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Gospel Quartet Radio Performances
Kevin Kehrberg, 2007 Sound Archives Fellow, focused on the gospel quartets documented in Berea's radio program collections, especially the Renfro Valley Gatherin' and other programs John Lair aired on network radio from Renfro Valley in the 1940s and 1950
Kevin Kehrberg is a member of the music faculty at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NY where he teaches courses and ensembles in American music and world music. He received a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Kentucky with a dissertation on Albert E. Brumley, the most influential American gospel song composer of the twentieth century.
His fellowship work at Berea focused on the gospel quartets documented in Berea's radio program collections, especially the Renfro Valley Gatherin' and other programs John Lair aired on network radio from Renfro Valley in the 1940s and 1950s.
Kehrberg focused on analyzing performing styles and repertoires, understanding stylistic similarities and differences within a concentrated geographic region, and developing a more complete account of John Lair's association with Albert Brumley. He also looked closely at John Lair's use of gospel music in the radio programming, quartet contests, and annual all-night singing events he produced, and the impact this activity had on the greater Renfro Valley community. Fieldwork included attending present-day Renfro Valley performances, conducting oral history interviews, and identifying a collection of rare gospel quartet radio recordings from the 1950s.
Quartet profiles and audio samples excerpted from Kevin Kehrberg’s Fellowship Activity Report documenting key persons, quartets, repertoire and singing styles associated with southern gospel music activity at Renfro Valley 1940-1950.