Groupe Country US formé en 1943 et comprenant Grandpa Jones, Merle Travis, Alton Delmore et Rabon Delmore. Autres membres : Red Foley, Clyde Moody, Red Turner, Zeke Turner et Dolly Good, Rome Johnson, Roy Langham, Wayne Raney et Lonnie Glosson.

Based on their lineup alone, Brown's Ferry Four was a country supergroup from the get-go, with an original membership consisting of Grandpa Jones, the Delmore Brothers, and Merle Travis Though the group only existed for ten years, and almost never made any personal appearances or gave any concerts, they managed to become one of the most beloved country gospel groups through their radio broadcasts and the nearly four dozen sides they recorded for King Records between 1946 and 1952. What makes them even more extraordinary for listeners in the 21st century — even veteran country music hands — is that their main virtue was their singing; the Delmores, of course, were well known for their harmonies, but neither Grandpa Jones nor Merle Travis was primarily known for his singing, except in the context of the Brown's Ferry Four. Complicating any account of their history, however, is the fact that thanks to the way they were put together legally, there were several versions of Brown's Ferry Four, and at least two could exist simultaneously; as they were almost exclusively a broadcasting and recording group, few listeners could keep track of the personnel changes.The group's origins go back to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1943, when a group called the Drifting Pioneers departed radio station WLW, leaving the station manager with a half-hour hole in his schedule that needed filling. Guitarist/singer Alton Delmore put together a quartet consisting of his guitarist/singer brother Rabon Delmore, banjo man/singer Grandpa Jones, and guitar virtuoso Merle Travis, all of whom had been playing in separate groups at the time. After a few dry runs and an agreement on some kind of repertory, they went on the air the next day, choosing the name from one of the Delmore Brothers' old songs at the suggestion of Merle Travis. The group's repertory consisted almost exclusively of gospel music, but within that context they were far more expansive than most of the white singing groups in that field at the time — with Alton and Rabon's guidance, they learned the basics of white gospel singing, especially shaped-note singing, but in order to add some range and diversity to their programs (which had to fill 30 minutes of airtime), they decided to do black gospel numbers (what were then called Negro spirituals) as well. This separated them from most of the competition and led to an unexpected area of musical activity for the group, wholly by accident.It was while acquiring black gospel records at a record store in Cincinnati that they made one of the most important contacts in their history, with the shop's owner, Syd Nathan. Over the ensuing three years, Brown's Ferry Four became one of the top white country gospel groups in the country, all through their radio broadcasts out of Cincinnati. Their reputation grew despite three of the four members' departures for military service within six months of their first performance — Travis joined the United States Marine Corps, Alton Delmore went into the United States Navy, and Jones joined the United States Army, but the quartet went on. The radio station owned the name and kept the Brown's Ferry Four alive by recruiting other members for the duration of the war, whose broadcasts were more than good enough to maintain their audience. And as a result, the Brown's Ferry Four remained popular enough from 1943 through 1945 to hold the interest of Syd Nathan, who had founded King Records as the war was coming to its end. The reunion of the original lineup actually took place on an ad hoc basis — Grandpa Jones and the Delmores were all signed to King and had been flown out to California for recording sessions in the final week of March of 1946, and Travis was one of the session players for Jones' sides. A light bulb went off in Nathan's head as he realized he had the original Brown's Ferry Four there together, and a session was scheduled for March 25, 1946. The two sides, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" b/w "Just a Little Talk with Jesus," with Alton Delmore singing lead while Rabon Delmore handled the tenor vocals, Jones sang baritone, and Travis took the bass vocal part. Both sides were extraordinary in their deceptively light textures, juxtaposed with the quiet musical and vocal virtuosity of the quartet, and the 78 rpm release was an instant hit.In September of 1946, sensing a potential gold mine in their records, Nathan had the Brown's Ferry Four record a dozen sides at their next session, in October of that year. The results were extraordinary, a dozen sides, all superb, and some of the most affecting white gospel music ever recorded. These included recordings of classic numbers such as "Everybody Will Be Happy (Over There)," several originals by Alton Delmore, and one number credited to (but not actually written by) Grandpa Jones. These yielded a bumper-crop of popular country gospel singles, and portended continued success for the quartet. By the time they'd regrouped for their next session in the fall of 1947, however, a complication ensued over Merle Travis — Nathan was working out of Chicago by then, but the guitarist/singer was living in California and not all that willing to leave for the sessions; further complicating matters, he was signed to Capitol Records under exclusive contract. Luckily, Red Foley, who was present at the sessions to play upright bass, volunteered to sing Travis' bass part, and 13 songs were recorded with this modified lineup. A broadcast version of the Brown's Ferry Four continued to appear regularly on WLW, but the recording group's next sessions didn't take place until 1951, owing to the 1948 recording ban ordered by the American Federation of Musicians, coupled with the various obligations of the individual members — when they did re-form in 1951, it was with Red Turner, part of the broadcast version of the group, filling the bass spot. By 1952, the core of the group — Jones and the Delmores — were working intermittently with an undesignated fourth man, and in the summer of that year, it was the Delmores with Clyde Moody and an unnamed fourth performer. The group's final session took place in the final week of August of 1952, and featured the Delmores, Jones, and Red Turner. The group was popular enough that they might have lasted well into the '50s, but Rabon Delmore's death from cancer late in 1952 ended the existence of the quartet. Alton Delmore tried reviving the name in the mid-'50s but the recordings never sold and the moment had passed — Grandpa Jones was slightly more successful at reviving the group's repertory for his mid-'60s Monument Records album Grandpa Jones Remembers the Brown's Ferry Four, and he subsequently honored the group's style when he helped form the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet, an outgrowth of the television show Hee Haw, in the following decade. In 1997, King Records released a double-CD, 44-song set entitled Rockin' on the Waves, covering the group's complete sides from 1946 through 1952.

