Entries tagged with “James Burks”.


The Jackson SouthernairesThe Jackson Southernaires’ new CD is titled Back Again. The title will have you asking – What is meant by “Back Again?” A search of many music libraries will reveal that the phrase is often used to describe albums (and CDs) by groups that 1) have been away from recording for sometime, or 2) music from a group that has returned to their roots.

We’ll neither describe The Jackson Southernaires. The group released the CD Destiny in 2008. In 2005/2006, they released Reality. So, ‘Back Again” probably does not refer to a return to the recording studio for The Jackson Southernaires. The group’s releases are always rooted in the traditional gospel quartet sound. There is no doubt that The Jackson Southernaires deliver good solid gospel quartet music every time they enter the studio.

So our assessment of “Back Again” is that it signifies that the group is ‘back’ with an exceptional project. The new CD consists of eleven (11) songs never before recorded by The Jackson Southernaires. Huey sings lead on each song. He shares lead duties with Maurice Surrell, Sr. on “Take Me Back.” Yes, “Take Me Back” is the song made popular by Andréa Crouch. The choir, Brandon Mitchell & Singers With A Purpose, provide background vocals on “I Need You” and “Take Me Back.”

Castro Coleman wrote the song “He’s Got Me.” Castro also plays guitar throughout the entire project. He showcases a blues arrangement to “Did It For Me.” Huey shows that he knows how to deliver a gospel song laden with chords that will remind the listener of blues singers from the Mississippi Delta.

No matter how you interpret the title “Back Again,” you will find that it contains good gospel quartet music. Listen to song from the CD during the next broadcast of Quartet Mix at Gloryland Gospel Quartet Radio.

The Jackson Southernaires Black History Highlight

Here is a Gospel Music Trivia Question – What gospel quartet group was purportedly the first group in Mississippi to use drums, keyboard and guitars? The Jackson Southernaires.

“In 1940, the Jackson Southernaires were organized by Frank Crisler in Jackson, Mississippi. The Jackson Southernaires began much the same way as the Mississippi Blind Boys. They began singing at an early age and did a lot of performing around their hometown. The Jackson Southernaires was the first gospel group to use bass, drums, keyboard and guitar in Mississippi.”

“The Jackson Southernaires have a long history of musical training and awards that have made them one of the best gospel groups in Mississippi. This group contains five members: Huey Williams, Roger Bryant Jr., Maurice Surrell, James Burks and Luther Jennings (the only remaining original member). Another member of this group, Franklin Williams, died in March of 1993.”

“In 1963, the group signed their first recording contract with Duke/Peacock Records. Their first release Too Late became one of the company’s biggest albums. From 1972-75 the group was signed to the ABC/Dunhill label. In 1975, Malaco Records, an independent blues and R & B company, decided to build a gospel label. The rock that they decided to build upon was the Jackson Southernaires. This decision would prove to be pivotal for both parties. Since signing with Malaco, The Jackson Southernaires have gone on to record twenty top ten albums, of which four have become number one.

The Southernaires are not only performers, but producers as well. They have produced albums by The Sensational Nightingales, J. J. Farley, and The Original Soul Stirrers, The Williams Family, The Truthettes, The D. R. Curry Memorial Choir, The Eveready’s, The Angelic Gospel Singers, and The Fantastic Violinaires.

In 1979, the Southernaires received a Grammy nomination for Teddy Bear. In 1985 and 1986, they received a nomination from the Stellar Awards and The Gospel Music Workshop of America as the Traditional Male Group of the Year. In 1987, they received a nomination from the NAACP Image Award as the Traditional Male Group of the Year. For the years 1987, 1988, & 1989, they won awards from the GMWA for the Traditional Male Group of the Year. In 1989, they were nominated for and won a Stellar Award for the Traditional Male Group.”