gospel.”
One smart thing the group did was to be nice to a boy who shined shoes in front of WGAC Radio station, where the Quintet had their afternoon radio program. That boy was the future Godfather of Soul James Brown, and years later he hired the Quintet to open his shows. They touched Europe and the United States performing before thousands of people in sold-out auditoriums. One of the mega hits conceived by their Union was “Try Me Father.” In the year of 2002, James “Big Red” Anderson was inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame. Songs like, “How Much Do I Owe Him, What About Me, Strong Determination, Ups and Downs, and Doctor Jesus” are mega hits by the Quintet. Selections such as “Dying Bed, Eternal Life, Just One Rose, and So Glad,” will uplift your spirits and encourage your souls.
In 2003, J. R. Riles with the help of fellow Augustans recognized the historical significance of the hometown singers, by honoring the Quintet with their own Boulevard, “Swanee Quintet Boulevard.” The dedication was held on May 30, 2003. Take a spirit-filled journey with the Swanee Quintet.
1. So Glad Jesus Died For Me
2. What Ever It Takes
3. Dr. Jesus
4. God Is Able
5. My Sweet Jesus Lives
6. Show Me What You Want Me To Do
7. Meeting Tonight
8. Jesus Is A Rock
9. He’s There
10. It Shall Be Done
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