LA047 Interviews: Andrew Williams and George Simms (LA047Abbott_Side1)
Side 1: Interview with Andrew Williams, continued from LA046. Interview with George Simms and Andrew Williams together. Side 2: Continued interview with George Simms and Andrew Williams. Abstract for Williams and Simms: [00:00-07:49] Concluding his interview from LA046Abbott_Side1, Andrew Williams talks about the Williams Singers and their gigs at restaurants, dinner parties, and churches. He recalls learning songs from books of spirituals and sings an excerpt of one called "Way Down Yonder in the Cornfield." [07:50-31:29] George Simms explains the beginnings of the Algiers Christian Quartet (AC Quartet) with occasional comments from Andrew Williams. Simms says that they organized the AC Quartet in 1921 with Jake Watson, Samuel Perkins, and John Duncan as the first spiritual quartet in Algiers. Simms explains that they joined with others to organize additional quartets, giving the example of the Harmony Four, which included Andrew Williams. He recalls that the inspiration for creating AC Quartet came from the old quartets that the members had listened to as children. He says that they kept the same close harmonies but because his group was Christian, they only sang spirituals. Simms then explains that their performances were mostly local, and that AC attended conventions with other groups like the St. Marks Chanters and were recently invited to sing on a program with the Crown Seekers Quartet. Simms and Williams then discuss John Duncan, who started the Duncan Brothers after his time with AC. They remember his brother and his father and how after his father died, John took his place as preacher in their church. Simms then speaks about his own father, George Simms Sr., who was a musician and directed church choirs. [00:00-12:09] The interview with Williams and Simms continues on LA047Abbott_Side2 with George Simms naming quartets that came before them including the St. Marks Chanters. He remembers that when AC "first started out they used to pay 25 cents for a ticket. "We didn't ever believe in charging nobody to come into church," he mentions, commenting on other group's decisions to charge for performances in churches – 7:35.