Jesus on the Mainline

  1. Jesus on The Mainline Peerless 4 5:08


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Another Alan Lomax recording from 1960. Raw, simple harmonies, with that wonderful downhome “quartet” sound. No over production here; this is good old unadulterated gospel at its best.

Peerless Four
                           Peerless Four

Quartet singing dates back to before the turn of the century, and some of the earliest recorded music features quartets. Early quartet music was most often performed “a capella”.

As quartet singing developed and grew in popularity in the late 1940’s-50’s, groups began adding light instrumentation, often a single guitar. The emphasis however, was always on the voices. The earlier “Jubilee” style, typified by The Golden Gate Quartet, usually featured ensemble harmony singing or a single lead singer over a group backing, often in a call and response pattern. In the late 40’s and early 50’s a “harder” type of quartet style emerged, utilizing multiple lead singers within a song and with a generally more emotionally charged background.

The term quartet, as used here, does not always strictly refer to a group of four. While many quartets were literal quartets, the term became used to describe the style of small group singing, rather than the actual number of singers.

Found this interesting snippet on the web too: “My father Charles Russell sang with the peerless 4 for over 40 years and to me the group is a part of Virginia’s musical legacy and history they represent a time when things were simpler and when good gospel music was around for all to hear. when I look online it’s hard to find anything from the group other than four tracks on YouTube and I’m trying to help preserve the musical integrity and the legacy of the peerless 4 because the way they carry themselves the way they represented the music in their art is a lost art in today’s showmanship,

Performers & Instruments :
Unidentified [guitar (electric), percussion, vocal]
Group Name : Peerless Four
Location : Norfolk (Norfolk City County), Virginia (United States)
Date : 5/3/1960

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