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Wade In The Water Ep. 11: Birmingham, Ala., Regional Quartet Tradition

The First Baptist Church choir in Montgomery, Ala. in 2011.
The First Baptist Church choir in Montgomery, Ala. in 2011.

Wade in the Water is a 26-part series, originally released in 1994, that celebrates African American sacred music and traditions. To learn more about the series,click here. For more episodesclick hereor listen on the go with theNPR Oneapp.


The proliferation of the community-based quartet tradition originating in and around Birmingham and its spread throughout the country.

Song List

  • Birmingham Sunlights, "Wade in the Water"
  • Birmingham Jubilees, "He Took My Sins Away"
  • Birmingham Jubilees, "God Is Love"
  • Dunham Jubilees, "Holy Is My Name"
  • Ravizee Singers, "I Am Thinking of a City"
  • Sterling Jubilees / CIO Singers, "Spirit of Phillip Murray"
  • Blue Jay Singers, "Standing Out on the Highway"
  • Humming Four, "Twelve Gates to the City"
  • Fairfield Four, "Tree of Level"
  • Spirit of Memphis Quartet, "Tone the Bell Easy"
  • Gospel Harmonettes, "Sit at the Welcome Table"
  • Delta-Aires, "While the Blood Still Running"
  • Golden Gates of Starksville, Miss., "Who Will Be a Witness"
  • Four Eagles, "Sinner Man"
  • Sterling Jubilees, "Ring Those Golden Bells"
  • Birmingham Sunlights, "Somewhere to Lay My Head"
  • Wade in the Waterwas produced by Judi Moore Latta and Sonja Williams.


    Stream A Selection Of Songs From The Series

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.