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Homegrown Plus: The Fairfield Four

A gospel quartet performing onstage.

The Fairfield Four in the Coolidge Auditorium, September 28, 2017. Left to right, Leveret Allison, Bobbye Sherrell, Larrice Byrd Sr., and Joe Thomspon. Photo by Stephen Winick for AFC.

In the Homegrown Plus series, we present Homegrown concerts that also had accompanying oral history interviews, placing both together in an easy-to-find blog post. (Find the whole series here!) We’re continuing the series with the The Fairfield Four, an African-American gospel quartet that has existed for more than 95 years. Best known for its performance in the film “O Brother Where Art Thou” and for collaborations with popular artists such as Dolly Parton, John Fogerty and Vince Gill, The Fairfield Four appeared at the Library of Congress on September 28, 2017.

In the first player, watch the concert.  Then scroll down for the oral history!

In the oral history, our head of Research and Programs (and Folklife Today blogger) John Fenn spoke with members of the quartet about the development of gospel music and the storied history of the band:

You can find both of these videos with more bibliographic information on the Library of Congress website, with the concert here at this link and the oral history at this link.

Read more about the Fairfield Four at their website.

The American Folklife Center’s Homegrown Concert Series brings music, dance, and spoken arts from across the country, and some from further afield, to the Library of Congress.  For information on current concerts, visit the Folklife Concerts page at Concerts from the Library of Congress. For past concerts, including links to webcasts and other information, visit the Homegrown Concerts Online Archive.