Blue Ridge Quartet
The Blue Ridge Quartet was founded in 1946. Originally part of the Stamps organization, they eventually split with that group and relocated to North Carolina, later settling in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The group endured many personnel changes during the early years until Elmo Fagg, Ed Sprouse, and Kenny Gates joined the group in the 1950s. Burl Strevel was the bass singer for a while, and was later replaced by George Younce. Jim Hamill pulled a stint at baritone. Hamill was eventually replaced by Bill Crowe.
When George Younce left the group to join the Cathedral Quartet in 1964, Burl Strevel returned to sing bass. Shortly after Strevel rejoined the group, Fred Daniel replaced Ed Sprouse at the tenor position. Strevel and Daniel had previously worked together with the Sunshine Boys.
When Elmo Fagg retired, Laverne Tripp joined the group at the lead position. Shortly after Tripp joined the group, Fred Daniel came off the road and was replaced at tenor by Don Seabolt. It was during this era that the quartet achieved immense popularity, particularly in northeast United States, playing to record breaking crowds at state and county fairs all over the region. The biggest blow to the group occurred when Burl Strevel died of a heart attack on November 12, 1981. After that point, Bill Crowe owned and managed the group until he disbanded them in January, 1985. The group had a television show that was syndicated in several markets. The programs were taped and shown early in the morning at the studios of WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC.
During their final years, Crowe changed the group name to Blue Ridge Country Road Show, shifting the emphasis of their music from Gospel to Country. The group made a few major appearances including a show for 25,000 with Charlie Pride, Janie Fricke, and Ronnie McDowell in Burtonsville, Maryland, but tensions with and among group members ultimately led to Crowe's decision not to continue Blue Ridge Country Road Show.
In later years, former members of the Blue Ridge Quartet made limited appearances at reunion events and at events in Spartanburg, SC billed as the Blue Ridge Quartet. At some of these events, only three members were present despite being introduced as a "quartet."
Wikipedia contributors. Blue Ridge Quartet. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. March 31, 2010, 16:21 UTC. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blue_Ridge_Quartet&oldid=353174180. Accessed March 9, 2011.