This gospel group, originally fronted by baritone James Davis, was formed in 1928 in Greenville, South Carolina, USA. In the 30s and 40s they sang hymns, spirituals and jubilees with little accompaniment except for their precise and warm harmonies. Baritone Ira Tucker (17 May 1925, Spartanburg, North Carolina, USA, d. 26 June 2008) joined the line-up in 1938, and was later established as the flamboyant showman of the group, introducing a dramatic live act that had a lasting influence on many soul singers. Their 1939-49 recordings for labels including Apollo and Gotham are best heard on the In The Storm Too Long compilation, which captures the intricate vocal interplay of Tucker and Paul Owens. From 1952 onwards, the Dixie Hummingbirds recorded a series of compelling albums for Don Robeys Peacock Records, the compassion and emotive timbre of which matched the power of Mahalia Jackson and Rev. James Cleveland, with outstanding teamwork rather than individual...
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