Sat 20 Feb 2010
Pastor Isaac Tyrone Sly Lindsey’s introduction to Quartet Gospel began when he was a toddler. His Mother and Grandmothers would take him with them to the weekly Quartet events at various Churches in his hometown of Lexington, Mississippi and in the surrounding areas. From that early introduction he was hooked.
He remembers that “growing up as a young boy, he would be amazed at the impact Quartet Music would have on audiences.” He would see people shout, cry, clap their hands, stomp their feet, run around the Church, and jump for joy because of the joyful sound of Quartet Music and he remembers telling his Mother “I want to make people happy by singing like that one day”.
Some of the groups that had a major impact on him because of their spirit-filled performances would be The Starlight Singers, Kaiser Singers, Fantastic Violin Notes, Soul Travelers, Golden Bells, Wilson Singers, and Cobbins who would perform often at his Mother’s Church and surrounding Churches. Also, The Jackson Southernaires, Willie Banks & The Messengers, The Williams Brothers, who were all his Mother’s Favorites, while The Canton Spirituals, The Pilgrim Jubilees, Spencer Taylor & The Highway QC’s, The Original Soul Stirrers, and Robert Blair & The Fantastic Violinaires who also came to town quite often and were everybody’s favorites.
It wasn’t long before the young Tyrone began singing Quartet Music as a soloist in Churches and many times he would open up for many of the National Artists who came to his hometown. He would also eventually start playing piano and go on to become a founding member and Director of The Young Generation Community Choir – a group of over 100 youth from various Churches who would go from Church to Church and town to town in the area singing Gospel Music; and Quartet Music was always a part of their line-up; so they were more of a “Choirtet” than just Choir.
As, it relates to radio, it also all started in Church. While in Sunday School one Sunday, performing his Assistant Sunday School Secretary duties by reading the minutes of the Sunday School; the owner of his hometown radio station – Mrs. Fanny Cothran (who was also the Mayor of Lexington, Mississippi) was in Church. She was running for re-election and was there to talk to the Church about voting for her.
However, she had arrived early between the conclusion of Sunday School and the beginning of Morning Worship. While sitting there listening to Tyrone read the minutes; Mayor Cothran was so impressed by the voice and the diction of the then 14 year old young man; that she offered him a job on the spot as a Gospel Music Radio Announcer at her radio station – WXTN AM 1000. At that time, WXTN was the most powerful and the #1 Gospel Radio Station in the area. After getting permission from his Grandmother, he started working as a Radio Announcer the very next day and eventually go on to host his own top rated daily five hour radio show. Over his ten year career at WXTN, he became the Program Director, Music Director, and eventually the Assistant General Manager.
While working at WXTN, his mentor the late Rev. Earnest Deering encouraged him to promote some of the groups that he was playing everyday. Tyrone took Rev. Deering’s advice and his first professional Gospel Concert event that he promoted featured The Jackson Southernaires and The Williams Brothers. It was a very successful event with over 700 people in attendance. But, it was also a very sad day for Quartet Music and especially The Williams Family because it was on this same day and before his concert that Leon “Pop” Williams – the Patriarch of the Williams Family would go home to be with the Lord from injuries sustained in a car accident.
Tyrone did not allow this to deter him, and he would keep on promoting major events and develop partnerships with Harvey Watkins, Jr. of the Canton Spirituals and Major Roberson of The Pilgrim Jubilees who would often help him book major packages that featured some of the biggest names in Gospel at that time including The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Robert Blair & The Fantastic Violinaires, The Canton Spirituals, Slim & The Supreme Angels, The Pilgrim Jubilees, Willie Neal Johnson & The Gospel Keynotes, The Original Soul Stirrers, Willie Banks & The Messengers, The Christianaires, Spencer Taylor & The Highway QC’s, The Angelic Gospel Singers, Troy Ramey & The Soul Searchers, Luther Barnes & The Sunset Jubilaires, Tommy Ellison & The Singing Stars, Doc McKenzie & The Hi-Lites, The True Believers, The Mighty Inspirations, Rev. Andrew Cheairs & The Songbirds, The Gospel Four, The Memphis Harmonizers, The Spiritual QC’s, and countless others.
After becoming a popular Mississippi radio announcer and concert promoter, several groups would often ask Tyrone to come and sing with them and he declined many of them. But, after many years of singing solos and singing with his Church choir and Community Choir at concerts he decided as a teenager that he would eventually try his hand at actually singing Quartet.
He sang briefly with The Golden Bells of Lexington and The Soul Travelers of Durant. His first recording was with The Soul Travelers – Hold On Your Blessing is Coming. He later became a background vocalist and occasional Lead Vocalist for The True Believers of Jackson, Mississippi. The True Believers would prove to be his Quartet Singing training ground before making his move to Chicago, Illinois in 1999.
Even to this day, Pastor Isaac Tyrone Sly Lindsey is still very much involved in almost every aspect of Quartet Music. He is the Lead Singer and Manager of The Windy City SpiritualaireS, a nationally known recording group with whom he has performed with since 1998. He is the Co-Host of New Wave Gospel Radio – The Kathy Lockett Show on Chicago’s #1 Gospel Radio Station – Inspiration 1390AM-WGRB and a Promoter with New Wave Gospel Productions and Currie Motors Chevrolet Church Purchase Program which hosts and promotes the biggest Gospel Concert events in Chicagoland. He is Vice-President of Gospel Quartets of America and he is the proud Pastor of Prayer Center Baptist Church on Chicago’s Southside where they host Quartet Singing events every weekend. He also works hard to keep a strong internet Quartet presence as CEO of Praise In The House Media, as a consultant to DownHomeGospel.com and as a Moderator for GlorylandGospel.com.
Everywhere Pastor Lindsey goes he does not mind telling the World, without apology, that there is no music like Quartet Music and that he is a Quarteteer head to his core. He is famous for saying that “A Quartet Drive will not only work in the Church House but, it will work in White House.”
When asked why he loves Quartet Music so much, he has many stories to tell and he will openly share with you about all of the good times and the not so good, but one thing is for sure he will always let you know…it all started in Church and that’s where it will always be!
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