Archive for February, 2011

Joy, personified.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2011 by byandbythemovie

An “all-star” NOLA gospel trio covers the Dixie Hummingbirds

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2011 by byandbythemovie

A few weeks ago, we posted a clip of the Crown Seekers covering Sam Cooke’s “That’s Heaven To Me” for what would have been his 80th birthday. During the filming of By and By, Cooke has regularly been mentioned as the biggest individual influence for most  vocalists. But when it comes to actual quartets, there’s no contest: the Dixie Hummingbirds are, by far, the biggest influence cited by NOLA groups.  This clip features James Williams from the Electrifying Crown Seekers; Sr. Audrey Ferguson from the Voices of Distinction; and Lionel Jackson from the Rocks of Harmony, doing a cover of the Dixie Hummingbirds classic, “Christian Automobile”.

“In the Spirit”

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2, 2011 by byandbythemovie

Along with George Nierenberg’s 1982 documentary, Say Amen, Somebody, one of the biggest influences on the production of By and By has been the photography of Michael P. Smith.

By and By producer/director Joe Compton was friends with Mike, and this video from the Historic New Orleans Collection gives some insight into why By and By is very much a tribute to Smith’s preservationist work.

By and By update!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2, 2011 by byandbythemovie

Digging through interviews we’ve conducted with most of the major New Orleans gospel quartets over the last year, the name that comes up most frequently as a non-NOLA influence is Sam Cooke. He’s been gone since 1964, but you wouldn’t know it. Just ask our friends at Just Moving On.

And it’s not just his songs that linger. This cover of “That’s Heaven To Me” from an Electrifying Crown Seekers rehearsal is a case in point. While most quartets pride themselves on doing complete rearrangements of gospel standards, check out what James Williams, Sr. does here with his voice. The phrasing, tone, diction – everything leans to Cooke. It’s as if that signature lilt were built into the bones of the song. Few of the quartets we’ve captured on the By and By project deviate from Cooke’s phrasing when they cover his songs (a notable exception is a breath-taking “Change Is Gonna Come” the Voices of Distinction turned in at November’s Rocks of Harmony anniversary. Yes, we hope to eventually post).

In the mean time, we hope you’ll enjoy this clip. Cooke would have been 80 this weekend. When Los Angeles DJ Magnificent Montague closed out an interview with Cooke not long before the singer died, he riffed that “Sam Cooke’s yours – he’ll never grow old.” Rarely has hip patter been so true.

Matt Bowden