Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
(Week of 2/23/02 - 3/1/02)


SPOTLIGHT ON GOSPEL GROUPS PART TWO!

"Do You Believe"
by The Swanee River Boys
on King 1254
released in 1953

Photo Of The Swanee River Boys
[The above photo provided by Mike Fleming]

Above: Photo of The Swanee River Boys, (clockwise from the left) George Hughes, Merle Abner, Billy Carrier and Buford Abner. Photo was possibly taken in Chicago circa 1946-48.

The following biography is an excerpt from the book "PICKIN' ON PEACHTREE, A HISTORY OF COUNTRY MUSIC IN ATLANTA" by Wayne W. Daniel. It was Published in 1990 by The University of Illinois Press:

[The "WSB Barn Dance" cast included a quartet throughout most of its tenure on radio. First came the Swanee River Boys, who made their "Barn Dance" debut on March 22, 1941. When the group went to Atlanta it consisted of Buford Abner, lead singer; Billy Carrier, baritone singer and guitarist; Merle Abner, bass singer; and George Hughes, tenor.

Born on June 16, 1913, near Arthur, Kentucky, Billy Carrier was a brother to Cotton Carrier, who later joined the "Barn Dance" staff as master of ceremonies. Prior to embarking on a career as a singer, Billy had studied music at the James D. Vaughan School of Music in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, and taught singing schools in Kentucky.

The Abner brothers, Buford and Merle, were born (on November 10, 1917, and April 25, 1913, respectively) and reared near Wedowee, Alabama. They met Billy Carrier through their uncle, Stacy Abner, who was a graduate of the Vaughan school. In 1938, Billy Carrier and Stacy Abner formed a quartet called the Vaughan Four which soon included Buford and Merle. They performed on WNOX in Knoxville, Tennessee, and made personal appearances in the area. In 1940, they changed their name to the Swanee River Boys, moved to radio station WDOD in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and added George Hughes (born March 1, 1911, in Texarkana, Arkansas), who replaced Stacy Abner. It was while they were at WDOD that the Swanee River Boys attracted the attention of John Lair, who persuaded them to cast their lot with WSB's hillbilly troupe. In addition to appearing on the "Barn Dance" and the "Georgia Jubilee", the Swanee River Boys became the featured artists on the "Little Country Church House,"...

The Swanee River Boys were forced to disband in late 1942 when Merle and Buford entered military service, During part of the Abner's absence they were replaced by Lee Roy Abernathy and Bill Lyles. The original members were reunited at WSB in 1946. Two years later they left WSB for a job at WLW in Cincinnati. During their career the Swanee River Boys also worked at WBT in Charlotte, performed on the NBC radio network, and recorded for the King, Skylite, and Zondervan labels. Following their retirement from show business, the Swanee River Boys settled in various parts of the country: Billy Carrier in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna; Buford Abner in Indianapolis, Indiana; Merle Abner in Wedowee, Alabama; and George Hughes in Texarkana, Arkansas.]

Note: Buford recently moved back to Alabama from Indiana where he had lived for many years.


King Label-The Swanee River Boys-1953
Above: Released 1953. Buford Abner composed all the songs included in this "Record Of The Week".
King Label-The Swanee River Boys-1953 King Label-The Swanee River Boys-1954

Listen to this week's selections:

A) Click on an option below to listen to Streaming RealAudio.

"Do You Believe" - The Swanee River Boys - King 1254 - 1953
"I Have A Desire" - The Swanee River Boys - King 1258 - 1953
"Was He Quiet Or Did He Cry" - The Swanee River Boys - King 1258 - 1953
"He Lifted Me From Sin" - The Swanee River Boys - King 1326 - 1954
"ALL FOUR SONGS" played in sequence

B) Click on an option below to listen to Downloading RealAudio.

"Do You Believe" - The Swanee River Boys - King 1254 - 1953 (file size=320KB)
"I Have A Desire" - The Swanee River Boys - King 1258 - 1953 (file size=390KB)
"Was He Quiet Or Did He Cry" - The Swanee River Boys - King 1258 - 1953 (file size=422KB)
"He Lifted Me From Sin" - The Swanee River Boys - King 1326 - 1954 (file size=314KB)

TO HEAR MORE SWANEE RIVER BOYS RECORDS (USING MP3 AUDIO), PLEASE CLICK HERE. (NOTE: If using Netscape browser and the MP3 files won't download, try using Internet Explorer!)


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