The Southlanders Quartet (1948)
Bobby Strickland organized the Southlanders Quartet in Birmingham, Alabama in early 1948. The members were Pace Strickland (Bobby’s brother), tenor; Bervin Kendrick, lead; Bobby Strickland, baritone; Gordon Hill, Bass; and Charles McClain, piano.
The Southlanders billed themselves as “The Half-Ton of Harmony” since most of the members were rather large either in height or circumference. They were quite successful in obtaining singing engagements and were well received by their audiences.
After they had existed only six months, Hovie Lister called from Atlanta. He had made a deal to have a quartet sing on radio station WCON in Atlanta. He offered Bobby, who was an experienced quartet veteran, a rate of pay that was unheard of at the time, if he would come to Atlanta and join the new quartet as its tenor. Hovie also hired Mosie Lister to sing lead and two other Southlanders, Bervin Kendrick for baritone and Gordon Hill for bass, and the Statesmen Quartet was formed.
Although the Southlanders didn’t make any records for sale to the public during their short existence, they did make a few transcriptions for radio.