The Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi were no doubt one of the greatest, if not THE greatest singing group in gospel music. Noted for their strong harmonies and hard gospel singing style the group delivered deeply emotional and spiritual Christian messages in song. Helping to catapult the group, which had its beginnings in the Piney Woods School for the blind near Jackson, Mississippi, was lead vocalist Archie Brownlee. His vocal presence was commanding and felt immensely in every song. Brownlee became famous for his ability to release an intense guttural scream in song. In a spiritual sense he was attempting to connect with the Angels and God in heaven.
Vocals like Brownlee’s were, for the most part, unprecedented in recorded gospel music of the era, rather, vocals like his were most familiar within the walls of the Black church. Many of Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi’s contemporaries heavily borrowed from their hard gospel harmonic singing style and the guttural screams of Brownlee. Pop artist such as James Brown, Little Richard, and Sam Cooke, who have their roots in gospel music, cited The Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi and Archie Brown as influential in their craft.
Take a listen to the Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi and the screams of Archie Brownlee.