SPOTLIGHT ON THE FOUR KNIGHTS -
PART ONE (THE 1940's)
"Funny How You Get Along Without Me"/
"He'll Understand And Say Well Done"/
"Just In Case You Change Your Mind"/
"Wrapped Up In A Dream"/
Above: The Four Knights (Top Left) Gene Alford, (bottom L-R) John Wallace, Oscar Broadway, and Clarence Dixon.
Above: Sheet music cover page for "Walkin' With My Shadow". The Four Knights are (L-R) Clarence Dixon, John Wallace (with guitar), Oscar Broadway, and Gene Alford.
Above: The Four Knights clippings from (Left) The Eagle (Washington, DC) dated 4/3/46 and (Right) Indianapolis Recorder dated 1/18/47.
Above: The Four Knights' CORAL RECORDS clipping from The Cash Box dated 4/2/49.
ARTICLES AND BLURBS....
THE BEE (Cleveland), April 28, 1945: COLORED BUGLERS TO CELEBRATE 6TH ANNIVERSARY IN MAY
....An appropriate program is being planned with music by the Southland Jubilee Singers, Columbia network entertainers who are heard each week on the national chain....
THE BEE (Cleveland), November 3, 1945:
THE FOUR KNIGHTS, versatile singing group, formerly known as Southland Jubilee Singers, have been engaged by Bill (Bojangles) Robinson to appear with him in his forthcoming concert tour.
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, February 2, 1946: THE FOUR KNIGHTS GET COMMERCIAL
The Four Knights (Southland Singers), versatile spiritual and popular vocal stylists, obscure and unknown just a few short months ago continued their meteoric ascent to fame and fortune, when they were signed to appear on a coast-to-coast radio commercial program. Commencing February 4th, the singing group will be heard daily 9 a.m. EST over the entire Columbia network, as a feature of the Arthur Godfrey show. The six-week contract terminates March 15th, allowing the young songstars to appear as a special attraction of the touring variety Concert-show which will star Miss Etta Moten and feature Pat Flowers, brilliant piano genius protege of the late "Fats" Waller. The triple-headline Concert is the first of the 1946 series of eight monthly variety shows to be produced by Cultural Concerts Society....for presentation in public and college auditoriums under church and college auspices.
THE EAGLE (Washington, DC), March 30, 1946: NOTED STARS OF STAGE, RADIO IN KEMP HI CONCERT
....The Four Knights, radio's famous Southland Jubilee Singers, will be heard in an exciting program of rhythmic spirituals, jubilee songs, and popular hits. Comprising of four voices and a guitar, the singing group have been recent features of the Arthur Godfrey program, heard daily over the entire CBS coast-to-coast radio network....
EXTRA AUDIO #1 (Windows Media Player):
ABOVE: FOUR VERSIONS OF THE SAME SONG: Hub #3005-B released in 1946; Harlem #1012 A released in 1947; Sacred #SAC 110-A released in 1948; and Decca Faith Series #14524, a re-issue, released in 1950 (the first release, on Decca #48018 A, was in January 1947).
TOP RIGHT: The Sunset Jubilee Singers, date of photo unknown. The label indicates a "male quartet". The credited composer shown on the label is Thomas Williams, the baritone in the group.
MIDDLE RIGHT: This is the likely line-up for The Jubalaires on their Harlem record, except for the guitarist. (L-R) Caleb N. Ginyard Jr., Ted Brooks, George McFadden, John Jennings and, in front with the guitar, Bill Johnson (but there is no guitar on this record). On this label, the credited composer is Thomas P. Newson, who also co-wrote "Before This Time Another Year" with Biggie McFadden, the Jubalaires first record on Decca in 1944.
(FROM TODD BAPTISTA: Iíve been listening to the Harlem disc which is the most obscure of their releases to me. "Gabriel Sound Your Trumpet" [the flip-side] - I definitely hear John Jenningsí tenor flourishes and a little trick in Ted Brooksí vocal styling that appears. In Hayes and Laughtonís book, they date the record as having been recorded in Chicago in January of 1947. That would be a month before the Queen/King recordings. There is piano and no guitar so no William Johnson on the Harlem release. Iíd like to be able to say itís Jennings on "Well Done" but I canít say for sure. I canít imagine anyone else in the group with his range as tenor. Later in the record - Is it a duet with Brooks? Most likely. I would say Theodore Brooks, John Jennings, J. Caleb Ginyard and George McFadden are the four voices.)
(LISTEN: "Gabriel Sound Your Trumpet" - The Jubalaires - Harlem 1012 B - 1947.)
BOTTOM MIDDLE: (Prof.) James E. Hines And His Good Will Singers, date of photo unknown.
1. "He'll Understand" - The Sunset Jubilee Singers - Hub 3005-B - 1946.
2. "Well Done! Well Done!" - The Jubalaires - Harlem 1012 A - 1947.
3. "Well Done" - (Prof.) James E. Hines And His Good Will Singers - Sacred 110-A - 1948.
4. "He'll Understand And Say Well Done" - The Four Knights - Decca 14524 - 1950.
ALL FOUR VERSIONS OF THIS SONG played in sequence.
EXTRA AUDIO #2 (Windows Media Player):
AT LEFT: Tru-Blue 201-A label. The record was released in November 1948.
