RIP Claude Jeter (1914 – 2009)

Maurice Bottomley says: RIP Claude Jeter.

Claude Jeter (1914  - 2009) by you.

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Listen to him here[1] on “Stand By Me“.

Claude A. Jeter (October 26, 1914 – January 6, 2009) was an African American gospel music singer.

Jeter was best known for his falsetto with the Swan Silvertones in which his graceful high melodies served in contrast to the rougher voices of the group’s other members. The group recorded for the several different labels, but never achieved financial success, despite its widespread influence. (I have a very special fondness for this category of artists, the ones whose influence osmotically make their own name disappear).

During the 1950s the group was popular and many of the elements of the group’s style resembled the then-prevalent rhythm and blues vocal group style. Jeter received many offers to perform R&B or rock and roll, but rejected them all, citing a commitment he had made to his mother that he would always sing for the Lord.

Elements of his performances in songs were picked up by later singers such as Al Green and Eddie Kendricks of The Temptations and another of his songs served as Paul Simon‘s inspiration to write his 1970 song “Bridge over Troubled Water“. Paul Simon subsequently gave Jeter a check for $1,000 for inspiring Simon to write “Bridge over Troubled Water”. See for this last trope: cultural appropriation in western music.