Swan Silvertones
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Swan Silvertones

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"P.O. Box 78036, Indianapolis, IN 46278 ~ 888.350.0400 (phone) ~ 888.350.0400 ( fax)"

The Swan Silvertones have been around, seemingly, forever. Claude Jeter originally
formed the group as the Four Harmony Kings, way back in 1938. Jeter died in 2009, but
The Swan Silvertones live on with Need More Love, a traditional and worshipful new
album.

Nothing sums up enjoyable black gospel better than the track, “Let’s Go to Church”.
When The Swan Silvertones sing, “When you get there, you can leave your troubles at
the door,” the same can also be said of the experience in listening to these 12 enthusiastic
tracks. Gospel music is all about focusing on God, and turning away from all the (mostly)
bad reports on the TV news. The black church experience is as much physical as it is
emotional and spiritual. Therefore, The Swan Silvertones encourage listeners to clap their
hands right along with this vocal quintet during “Let’s Go to Church”. That’s an offer
impossible to refuse.

This CD opens with “New Jerusalem”, a traditional gospel powerhouse. The track
features unobtrusive drums and guitar, yet upfront church-y piano. This ‘New Jerusalem’
they speak of is heaven, by the way, a place where there will be no tears or pain. “What
About You” also rolls with a traditional feel, with its foot-stomping beat and call-andresponse
vocal arrangement. This is the sort of lyric one can easily imagine being sung in
a child’s Sunday school class. But deeper than that, it’s a personal testimony. This man’s
life has been changed by God; what about you?

The title track, “Need More Love”, is a slow burner, an R&B ballad. It is, as the title
states, a cry for more charity among mankind. It’s the kind of song that would have also
fit in well with old, ‘70s O’Jays recordings. But instead of blaming the problem merely
on the lack of brotherly love, this lyric holds out hope of a better world with the help of
Jesus’ power. You can’t love “without Jesus on the inside,” they remind us.

Black gospel music is also about holding onto hope and two of these songs speak about
having good reasons to believe in the future. “I Can Make It” takes the familiar hymn,
“Amazing Grace”, and turns it into a lyric about dedicated perseverance. The track’s
arrangement utilizes keyboards that mimic a backing horn section. On “I’ll Make It
Home Someday”, the hope of a heavenly home is specifically spotlighted. This time, the


vocal is falsetto, in the tradition of The Chi-Lites and The Stylistics. Sometimes the road
of this life seems nearly impassible to traverse, and heaven appears almost out of reach.
But The Swan Silvertones are here to remind us, that if we keep on keeping on, we’ll get
there.

This release ends with “Message/Prayer”, which closes the recording the same way most
church services conclude – with a prayer. It’s the sort of conclusion that clearly sets it
apart from ‘just another CD’. You get the feeling these men truly care for the folks that
buy and listen to their CDs. Need More Love does not just carry on the name, The Swan
Silivertones; it also carries on a musical tradition that is as powerful as a jubilant Sunday
morning in church.
- By Dan MacIntosh, Indie-Music.com


Discography

Need More Love
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Bio

Swan Silvertones
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
The Swan Silvertones
Genres Christian

The Swan Silvertones were a Gospel music group that achieved great popularity in the 1940s and 1950s while led by Claude Jeter. Jeter formed the group in 1938 as the "Four Harmony Kings" while he was working as a coal miner in West Virginia. The group changed its name to the "Silvertone Singers" after moving to Knoxville, Tennessee and obtaining their own radio show in order to avoid confusion with another group known as the "Four Kings of Harmony." They added the name Swan shortly thereafter, since Swan Bakeries sponsored their show. Their wide exposure through radio brought them a contract with King Records.

At that point the Silvertones represented an amalgam of two styles: the close barbershop harmonies that they had featured when starting out in West Virginia and virtuoso leads supplied by Jeter and Solomon Womack. The group later lost Womack, but added Paul Owens in 1952 and Louis Johnson in 1955. The three singers with their sharply contrasting styles — Jeter a tenor who could sing falsetto without losing his lyric control, Owens a crooner, and Johnson a hard shouter — played off each other to great effect in songs such as "Mary Don't You Weep."

The group recorded for Specialty Records from 1951 to 1955, when it switched to Vee-Jay Records. They recorded one album with Hob Records after Vee-Jay shut down in 1965, at which point Jeter left the group for the ministry.

The Swan Silvertones were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.

[edit] Suggested reading
Zolten, Jerry, Great God A' Mighty!:The Dixie Hummingbirds - Celebrating The Rise Of Soul Gospel Music, Oxford University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-19-515272-7.
[edit] External links
'The Swan Silvertones' Vocal Group Hall of Fame Page