The Sensational Nightingales long have been ranked as the best of the "golden age" singers with their vintage harmony tradition. They are also referred to as "The Gentlemen of Song," in 1998 became the first group inducted into the American Gospel Quartet Hall of Fame. The crowning achievement of the Nightingales' long history was the honor recognizing the group as one of the cornerstones of gospel quartet music. That ceremony fell over 50 years after the Nightingales were founded in 1942, by Barney Parks of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who had left the famed Dixie Hummingbirds to start his own group.
The Nightingales continued to work small concerts and gain regional fame, when Joseph "Jo" Wallace joined them in 1946. He would become the heart of the group and a lifelong member. After touring the South at the end of World War II, the Sensational Nightingales recorded their first single, Will You Welcome Me There on Peacock Records in 1947. A few years later, the group released its first album Songs of Praise on Peacock Records. Eventually, Peacock was sold but the group stayed with the label as it moved to ABC/Dunhill. In that era, the group released over 25 singles on the various labels. In 1979, the Sensational Nightingales signed with Malaco Records and continued to create hit after hit.
The Nightingales toured as Ambassadors of Goodwill for the Arts American Program of the U. S. Information Agency in 1985. The mission involved public performances, radio and television interviews, and participating in workshops and teaching sessions with university students and local gospel singers. In 1996, the governor of North Carolina, the mayor of Durham, churches and the gospel industry joined to celebrate the Sensational Nightingales golden anniversary with a concert in Durham.
In 2003 the "Gales" received a Grammy nomination for "Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album".
The Nightingales onstage magic is about much more than music. They are a spiritual presence and their song sessions always begin and end with prayer. During their travels, group members have witnessed to untold crowds and many souls have surrendered their lives to Christ. This, above all else, is how the Sensational Nightingales want to be known.
Through six decades of making hit music, "The Gales" have remained at the forefront of quartet music
The current group consist of Joseph Wallace (manager and guitarist), Horace Thompson (Bass player and background vocalist), Larry Moore (background vocalist) and Darrell Luster (lead singer and the groups recording producer).
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