70 years of song will be celebrated

Members have come and gone over the years, but the heart is still the same.


Augusta's long-running gospel group, the Swanee Quintet, celebrates 70 years with a performance Sunday at Bell Auditorium.

"It's a special time. We've been a part of this community for a long time and we're grateful," said Percy Griffin, a longtime member.

The group started performing around Georgia and South Carolina in 1940. In 1956, the Swanee Quintet became the first black gospel group to have its own tour bus.

The group made trips up and down the east coast, eventually traveling overseas. The quintet has performed in Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Apollo Theater and The House of Blues.

Other gospel acts performing Sunday include Lee Williams and The Spiritual QCs, Harvey Watkins and the Canton Spirituals, Darrell McFadden and His Disciples, Don McKenzie and the Hi-Lites and the Gospel Pearls of Faith.

Reach Kelly Jasper at (706) 823-3552 or kelly.jasper@augustachronicle.com.

If you go

WHAT: 70th anniversary celebration of the Swanee Quintet

WHEN: 5 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St.

COST: $30 adults, $8 ages 6 p.m.- midnight; swaneequintet.com



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