TITLE: The Birmingham Sunlights
SPEAKER: Birmingham Sunlights
EVENT DATE: 12/07/2005
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 61 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Gospel Quartet Birmingham Sunlights perform as part of the Homegrown 2005 Concert Series sponsored by the American Folklife Center.
Speaker Biography: The dynamic Birmingham Sunlights are dedicated to carrying on the art of unaccompanied gospel harmony singing that has an especially brilliant heritage in their home place of Jefferson County, Ala. Formed in 1979 by music director James Alex Taylor, the quartet originally included James' brothers Steve and Barry, and Ricky Speights and Wayne Williams; Williams has since been replaced by Bill Graves. Upon becoming aware of the rich Jefferson County gospel quartet tradition, they sought training from a senior quartet, the Sterling Jubilees, to learn songs traditional to the area. For more than 20 years since then, the Sunlights have carried their joyful message all over the United States and the world. They have appeared at numerous festivals across the nation, performed in France as ambassadors of Alabama traditional culture, toured five countries in Africa and performed extensively in the Caribbean and Australia under the auspices of the United States Department of Information and the United States State Department.