Some have claimed that The Southland Singers on this record are actually The Four Knights (who were also known as The Southland Jubilee Singers). If anyone can either confirm or deny that claim, please let me know. In the meantime, come to your own conclusions. In any case, it is an excellent record on both sides and well worth giving a listen.
The Billboard Review (12/4/48):SOUTHLAND SINGERS TRU-BLUE 201....
I Have Heard (67) Sweet tenoring and deep bass are set against a mellow group and guitar.
I'm Gonna Walk Right In (And Make Myself At Home) (71) Versatile group does a virtuosic job on a bright rhythmic spiritual.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 60-69 was considered "satisfactory" and 70-79 "good".)
1. "I Have Heard" - The Southland Singers - Tru-Blue 201-A - 1948.
2. "I'm Gonna Walk Right In (And Make Myself At Home)" - The Southland Singers - Tru-Blue 201-B - 1948.
BOTH SIDES played in sequence.
EXTRA AUDIO #3 (Windows Media Player):
Above: Standing (L-R) Pat McGeehan, The Four Knights (Oscar Broadway, Clarence Dixon, Gene Alford, John Wallace), the famous composer Dave Rose,
Seated (L-R) Verna Felton ("Grandma"), Rod O'Conner, Lurene Tuttle ("Mother"), and (Front and Center) Red Skelton.
THE FOUR KNIGHTS SING ON
THE RED SKELTON SHOW
The Four Knights were featured singers on the Red Skelton Radio Show from 1948 to 1950.
Visible in the photo at left are Oscar Broadway, Red Skelton, and John Wallace (with guitar).
LISTEN TO SONGS EXTRACTED FROM THE RED SKELTON SHOW:
ALL EIGHT SELECTIONS played in sequence.
A Tone Productions CD containing thirty-eight songs by The Four Knights on the Red Skelton Radio Show is now available from this website.
EXTRA AUDIO #4 (Windows Media Player):
THE FOUR KNIGHTS SING ON
LANG-WORTH Radio Transcription Discs
The Four Knights recorded many songs for Lang-Worth Feature Programs from 1945 to 1950.
LISTEN TO SELECTIONS OF THEIR LANG-WORTH SONGS:
ALL EIGHT SELECTIONS played in sequence.
A Tone Productions CD containing thirty-one songs by The Four Knights on Lang-Worth is available from this website.
EXTRA AUDIO #5 (Windows Media Player):
AT FAR LEFT: Decca 24139 A label. The record was recorded on December 2, 1946 and released in August 1947.
AT IMMEDIATE LEFT: Andy Kirk, leader of the orchestra.
1. "I'm Falling For You" - The Four Knights (Andy Kirk Orchestra) - Decca 24139 A - 1947.
2. "So Soon" - The Four Knights (Andy Kirk Orchestra) - Decca 24139 B - 1947.
BOTH SIDES played in sequence.
Above Left: A 1945 photo of Billy Kyle, pianist and band leader.
Above Middle: Label image of Decca 48014 recorded on August 27, 1946 and released in November 1946.
Above Right: Label image of Decca 48018 recorded on December 6, 1946 and released in January 1947.
LISTEN to The Jimmy Valentine Quartet's version of "Walkin' With My Shadow" using Windows Media Player.
"Walkin' With My Shadow" - The Jimmy Valentine Quartet - Varsity 107 - 1948.
Above Left: Label image of Decca 48026 recorded on March 8, 1946 and released in May 1947. This is a re-issue, the original is on Decca 11003 released in April 1946.
Above Right: Label image of Coral 60046 recorded on March 7, 1949 and released in April 1949. It was re-issued in October 1950. Coral was a subsidiary of Decca Records.
In the 1940's, from 1946 to 1949, The Four Knights recorded six records for Decca/Coral.
LISTEN to The Brown Dots' version of "Just In Case You Change Your Mind" using Windows Media Player.
"Just In Case You Change Your Mind" - Deek Watson And His Brown Dots - Manor 1015 A - 1945.
LISTEN to Do Ray And Me's version of "Wrapped Up In A Dream" using Windows Media Player.
"Wrapped Up In A Dream" - Do Ray And Me - Commodore 7505 A - 1947.
LISTEN to The Deep River Boys' version of "Wrapped Up In A Dream" using Windows Media Player.
"Wrapped Up In A Dream" - The Deep River Boys - RCA VICTOR 22-0003 - 1949.
NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.
Listen to this week's selections featuring The Four Knights on Decca/Coral from 1946/1949 using Windows Media Player:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. Funny How You Get Along Without Me
2. Walkin' With My Shadow
3. He'll Understand And Say Well Done
4. Lead Me To That Rock
5. Just In Case You Change Your Mind
6. Don't Be Ashamed To Say I Love You
7. Wrapped Up In A Dream
8. Don't Cry, Cry Baby
ALL EIGHT ABOVE SIDES played in sequence
[To download audio files, right-click on song title
link and then click "Save link (target) as..."]
At Right: Southland Jubilee Singers (Four Knights)
Clipping From The Bee (Cleveland) 2/17/45
Click HERE for SPOTLIGHT ON THE FOUR KNIGHTS - PART TWO.
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