The Dixieaires

The name of this vintage gospel group seems like an attempt to hoard vowels, but the Dixieaires may have actually been created to keep lawyers happy, not members of the Boggle club. At one point in the late '40s the group was deep in interconnecting contractual disputes with a pack of labels including Exclusive, hardly an appropriate name considering the circumstances, Sittin' in With, Davis and Continental. Despite the overwhelming demand such a state of affairs suggests, historical material concerning the Dixieaires indicates the bandmembers went their own way in 1950 because nobody was able to support their families on the income the group was generating. This was despite several hit records including the provocative "Joe Louis Is a Fightin' Man" and "Traveling All Alone." The group was also innovative in its involvement with popular music groups such as the Cats & the Fiddle at a time when bringing a gospel vocal group into a pop recording session wasn't as common as syrup on flapjacks. One member, Julius Caleb Ginyard, went on to start the popular R&B group the Du Droppers. His career also stretched back farther than any of his sidekicks. He had formed the Royal Harmony Singers in 1936, recording with that group for Decca and staying with it as it evolved into the Jubilaires in 1941. In 1948, he joined the Dixieaires and basically took over managing the group. Some gospel fans see Ginyard as kind of a Frankie Valli in the Dixieaires, the identity of harmonizing members as important in the scheme of things as yet another vowel. Further confusion has been created by extensive use of the group's name by other groups. Even prior to the group breaking up, the R&B combo the Ravens cut a side under the name of the Dixieaires. In the '60s the name turned up on the side of a bus belonging to a white Southern gospel band. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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