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The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi

The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi are among the best singing groups in popular music history. Their smashing harmonies as well as the qualified prospects of Archie Brownlee not merely influenced several gospel ensembles, but such secular performers as Ray Charles. Their roots date back again to the ’30s, when Archie Brownlee (Brownley in a few accounts), Joseph Ford, Lawrence Abrams, and Lloyd Woodard shaped a quartet. These were students in the Piney Woods College near Jackson, Mississippi. They started as The Natural cotton Blossom Performers, and do both religious and secular materials. The quartet sang on the institution grounds in 1936, after that were documented in 1937 by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress. After graduation, they made a decision to become professional performers and for a while performed under dual identities; these were the Natural cotton Blossom Performers for popular music as well as the Jackson Harmoneers for gospel. They truly became a quintet when Melvin Henderson became a member of. When Percell Perkins changed Henderson within the mid-’40s, they truly became The Five Blind Children. Oddly, Perkins, who doubled as their supervisor, had not been blind. They produced their saving debut for Excelsior in 1946, after conference label owner Leon Rene in Cleveland. They documented for Coleman in 1948, exactly the same calendar year Joseph Ford was changed by J.T. Clinkscales. However when they became a member of Don Robey’s Peacock label in 1950, the Five Blind Children became superstars. The one “Our Dad” was a high Ten R&B strike, plus they became a prolific ensemble, documenting 27 singles and five albums for Peacock with the ’60s. Brownlee passed away in New Orleans in 1960. His riveting, chilling screams and yells had been among gospel’s most amazing. Perkins still left the group immediately after learning to be a minister. The set of substitutes included Revs. Sammy Lewis and George Warren, in addition to Small Powell. Roscoe Robinson got over for Brownlee, and was aided by second business lead Willmer Broadnax, who was simply also a masterful vocalist. The Five Blind Young boys continued with the ’70s and ’80s and in to the ’90s, though Woodard passed away in the middle-’70s, and Lawrence Abrams in 1982.

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