Some of the parody lyrics that I can remember were:
Round 'bout quarter to four,
Somebody sneaking out the back door,
Pharaoh's army got drowned
Oh, Mary don't you weep.
Oh, Mary don't you weep, don't you moan,
Oh Mary can't leave your love alone,
Pharaoh's army got drowned,
Oh Mary don't you weeeep!
The parody lyrics would be funny, or political or something about current events. So in the pile to go out the door is a CD from Oxford American. (I gotta get a subscription. That magazine is fabulous.)
Anyway I look down at the back and there are 24 tracks of southern music crossing style and all kinds of good stuff. There is no way this is getting tossed, Eartha Kitt, Andy Griffith and Richard Hell on the same CD? But to my astonishment a track by the Swan Silvertones of Oh Mary Don't You Weep.
So on this Memory Day, I mean Memorial Day Part Two I give you, for educational purposes only, The Swan Silvertones.
Form more information on them you gotta check out the following:
- MSN Encarta has a captioned thirty second extract of "My Rock" This may or may not play in Firefox or Opera browsers.
- Answers.com has a nice write up of the group with a sidebar of musicians they influenced
- The Vocal Group Hall of Fame has a fine page honoring their work.
- ArchieB9876 snagged a time coded copy (used for editing, not for broadcast) copy of the group singing. You don't have to be a believer to recognize these gentleman are musical craftsmen of the highest order. It will have you fanning yourself.
- NPR in 2004 had a segment about a books that tries to document the history of the African-American gospel experience
- From Paris, France (?) is a collection of pages that goes into the history of the creation of African-American gospel music. It is not bad, they do have products for sale that relate to the topic but it is a fair overview. Negrospirituals.com
- Compare the above site with Phil Petrie's page on Gospel music. Simple but Mr. Petrie has experience in the genre and mentioned some of the past and contemporary performers in the field.