Anthology 1947-1962

Album cover art for upc 3561302573724
Catalog: FA5737

Roberta Martin Singers; Robert Anderson Singers

The Roberta Martin Singers were the first mixed Afro-American vocal group in history. They represent the quintessence of the art of Negro spirituals and had a considerable and lasting influence over every contemporary gospel ensemble. In compiling this overview of their work, Jean Buzelin produced the first genuine anthology, a world’s first and a tribute that finally does them justice. Singer, pianist, songwriter, arranger and music publishing entrepreneur Roberta Martin was one of the most innovative and influential figures in the history of gospel music. A direct disciple of pioneering gospel tunesmith Thomas A. Dorsey, she formed her own singing group, originally known as the Martin and Frye Quartette, in 1933. As the Roberta Martin Singers, they remained active until shortly before her death in 1969 at age 61. The Roberta Martin Singers “gave gospel its signature ensemble sound,” Robert M. Marovich stated in his book A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music. In The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times, Anthony Heilbut wrote that “Roberta’s contralto was refined and subdued, eschewing its greatest effects though timing and phrasing.”

Price: $35.99