Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hovie Lister & the Statesmen

What a find! This record has never been played, or opened!  Hovie Lister & the Statesmen.  With the Skylite Strings, on the Skylite label, SLP 6080.  They sound like would have played a few concerts that Andy and Helen and Barney and Thelmalou would have surely attended in Mayberry on hot Saturday night.  Very obscure - so I had to look this up:  Hovie Franklin Lister (September 17, 1926 - December 28, 2001) was an American gospel pianist.  Lister was born in Greenville, South Carolinaand he learned piano at age six.  Lister accompanied a singing group composed of his father and three of his uncles (The Lister Brothers Quartet) at 14, and toured with Mordecai Ham at the same age.  He attended the Stamps-Baxter School of Music in Dallas.  Following his education, Lister served as an accompanist for The Lefevres, The Homeland Harmony, and The Rangers Quartet in the 1940s.  In 1948, he formed The Statesmen Quartet, and remained the group's anchor for decades.  Lister's style, which differed from his predecessors in his adoption of jazz, soul and ragtime idioms over the staid, solemn accompaniment of prior generations, influenced the sound of gospel and CCM in the later 20th century. Lister remained a member of The Statesmen Quartet into the 2000s.  Aside from performing, Lister also had interests in music publishing and promotion.  Lister was inducted into the Southern Gospel Hall of Fame in 2001.

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