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Lonnie's Boys 

The Harmonizing Four engaged in the 1940s equivalent of social networking. “We started getting the names of groups, like the Soul Stirrers in Chicago,” Lonnie Liston Smith Sr. said in 1986. “We’d stay with them a week or two and then they’d come here. … That’s how we got known so well across the country, partnering with other groups.” From left, Levi Hansley, Vance Joyner, Lonnie Liston Smith Sr., Thomas Johnson, founding member John Scott and “Gospel Joe” Williams.

Image credit: Courtesy of the Smith Family

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Uploaded: Apr 19, 2011 | Post / Read Comments (4)

Gallery: Stories: the Smith Family

  • The Harmonizing Four engaged in the 1940s equivalent of social networking. “We started getting the names of groups, like the Soul Stirrers in Chicago,” Lonnie Liston Smith Sr. said in 1986. “We’d stay with them a week or two and then they’d come here. … That’s how we got known so well across the country, partnering with other groups.” From left, Levi Hansley, Vance Joyner, Lonnie Liston Smith Sr., Thomas Johnson, founding member John Scott and “Gospel Joe” Williams.
  • Lonnie's Boys
  • The Harmonizing Four engaged in the 1940s equivalent...
  • Courtesy of the Smith Family
  • Apr 19, 2011
  • The Smith family at home in the early 1970s. Standing at top are Lonnie Liston Smith Jr., Ray Smith and Donald Smith. Below, from left, are Lonnie Liston Smith Sr., Ray Smith Jr. (Ray’s son), mother Elizabeth Smith and Donald’s daughter Yaisa.
  • Lonnie's Boys
  • The Smith family at home in the early...
  • Courtesy of the Smith Family
  • Apr 19, 2011
  • In the ’50s, the Harmonizing Four (with Lonnie Liston Smith Sr., pictured in glasses with guitar) performed many times at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. A decade later, Lonnie’s son Ray would play the same legendary venue as a member of the doo-wop group, the Jarmels.
  • Lonnie's Boys
  • In the ’50s, the Harmonizing Four (with Lonnie...
  • Courtesy of the Smith Family
  • Apr 19, 2011
  • Before he joined the Harmonizing Four, Lonnie, at far right with guitar, formed the Christian Four Quartet, which he described as having “more of a jump, jubilee style than the conservative Harmonizing Four.
  • Lonnie's Boys
  • Before he joined the Harmonizing Four, Lonnie, at...
  • Courtesy of the Smith Family
  • Apr 19, 2011
  • The original Jarmels in 1961 with Ray Smith at top.
  • Lonnie's Boys
  • The original Jarmels in 1961 with Ray Smith...
  • Courtesy of the Smith Family
  • Apr 19, 2011

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