The Arhoolie Foundation has teamed up with Little Village Foundation to produce “Working From Home,” a video series of mini house concerts recorded live by traditional musicians trying to make it through the current public health crisis doing what they do best. Please join us in supporting these working musicians by donating directly to them through the links provided. We will match the first $500 in donations to each.

This week’s episode features fan favorite The Sons of The Soul Revivers, recorded live at their home in Vallejo, CA. Walter, James, and Dwayne Morgan grew up singing quartet music together in San Francisco. Their latest record, Songs We’ll Always Sing – A Tribute to The Pilgrim Jubilees, will be released by Little Village Foundation on June 19, 2020. 

Play Video
Note: The Morgan brothers live together and as such do not mask or observe social distancing.

Donate directly to The Sons of the Soul Revivers:
(Together, AF & LVF will match the first $500 donated)

The Sons of the Soul Revivers (Walter, Jr., James, and Dwayne Morgan) began in San Francisco in 1970, when at the venerable age of nine, Walter Jr. gathered up his brother Sidney and some cousins and began his own gospel group, succeeding his father’s group, Soul Revivers.

Their lead singer, brother James, debuted with the Sons at the age of seven at the local playground with a song by the Swan Silvertones, “We’re Going to Have a Good Time.” As James modestly put it, “the people seemed to like it.” When you get on the stage to sing, something exciting, something spiritual, something magical, however you want to describe it, it’s going to be nothing but positive good vibes, and it’s going to flow from the stage out to the audience, and my prayer is that everybody will be impacted by that in some kind of way.”

Former Huey Lewis & the News manager Bob Brown suggested to Jim Pugh of the nonprofit record company Little Village Foundation that he record the quartet. Jim signed them up and they produced a live album at Bob’s club in West Marin, the Rancho Nicasio, and then more recently the Sons went into the studio for Songs We’ll Always Sing – A Tribute to The Pilgrim Jubilees.

Said James, “We definitely used the Pilgrim Jubilees as a blueprint for how the traditional gospel quartet sound should be.  We got a chance to see those guys in 1977, and long story short, they blew us away.  When they got on the stage, they sang.  They didn’t have fancy gimmicks, they didn’t have a standout tenor singer where you can showcase his vocals, like Claude Jeters (Swan Silvertones), they were just a good, old-fashioned solid group who could really sing.  And I said to myself, ‘that’s the way traditional gospel quartet should be.’

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.