The Melody Boys Quartet have a rich history in Southern Gospel Music, that dates back all the way to 1949, when a 16-year-old bass singer named Gerald Williams joined the group. The Melody Boys have been known through the years for their smooth harmonies and traditional quartet style.
Gerald, now a Hall of Famer, and his smooth trademark bass anchors the group, which currently has one of the best lineups in its history. Mike Franklin, who sang tenor with the group from 1987-2004, returned in Sept 2010, much to the delight of Gospel Music lovers. Chris Walton and Dean Porter sing lead and baritone respectively, with Dean also playing piano.
American Christian is one of the groups strongest recordings in recent years, with great songs and strong vocals. The groups sound is really a pleasure to listen to, and the song selection and arrangements are just as smooth. The album starts off with an old standard, Keep Walking, featuring Gerald on the chorus and Chris on the second verse. Shadows, is the second song, featuring Dean on the second verse and featured on the chorus. I love the harmonies on this song, and the words as well. Another standard, Put Your Hand In The Hand, features Gerald on the verses, and has a great feel to it. The next song is the thought-provoking, Welcome Home, that features Dean on the vocals. This is an excellent song, that talks about the American soldier and a great viewpoint.
Love So Divine, an old Smilin Joe Roper tune, really encompasses the Melody Boys in a nutshell. Smooth quartet harmonies, and 4 part perfection. Gerald sings the lead, and Mike’s smooth tenor stands out on a chorus part. If you love old-time quartet singing from the 50’s & 60’s, this is your song. American Christian, the title cut, features Chris on the lead, and is a toe tapping patriotic number, that stands for our nation and our faith. The Shepherd, is a beautiful song that features Mike Franklin. One of my favorites, the vocals and orchestration come together to create one the cd’s best songs. The group blend on this song is as good and as strong as any group in Gospel Music.
The Rest Of My Days, is a delightful group number, that encourages us to live the rest of our days for the Lord. Great harmonies on this one as well. Forever Paradise, is a Dianne Wilkinson-Jerry Kelso tune that sounds like it could have been a Blackwood Brothers song, a perfect fit for the Melody Boys, another one of my favorites. The recording closes out with, The Healer of Broken Hearts, is a beautiful song with the trademark smoothness of the group, and features a lovely recitation part by Gerald.
All in all. this is an excellent recording but a great group that I would highly recommend for quartet lovers as well as Gospel Music purists. If you have never heard the Melody Boys and even more so if you’ve never met Gerald Williams, you are truly missing out on a high-class group, and a wonderful gentleman. You can purchase this cd at www.themelodyboysquartet.com as with all their other cds.
The Melody Boys Quartet – American Christian
My Favorite Songs: Keep Walking, Shadows, Love So Divine, The Shepherd, Forever Paradise, The Healer of Broken Hearts
Review Copy Provided.