Thursday, June 26, 2008


From the New York Times:

Ira Tucker, (at the far left in the photo) a little man with a giant vocal range and acrobatic stage antics who as lead singer of the Dixie Hummingbirds helped propel gospel music toward a harder-edged, more emotive style, died on Tuesday in Philadelphia. He was 83.

     At its peak in the 1940s and ’50s, the group was one of gospel’s most popular and innovative, using shouting lead parts and walking basslines in songs like “Thank You for One More Day,” “Trouble in My Way” and “Bedside of a Neighbor.” The back-and-forth singing of Mr. Tucker and another tenor, James Walker, is legendary.

     In the 1970s the Hummingbirds attained a new and different sort of popularity when they backed up Paul Simon on his hit “Loves Me Like a Rock,” then recorded the same tune themselves and won a Grammy.


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