LA021 Interviews: Marjorie Kelly; Dorothy Squire; Walter Barker (LA021Abbott_Side1)
Side 1: Interview with Marjorie Kelly. Interview with Dorothy Squire on 1981-09-14. Side 2: Interview with Walter Barker. Abstract for Kelly, Squire, and Barker: [00:00-1:41] Abbott asks Marjorie Kelly how to reach Walter Green. [01:42-21:22] Dorothy Squire speaks about joining the Jackson Gospel Singers at age 13 in 1937 with Jimmy Jackson as the instructor and Mary Thames [Coleman], Alma Jackson, Emma Golan, and Nora Hall as the other members of the group, whom she met through singing in church choir. She talks about how Jimmy Jackson bought a recording machine to record and sell albums for the Jackson Singers. Squire remembers a trip to California with the Jackson Singers in the mid 1940s and their frequent out of town programs, one being for soldiers during WWII. She recalls leaving the group in 1947 because she was tired of being on the road and wanted to be home to take care of her child. She then discusses joining the Southern Harps in 1948 with her cousin Alberta Johnson, and mentions that her family is made up of "nothing but singers and preachers," – 8:10. She recalls singing with the Southern Harps from 1948-1970, and speaks of plans for her and Alma Jackson to get a group together to sing with. [21:35-43:45] Walter Barker remembers being in his first quartet and getting his first musical training at Leland University in 1915 and being inspired by the St. Marks Chanters when they visited the university. Barker talks about attending the University of New Orleans, getting his BA and master's degree, and teaching at two junior high schools, where he organized women's a cappella octets. He remembers touring with them in the South, and being invited to represent Louisiana in the Centennial Exhibition program in Chicago in 1934. He explains that at Leland University and the junior high schools that they would sing hymns, folk songs, and religious songs. He recalls working with Jim Gale at Leland University. [00:00-43:45] The interview with Walter Barker continues on LA021Abbott_Side2, with Barker recalling his association with the Duncan Brothers, who operated around the same time as his octets, and how he and another group from Alabama influenced each other's music. He states that his women's octets were so popular because he was the first person to get a young women's group to sing harmonies traditionally sung by men, and also because "youth wins over age in popularity," – 6:45. He speaks about proper elocution and gesticulation, and how that can show sincerity, and whether someone was "singing about god versus singing just to please the people," – 32:17.