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An Evening With The Chambers Brothers

Growing up in poverty in rural Mississippi in the 1940s, the Chambers Brothers came from a family of sharecroppers, plowing 35 acres of cotton. Life was hard, but there was singing in the fields, in church and around the kitchen table with their beloved parents. In the early 1950s the family escaped the Jim Crow South and arrived in Los Angeles. Once there, the brothers started singing gospel music as a group, eventually finding their way to Ed Pearl and the Ash Grove music club where they earned their first paying gig, singing their gospel songs. Dating back to 1961, the Brothers — George, Joe, Willie, and Lester — were part of the younger generation of performers who merged their own musical tradition and talent with what they learned from an older generation of masters like Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Doc Watson, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Hoyt Axton, Barbara Dane, and others who found a musical home at the Ash Grove. Dane became their champion, touring and recording with them, and introducing them to one of the most famous members of Ed Pearl's musical and political circle, Pete Seeger, thus helping get them onto the bill of the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, where they quickly became a sensation. Broadening their musical palette, the Brothers branched out beyond their gospel, blues and folk roots and exploded onto the rock scene of the late 1960s with their great hit, "The Time Has Come Today," which became an anthem for a whole generation, and is still part of our cultural landscape. The GRAMMY Museum welcomes the Chambers Brothers — Willie, Joe and George — as they reunite for a special evening of conversation and performance in the Clive Davis Theater, hosted by Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum.

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