Release Date: 01/12/07
The Gates' history on record began on a high that the group sustained right through the years of the Second World War. On 4th August 1937 they cut no less than fourteen tracks at one mammoth session in Charlotte. The very first number was fore-taste of what was to become known as 'quartet' singing to the groups that came after them in the late forties and early fifties. Whoever wrote the text to' Jezebel' seems to have mixed up the story of Jezebel with that of Salome and John the Baptist, but there's no denying the hypnotic power of the refrain, 'You got to go to judgment and stand your trial, you got to go to judgment and stand your trial' leading up to 'Nine days she lay in Jerusalem's streets, her flesh was too filthy for the DOGS to eat.' Not for the faint of heart! Another well-presented track is 'Stalin Wasn't Stallin',' my first ever exposure to this group. Rosie the Riveter, got to finger some ration coupon books, and then heard this: 'Well, now, Stalin wasn't stallin' when he told the Beast of Berlin that they'd never rest contented till they had driven him from the land, so he called the Yanks and English, and proceeded to extinguish, the Fuehrer and his vermin, this is how it all began: Well, the Devil he was reading in the Good Book one day, how the Lord created Adam to walk the righteous way, and it made the Devil jealous, he got green up to his horns, and he swore by things unholy that he'd make one of his own! So he packed two suitcases full of grief and misery, then he caught the Midnight Special goin' down to Germany ...' All this in the Golden Gate Quartet's fast-paced Jubilee Gospel style. Electrifying! But bitter irony comes with the line 'Now Adolf got the notion that he was the master race, and he swore by all things evil he'd put mankind in its place ....' This at a time when the Golden Gate Quartet would have been refused service at half the hotels and restaurants in Virginia because of their race. I wonder what went through their minds as they sang this propaganda piece commissioned by the US government for entertainment of the troops.
|Label: Document Records|
|Run Time: 70 mins|
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