He was a tenor, songwriter, composer, manager and
semi-pro baseball player born in Hamilton, Missouri. His musical career began in Tulsa,
Oklahoma, when he was 13 and he sang duets with Carl Anderson for various organisations
in the district. When he was
18 he managed The Silver Moon Quartet in Independence, Kansas, and he
toured with them throughout the nearby states. He went
solo in 1942 but then joined the Southern Gospel Singers followed by the
group The Pilgrim Travelers in the mid-1940s, who he would manage within a
few years. He was instrumental
in bringing the group to a wider audience, choreographing their live shows
and recording their first single.
They would see success after they had begun to use
"foot-tapping" with a microphone and recording the successful singles "Mother Bowed" and "Jesus
Met the Woman at the Well". In
1959 he founded SAR Records with Sam Cooke, who he wrote several songs for,
and from then on became a well thought of manager and producer of many
artists and groups that include Lou Rawls, Little Richard, Little Junior
Parker, Bobby Womack and Linda Carr.
In baseball he was a semi-professional and played with the New
Orleans Crescent Stars and the Ethiopian Clowns among others.
Jesus Met the Woman at the Well
Teldec 96515 (CD: Out Of This World)