Feel The Power Of Living History With Two Gospel Quartets

Field Recording with the McCrary Sisters and the Fairfield Four. (NPR)
Field Recording with the McCrary Sisters and the Fairfield Four. (NPR)

So much history is contained in the intertwined harmonies of The Fairfield Four and The McCrary Sisters. Together, these groups form a link to one of America's greatest singing traditions — that of the gospel quartet, which flourished at the center of sacred music in the early to mid-20th century and inspired early rock 'n' rollers from doo-wop groups to Elvis Presley.

The original Fairfield Four was founded nearly 95 years ago in Nashville, and has remained relevant into the present day; many current listeners know the group from its appearance in the Coen Brothers' 2000 film O, Brother, Where Art Thou? The McCrary Sisters are the daughters of the now-deceased longtime Fairfield Four lead voice, Samuel McCrary; together, they've made a major impact as that rare thing in a mostly masculine preserve, a female gospel quartet. To hear these voices perform "Rock My Soul" together is to feel the power of living history and the timelessness of family connection.

Set List

  • "Rock My Soul"


Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Ann Powers; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Director: Morgan Walker; Videographers: Morgan Walker, Carlos Waters, Katie Hayes Luke; Executive Producer: Anya Grundman

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