Highway QC'S Featuring Spencer Taylor
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Highway QC'S Featuring Spencer Taylor

Washington, Washington DC, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1945

Washington, Washington DC, United States
Established on Jan, 1945
Band Blues Gospel


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Still working on that hot first release.



Not only among the top gospel groups of the postwar era, the Highway QC's were also the launching pad for such major secular pop stars as Lou Rawls, Johnnie Taylor and the immortal Sam Cooke. The group was formed in 1945 at Chicago's Highway Baptist Church by a number of teenagers that included Cooke, Creadell Copeland and two pairs of brothers, Marvin & Charles Jones and Curtis & Lee Richardson. The group name derived from the Highway Baptist Church and Quincy College High School they attended.  Cooke exited in 1951 to join the ranks of hometown heroes the Soul Stirrers; his replacement was Rawls, himself an alumnus of another young Windy City group, the Holy Wonders.

In time all of the Wonders' other members -- Spencer Taylor Jr., James Walker and Chris Flowers among them -- would join the Highway QC's as well. Rawls remained for just two years, leaving at that time to join the Los Angeles-based Chosen Gospel Singers; his substitute was Johnnie Taylor, previously of the Kansas City group the Melody Kings. Their belated recording career began in 1955 after being placed on the local Vee Jay Records label. "Somewhere To Lay My Head" was their debut single, followed by several further sides and an album. In 1956 Spencer Taylor, Jr. joined, and a year later Johnnie Taylor (no relation) quit to join the Soul Stirrers.

One album for ABC Dunhill in 1973 preceded a long spell at Savoy Records, where they recorded seven albums between 1976 and 1983. This was their most fertile period in commercial terms.  Spencer Taylor remained the Highway QC's leader throughout the decades which followed, continuing to helm the group into the 1990s.

After a half century of seasoning and more than 40 releases, appearances at The Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden and performing with legends like Mahalia Jackson, Clara Ward and James Cleveland, The Highway QC’s are still going strong and still fronted by Spencer Taylor, Jr.  In 2003, the group was inducted into the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame & Museum. They celebrated 69 years in the music business in 2014.


Band Members