BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON, THERE WE SAT DOWN, WE WEPT, WHEN WE REMEMBERED ZION. WE HANGED OUR HARPS UPON THE WILLOWS IN THE MIDST THEREOF. FOR THERE THEY THAT CARRIED US AWAY CAPTIVE REQUIRED OF US A SONG; AND THAT THEY WASTED US REQUIRED OF US MIRTH, SAYING, SING US ONE OF THE SONGS OF ZION. HOW SHALL WE SING THE LORD'S SONG IN A STRANGE LAND?
ENTER YE IN AT THE STRAIT GATE: FOR WIDE IS THE GATE, AND BROAD IS THE WAY, THAT LEADETH TO DESTRUCTION, AND MANY THERE BE WHICH GO IN THEREAT: BECAUSE STRAIT IS THE GATE, AND NARROW IS THE WAY, WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE, AND FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.
I call myself a songwriter/composer and music publisher. My music reflects my favorite book – the Bible. I love all music but gospel music is my favorite. I grew up listening to legendary gospel quartets such as the Blind Boys, Spirit of Memphis, Harmonizing Four, The Swan Silvertones, Dixie Hummingbirds Highway Q.C.s The Davis Sisters, Caravans, Dorothy Loves Coates, Reverend Julius Cheeks and The Jubes and Reba Harris, that man had such a beautiful voice. Great singer. I could go on and on about all of the legendary singers that I loved to listen to, Sam Cooke and so many more. They were masters of their craft.
All of these were wonderful artists. Most people that know me would probably say that the QC’s were my favorite quartet because I was always around them. Whenever the Q.C.s came to perform in St. Louis, they would call me and we would hang out together but I would have to say that my admiration of the individual vocal styles and harmonic patterns of the Swans was equal to that of the Q.C.s. Spencer Taylor, lead singer for the Highway Q.C.s, once told me that the first time he saw the Swans was at New York’s legendary Apollo Theater and at that time there were only four members of the Swans but he didn't know that it was possible for four people to hold that kind of harmony. He also told me he learned a lot from Reverend Claude Jeter and I think they had great respect and admiration for each other. I also recall Rev. Jeter saying that he would not want to be in a house with a finer lead singer than Taylor. Taylor, talking about Jeter told me he never knew anyone with more singing sense than Claude Jeter. In my opinion, The original Salem Travelers with Arthur Davis,Robert Dixon,and Chester was one of the finest groups to emerge in the 60's. They knew how to tell a Bible story and the harmony was unbelievable I liked them a lot.
I was saddened to hear of Rev. Jeter's passing in January of this year (2009). I talked with him often in the mid 90s and was given his permission to record some of our conversations, which possibly will be broadcast on this station in the future. One of the most memorable things he told me was that he worked in a coal mine and he promised God that if he would deliver him out of those mines, he would serve him and served him he did through all of the beautiful music Reverend Claude Jeter blessed us with. He left his mortal body and stepped into immortality in 2009. I miss the great conversations we had, many about life on the road with the Swans. I also had many conversations with Spencer Taylor; and what I recall most about both Reverend Jeter and Taylor were their personable qualities and willingness to freely share their time. So this radio station is a labor of love meant to spread the word of God through the music of these great souls, many gone on and some of them are still living. I truly hope that it will make someone feel better, continue to believe, and always remember that “There Is A God Somewhere.” The Lord is truly a good God and his mercy endures forever.
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A GOSPEL STORYTELLER