There have been many great gospel singing groups to come out of the south throughout the last 100 years, but probably none has been so influential as the Fairfield Four. In 1942, national recognition came to the young gospel group when they won a promotional contest which offered an appearance on Nashville’s WLAC as first prize. The broadcast proved so popular that for 10 years, five days a week, the group remained on the air sending their brand of jubilee singing into virtually every home in the United States. Even blues master, B.B. King, has credited the Fairfield Four with helping to develop his singing style through listening to these syndicated programs. The early recording career for the Fairfield Four was highly varied and prolific one. In a period of roughly fifteen years the group released more than 100 titles on such classic labels as Bullet, Delta, Dot, Champion and Old Town.
Today time has been good to the Fairfield Four. They have been honored countless times for their contribution to the heritage of jubilee gospel singing. Carnegie Hall has tipped its hat twice to the group and has had the group perform as apart of their centennial celebration. They have also appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Smithsonian Institution’s Festival of American Folklife and The Lincoln Center’s Folk & Heritage Festival. In October of 1989, the group was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment of the Arts in a special presentation in Washington, D.C. In 1992, Warner Bros. Records released their first compact disc recording Standing in the Safety Zone, which was nominated for a Grammy. Also, in the spring of 1992, a major tour developed for the group, opening many dates for Lyle Lovett. The group is continuing to perform throughout the United States and Europe.
- John Battle
- Samuel McCrary
- Willie Love
- Rufus Caruthers
- “Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around”
- “Let Me Tell You About My Jesus”
- “Stand By Me”
- “Don’t Want to Join That Number”
They were the first nationally popular black gospel quartet.
The Fairfield Four singing “Don’t You Let Nobody Turn You Around”