Style musical : Gospel, Bluegrass

WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN (1946)

I'LL FLY AWAY (1949)

HEAVEN ETERNAL FOR ME (1952)

Années en activité :

1910 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 2000

DISCOGRAPHY

78 t. & EP

1946 78 t. KING 530 (US) . Will The Circle Be Unbroken / Just A Little Talk With Jesus
1947 78 t. KING 577 (US) . Rockin' On Waves / If We Never Meet Again
1947 78 t. KING 593 (US) . Old Camp Meeting / There's A Light Guiding Me
1947 78 t. KING 631 (US) . Everybody Will Be Happy / The Lord Is Watching
1948 78 t. KING 662 (US) . Salvation Has Been Brought Down / When The Good Lord Cares
1948 78 t. KING 700 (US) . Keep On The Firing Line / Rock Of Ages
1949 78 t. KING 750 (US) . Hallelujah Morning / When He Blessed My Soul
1949 SP KING 45-750 (US) . Hallelujah Morning / When He Blessed My Soul
1949 78 t. KING 760 (US) . I've Got Old Time Religion / His Boundless Love
1949 SP KING 45-760 (US) . I've Got Old Time Religion / His Boundless Love
1949 78 t. KING 785 (US) . I'll Fly Away / I've Made A Covenant
1949 SP KING 45-785 (US) . I'll Fly Away / I've Made A Covenant
1949 78 t. KING 799 (US) . After The Sunrise / Over In Glory Land
1949 SP KING 45-799 (US) . After The Sunrise / Over In Glory Land
01/1950 78 t. KING 832 (US) . On The Jericho Road / I'm Naturalized For Heaven
01/1950 SP KING 45-832 (US) . On The Jericho Road / I'm Naturalized For Heaven
04/1950 78 t. KING 854 (US) . I'll Meet You In The Morning / Jesus Hold My Hand
04/1950 SP KING 45-854 (US) . I'll Meet You In The Morning / Jesus Hold My Hand
05/1951 SP KING 45-933 (US) . When He Calls His Reapers / When We Sing Around The Throne Eternal
06/1951 78 t. KING 938 (US) . What Will You Be Doing Then / Romans 10 & 9
06/1951 SP KING 45-938 (US) . What Will You Be Doing Then / Romans 10 & 9
03/1952 78 t. KING 1032 (US) . Heaven Eternal For Me / I Am A Weary Pilgrim
03/1952 SP KING 45-1032 (US) . Heaven Eternal For Me / I Am A Weary Pilgrim
06/1952 78 t. KING 1059 (US) . There's A Page In The Bible / We Should Walk Together
06/1952 SP KING 45-1059 (US) . There's A Page In The Bible / We Should Walk Together
08/1952 SP KING 45-1086 (US) . Eternity Without Him / Bound For The Shore
10/1952 78 t. KING 1114 (US) . Arms Of God / Can't You Hear Him Calling
10/1952 SP KING 45-1114 (US) . Arms Of God / Can't You Hear Him Calling
12/1952 78 t. KING 1138 (US) . Clyde MOODY & The BROWN'S FERRY FOUR - I Need The Prayers / Through The Pearly Gates
12/1952 SP KING 45-1138 (US) . Clyde MOODY & The BROWN'S FERRY FOUR - I Need The Prayers / Through The Pearly Gates
1953 78 t. KING 1153 (US) . You Must Be Born Again / Praise God, He Loves Everybody
02/1953 78 t. KING 1177 (US) . Clyde MOODY & The BROWN'S FERRY FOUR - I Feel Like Travellin' On / Unclouded Day
02/1953 SP KING 45-1177 (US) . Clyde MOODY & The BROWN'S FERRY FOUR - I Feel Like Travellin' On / Unclouded Day
1953 78 t. KING 1209 (US) . When The Redeemed Are Gathering In / What Shall I Do With Jesus
1953 SP KING 45-1209 (US) . When The Redeemed Are Gathering In / What Shall I Do With Jesus
1957 EP KING EP-237 (US) SACRED SONGS, VOL. 1
1957 EP KING EP-238 (US) SACRED SONGS, VOL. 2
1957 EP KING EP-320 (US) SACRED SONGS, VOL. 3

