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Legendary History

The music is what matters most...

The Soul Stirrers, who were first known as The Mount Pleasant Green Singers, were organized in 1929, in Trinity, Texas. S.R. Crain came to the group in 1930, and changed the name to The Soul Stirrers.

R.H. Harris, who is the last living member of the original group, was also one of the very first of two lead singers int he same group. R.H. Harris, who is recognized world wide as the Father of Gospel Singers, along with Rev. LaBoea, were the first two lead singers to switch leads on the same song. R.H. Harris came to The Soul Stirrers in 1931, and left in 1950 to become president ot the quartet convention.

In 1936, The Soul Stirrers moved to Chicago, Illinois and they were the first gospel group to travel, sing for a living and charge admission at the door. They sang for one week at a church and received $2.65.

For many years, The Soul Stirrers were trend setters for both gospel and rock and roll artists. It was not unusual to see The Drifters, "Little" Willie John, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Little Richard and many other rock and roll singers in the audience after Sam Cooke joined the group. Sam joined The Soul Stirrers in 1950.

Sam Cooke followed the legendary R.H. Harris to The Soul Stirrers and the group reached even greater heights.

At the peak of their career, the group consisted of Sam Cooke, Paul Foster, Jessie Farley, S.R. Crain, R.B. Robinson and LeRoy Crume, who is the only original member of the group still singing. Their early recordings are on file at the Library of Congress.

In 1958, Sam Cooke left the group to pursue his own career. Then in 1959, S.R. Crain moved on as manager for Sam Cooke. At this time the manager's mantel was passed on to Farley. In 1965, LeRoy Crume left the group to join the cast of "Jubilee Showcase", a weekly television show where he appeared as a regular musician until 1980 when he returned to The Soul Stirrers. Jessie Farley retired in 1974, passing the mantel to Arthur Crume, who had been a member of the group since October 1965.

LeRoy Crume attended grammar school with Sam Cooke and two of the Staple Singers, played guitar for Aretha Franklin and bass guitar for The Staple Singers.

Sam Cooke, until his death, along with LeRoy Crume did most of the song writing for the group, continued his contribution to The Soul Stirrers with writing such hits as, "Wade in the water" and "Were you there".


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