PHILADELPHIA (CelebrityAccess) — Gospel legends The Dixie Hummingbirds announced they will mark their 90th anniversary with a year-long series of events.
The announcement was made during a press conference at the African American Museum in Philadelphia by Ira Tucker Jr., the current leader of the group, whose late father, Ira Tucker Sr., became its lead singer in 1938 when the group signed with Decca Records and was first propelled to national prominence, ushering in the hard-singing style of gospel music’s 1940s and 1950s golden age.
Events planned for the “90th Anniversary Celebration: The Magnificent Flight of the Dixie Hummingbirds,” included a performance at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia as part of Philadelphia public radio station WXPN’s multi-platform “Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul” project.
A concert at the Oak Grove Baptist Church in North Philadelphia on Sept. 16th.
A gospel breakfast tribute to the Dixie Hummingbirds on Sunday morning, Sept. 30, at Girard College in Philadelphia, hosted by Mighty Writers, as the final event of MightyFest, a four-day student literacy festival.
In 2019, the group will hit the road in North America with a touring stage production “From Streetlight to Spotlight.” The tour is billed as a fully choreographed production with additional musicians, vocalists, and dancers. However, an itinerary for the tour has yet to be announced.
The Dixie Hummingbirds were formed in 1928 in Greenville, SC. They made their recording debut in 1939 on Decca, and their singles include “Soon Will Be Done with the Troubles of This World,” “Little Wooden Church,” and “Joshua Journeyed to Jericho.” In 1942 the group relocated to Philadelphia, where founding member James B. Davis bought a house at 23rd and Girard Avenue, and used it as a rehearsal space.
In 2017, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia commemorated the Dixie Hummingbirds with a historical marker dedicated there.