Albums

1956 LP 12" KING 551 (US) SACRED SONGS - Rockin' On The Waves / I'll Fly Away / Salvation Has Been Brought Down / On The Jericho Road / I've Got That Old Time Religion In My Heart / After The Sunrise / I've Make A Covenant With My Lord / Rock Of Ages Hide Thou Me / His Boundless Love / Keep On The Firing Line / There's A Light Guiding Me / Old Camp Meeting
1958 LP 12" KING 590 (US) SACRED SONGS, VOL. 2 - Will The Circle Be Unbroken / Just A Little Talk With Jesus / If We Never Meet Again / Lord Is Watching Over Me / Everybody Will Be Happy Over There / Hallelujah Morning / When The Good Lord Cares / Over In The Gloryland / When He Blessed My Soul / I'm Naturalized For Heaven / When He Calls His Reapers / Throne Eternal / I'll Meet You In The Morning / Jesus, Hold My Hand / We Should Walk Together / There's A Page In the Bible
02/1963 LP 12" KING 822 (US) 16 SACRED GOSPEL SONGS - GRANDPA JONES & BROWN'S FERRY FOUR - 144,000 Were There / The Arm Of God / Bound For The Shore / Can't You Hear Him Calling / Come And Dine / Dark As A Dungeon / Eternity Without Him / Get Back On The Glory Road / Heaven Eternal For Me / Jonah And The Whale / Light In His Soul / Our Fathers Had Religion / Praise God! He Loves Everybody / That Depot In The Sky / What Shall I Do With Jesus / You Must Be Born Again
1965 LP 12" KING 943 (US) FINE SINGING OF WONDERFUL SACRED COUNTRY SONGS - 24 SONGS
1966 LP 12" MONUMENT MLP-18041 (mono) / SLP-8041 (stereo) (US)

GRANDPA JONES REMEMBERS THE BROWN'S FERRY FOUR - On The Jericho Road / I'll Meet You In The Morning / When I Get To The End Of The Way / No Tears In Heaven / Gone Home / Turn Your Radio On / Keep On The Firing Line / Just Over In The Glory Land / Old Camp Meetin' Time / Empty Mansion / The Glory Land Way

