Formed in 1934 at Langston University, Oklahoma the original line-up of the group was bass Lee Gaines, baritone Kelsey Pharr, first tenor lead Carl Jones, second tenor Traverse Crawford, and pianist/arranger Rene DeKnight. The Delta Rhythm Boys exuded a classy elegance and sophistication that made them the most renowned and respected of the 40s groups who sang a blend of jubilee, pop and swing. In 1936 the group transferred to Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and began singing under the name Frederick Hall Quintet, after their mentor, the school's musical director. By 1938 the group had made it to New York and were appearing in Broadway shows such as Sing Out The News and The Hot Mikado as the Delta Rhythm Boys During 1941 they had success with two of their most memorable recordings, "Dry Bones" and "Take The 'A' Train", and also with recordings backing Mildred Bailey. The Delta Rhythm Boys also appeared in films for Universal during 1943-45. In 1945 the group were established on radio in programmes including Amos And Andy and The Joan Davis Show. In 1945 Decca teamed the Deltas with Ella Fitzgerald for some notable recordings.( via swingjazzblues )
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