Blue Jay Singers
- Horace Clarence Boyer
American gospel quartet. It was organized in 1926 by Clarence Parnell, a pioneer figure in the black gospel-quartet tradition, and by the mid-1930s had become the most popular group of its type in the deep South. Besides Parnell (bass), its original members were Silas Steele (lead), Jimmie Hollingsworth (tenor), and Charlie Beale (baritone). Steele in particular became a model for other gospel-quartet soloists. Although the group was known for its “sweet” style of singing, performing in close harmony in a style reminiscent of early barbershop quartets, towards the end of the 1930s it adopted a more aggressive manner; the singers are regarded as the progenitors of the “hard” gospel style in vogue among quartets by ...