1977 2 LP 12" CMH CMH-9007 (US) THE GRANDPA JONES STORY WITH RAMONA & BROWN'S FERRY FOUR :
DISC1 : Sweet Dreams Of Kentucky / My Carolina Sunshine / Jesse James / It's Raining Here This Morning / Eight More Miles To Louisville / Tragic Romance / Kentucky / Old Rattler / Mountain Laurel / I'm On My Way Back Home
DISC 2 : Sweeping Through The Gates / There's A Hand That's A-Waiting / Old Camp Meeting Time / Closer To God Than Ever Before / I'll Meet You In The Morning / You'll Make Our Shack A Mansion / Dark As A Dungeon / I'm On My Way Somewhere / Rosalee / Gone Home
1977 LP 12" STARDAY / GUSTO SD-3017 (US) 16 GREATEST HITS - Over In The Gloryland / Heaven Eternal For Me / When The Redeemed Are Gathering In / You Must Be Born Again / What Shall I Do With Jesus / Praise God! He Loves Everybody / Arm Of God / Can't You Hear Him Calling / Everybody Will Be Happy Over There / Rock Of Ages Hide Thou Me / Lord Is Watching Over Me / When The Good Lord Cares / Eternity Without Him / Bound For The Shore / If We Never Meet Again / Will The Circle Be Unbroken
1982 LP 12" COUNTRY CCS-110 (US) SAND MOUNTAIN BLUES - Kentucky Mountain / Midnight Train / Someday You'll Pay / Remember I Feel Lonesome Too / Weary Day / Prisoner's Farewell / She Left Me Standing On The Mountain / Mississippi Shore / Sand Mountain Blues / I Won't Be Worried Long / Frozen Girl / Going Back To The Blue Ridge Mountains / I'm Lonesome Without You / The Last Old Shovel
1997 CD STARDAY 3017 (US) 16 GREATEST HITS - Over In The Gloryland / Heaven Eternal For Me / When The Redeemed Are Gathering In / You Must Be Born Again / What Shall I Do With Jesus / Praise God! He Loves Everybody / Arm Of God / Can't You Hear Him Calling / Everybody Will Be Happy Over There / Rock Of Ages Hide Thou Me / Lord Is Watching Over Me / When The Good Lord Cares / Eternity Without Him / Bound For The Shore / If We Never Meet Again / Will The Circle Be Unbroken
03/2001 2 CD STARDAY 3506 (US) ROCKIN' ON THE WAVES :
CD 1 : Will The Circle Be Unbroken / Just A Little Talk With Jesus / Rockin' On The Waves / If We Never Meet Again / I'll Fly Away / Lord Is Watching (The Over Me) / Everybody Will Be Happy (Over There) / Hallelujah Morning / Old Camp Meeting / There's A Light Guiding Me / Salvation Has Been Brought Down / When The Good Lord Cares / Over In The Glory Land / On The Jericho Road / On The Jericho Road / His Boundless Love / Rock Of Ages, Hide Thou Me / When He Blessed My Soul / I've Got That Old Time Religion In My Heart / Naturalized For Heaven / When He Calls His Reapers / I've Made A Covenant With My Lord
CD 2 : When We Sing Around The Throne Eternal / After The Sunrise / I'll Meet You In The Morning / Jesus Hold My Hand / Keep On The Firing Line / The Judgement Day / There's A Page In The Bible / We Should Walk Together / I Am A Weary Pilgrim / Heaven Eternal For Me / The Arm Of God / Bound For The Shore / Eternity Without Him / Can't You Hear It Calling / I Feel Like Traveling On / I Need The Prayers / The Unclouded Day / Through The Pearly Gate / When The Redeemed Are Gathering In / Praise God! He Loves Everybody / You Must Be Born Again / What Shall I Do With Jesus
2005 CD KING KG 0551-2 (US) 16 SACRED GOSPEL SONGS - GRANDPA JONES & BROWN'S FERRY FOUR - Come And Dine / Dark As A Dungeon / Our Fathers Had Religion / Jonah And The Whale / Light In His Soul / That Depot In The Sky / Get Back On The Glory Road / 144,000 Were There / The Arm Of God / Can't You Hear Him Calling / Eternity Without Him / Bound For The Shore / Heaven Eternal For Me / What Shall I Do With Jesus / Praise God! He Loves Everybody / You Must Be Born Again
04/2008 CD GUSTO 961 (US) FINE SINGING OF WONDERFUL SACRED COUNTRY SONGS  - 24 SONGS - Arm Of God / Bound For The Shore / Can't You Hear Him Calling / Eternity Without Him / Everybody Will Be Happy OverThere / Hallelujah Morning / Heaven, Eternal For Me / His Boundless Love / I Am A Weary Pilgrim / Jesus Hold My Hand / Keep On The Firing Line / Lord Is Watching Over Me / On The Jericho Road #1 / Over In The Glory Land / Praise God! He Loves Everybody / Rock Of Ages, Hide Thou Me / There's A Light Guiding Me / There's A Page In The Bible / Through The Pearly Gate / What Shall I Do With Jesus / When He Blessed My Soul / When The Good Lord Cares / Will The Circle Be Unbroken / You Must Be Born Again

© Rocky Productions 22/10/2011