Jefferson County, Alabama, is home to a distinct a cappella gospel style which developed in the African-American community during the regions industrial development in the early 20th century. Featuring a “pumping bass” sound and smooth harmonies, this music has been perpetuated by well-organized quartets who elect officers and have a schedule of practices. The sound has been a solace during tumultuous times and an important influence on numerous genres of American music. Today, only a few quartets continue to sing in this style. We attend a celebration of their longevity at a quartet anniversary singing in Bessemer.
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