Monday, December 29, 2008

Christian Harmonizers (featuring B. Gordon) - Brightly Bean (Rae-Cox 105)

Brightly Bean


This marvelous record represents Benny Gordon's first appearance on vinyl. He told me that when the Harmonizers performed it at the Apollo in 1962, they just brought down the house. They were so good, he said, that they were fired, as the rest of the acts on the bill refused to follow them!

The next day, he was summoned to Harlem to meet with Swan Silvertones founder Claude Jeter. He was scared to death. It was nothing personal, Jeter told him, but that they just couldn't abide having a young kid like Benny upstaging them night after night. That was when he decided to 'cross-over', he told me...

It was later covered by the Brooklyn All-Stars (as 'Brightly Beams', which is no doubt the actual title), and Benny was re-united with them this past summer as they celebrated their fiftieth anniversary at the Mt. Zion Church in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Benny had a dream, he told me, that he was being called to sing Brightly Bean one more time.

I'm sure that is just what he is doing today.

May God rest his soul.


Blogger Zach said...


I thank you for this post on Claude Jeter and the Swan Silvertones as they are a deep and rich quartet that really brought in the Spirit. I had never heard "Great Day In December" before but "My Rock" is one of my favorite gospel records. Nice to know there are still very much appreciated. Jeter was amazing. Have you heard their version of Mary Don't You Weep or How I Got Over? Jeter really wails on those two.

Zach Maxwell

2:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Red,
I want to thank for the story about my Dad at Apollo which will be in my book coming out soon entitled (What is Soul.)
However, the picture is Sonny Brothers not Benny Gordon my Dad.
Thanks for the great job you do detecting Soul Music.
Tell Your fans they can buy Benny's music from his family via Songcast, iTunes or
Janice Gordon Eldest Daughter

3:28 PM  
Blogger Red Kelly said...

Janice - That photo was included in the batch you sent me... sorry about that. I've replaced it now.

10:08 AM  

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