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The Swan Silvertones

American R&B gospel vocal group

Armando Bellmas
Armando Bellmas
The Swan Silvertones

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to The Swan Silvertones, a vocal gospel group with deep roots in rhythm and blues and throughout the American south. You'll go deeper with an excerpt from an article about the origins and history of the vocal group on Pittsburgh Music History.

"If You Believe Your God is Dead, Try Mine" by The Swan Silvertones
1971 | American R&B gospel vocal group

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The Swan Silvertones, one of the greatest Gospel groups of all time along with the Dixie Hummingbirds and the Soul Stirrers, made their home in Pittsburgh from the late 1940s through the 1960s. Over their thirty year career they were one of the most influential and revered vocal groups. Their uptempo jubilee shout style gospel music, rich harmonies, and lead falsetto influenced Doo Wop and R&B singers. They recorded for the King, Specialty, Vee-Jay, HOB, and Savoy labels releasing over sixty singles and several albums between 1946 and 1979. The Swan Silvertones were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002 and the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2003.

Claude Jeter, the lead singer and founder of the Swan Silvertones is credited for influencing the singing styles of Sam Cooke, Al Green, Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, Drifters founder Clyde McPhatter, and Eddie Kendricks. Jeter pioneered falsetto singing in African American music and is credited as the father of fallsetto. His strong falsetto leads backed by three-part harmonies was adapted by Doo-wop and R&B groups.  Jeter was elected into the American Gospel Quartet Convention Hall of Fame in 1996.

United States

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