Gospel

Pittsburgh Gospel Music
Gospel thrived in the churches and concert halls of the Western Pennsylvanvia tri-state area during the golden age of Gospel from the mid 1940s through the 1960s. During this era the Swan Silvertones, one of the all time great Gospel groups, was based in Pittsburgh. Led by singer Claude Jeter they were heard live daily from WPGH radio 1080 and they performed regularly in Pittsburgh area shows with the top national Gospel acts including the he Harmonizing Four, the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Soul Stirrers, the Golden Harp, the Rugged Cross Singers, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and other acts. The recorded for the King, Specialty, Vee-Jay, HOB, and Savoy labels and toured the country every year.

Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Oakland, the Carnegie Library in Braddock, the Mount Olivet Baptist Church in the Hill District (originally the Savoy Ballroom), and Emmanuel Baptist Church in Rankin hosted Gospel shows with top national Gospel stars.  DJ Bill Powell of WAMO promoted many of those shows during the 1960s.  An Easter Gospel convention was held annually at Soldiers and Sailors Hall 

In 1939 a female gospel ensemble, also called the Silvertones was formed by Ester Moore.  They had a live  weekly half hour radio show on KQV-AM every Wednesday evening that aired from 1939 to 1941. They performed at Tri-state area churches during the 1940s.

The Gospel tradition continues in Pittsburgh with the Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, the Voices of Christ, and other acts.  The Voices of Christ have toured the U.K. , performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, and released the album “More Like You” on the Tate Music label in February of 2013.  The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir founded in 2007f is Pittsburgh's first choral ensemble dedicated to American gospel music.  The PGC preserves the rich history of gospel music through its performances of  traditional songs and new works. 
Swan Silvertones
Gospel Singers of Clairton 1962 at Calvary Baptist 
Teenie Harris Photo
Subpages (1): Swan Silvertones