Saturday, April 07, 2012
Take 6 Celebrates 25 Years by Singing Gospel Quartet Classics
“We went all the way back to the old gospel quartet songs and are bringing them to the modern day,” original member Alvin Chea told TBGB recently.
Take 6 has inherited the mantle worn originally by the instrument-mimicking Mills Brothers and, before them, the Sunset Four Quartette, whose musical imitation of a steam calliope was a treat for 1920s audiences.
Fact is, vocal harmony groups have been keen to experiment with complex rhythms and harmonies for decades. Back in the day, vocal contests challenged groups to outdo one another for top honors. More often than not, "top honors" meant only bragging rights, but that was sufficient when reputations were won and lost on a group's ability to harmonize better than anyone else in the neighborhood.
Chea, who has been with Take 6 since its very beginning, told TBGB that his original goal was not to become a singer but to become a CBS anchor. “That was my dream. My mentor was Ed Bradley, and that’s where I wanted to go, but I also loved music. Mom wanted me to be able to play along with the hymns for church, so she encouraged me to take music lessons.”