LA006 Interviews: Allen Mathews; Albert Veal (LA006Abbott_Side1)
Side 1: Interview with Allen Matthews. Interview with Albert Veal on 1981-06-25. Side 2: Continued interview with Albert Veal. Abstract for Matthews and Veal:[00:00-12:14] Interview with Allen Matthews discussing members of the Humming Four. [12:20-45:48] Albert Veal describes the origins of the Humming Four, explaining how he and Paul Exkano started the group at around 18 years old in the early 1930s. He then goes through how they secured a tri-weekly, 15 minute radio broadcast spot in 1934 after a woman from Exkano's church who had connections at WWO heard them singing. He also shares that she suggested that their name be The Humming Four instead of Community Four – 14:55. Veal talks about his group's popularity on the radio and their success in performances, tours, and competitions in the Southern U.S. He then explains how Sandy Newell got involved in the Humming Four after bringing manager Gilbert Porterfield and the Red Roses to New Orleans, stating that Newell "revolutionized our group," – 20:00. He explains how Newell introduced a new sound to the Humming Four by adding a high tenor part, while Porterfield managed another quartet, the Duncan Brothers, and made them a copy of the Red Roses. Veal recalls a show in Houston, Texas in 1939 before WWII broke out where members of the audience threw money onto the stage after their set – 31:35. He discusses how they were on tour and had to return to New Orleans when WWII began in 1939, and how increased U.S. involvement in the war influenced the comings and goings of old and new members of the group as some joined the military, including himself. Veal then discusses how the group functioned post-WWII, recording at Imperial Records, and various name changes. The interview with Albert Veal continues on LA006Abbott_Side2 as he recounts that popular music started to change in the late 1950s and remembers performances the Humming Four did in the mid to late 1960s. He details the records they did for Imperial and Aladdin Records as the Humming Four and as background singers for blues, gospel, and spiritual singers. He then mentions various different quartets he encountered and listened to including Norfolk Jubilee, Birmingham Jubilee, Blue Jays, and the Four Great Wonders. He speaks about his experiences with the Humming Four on TV and radio.