Blessed with great vocal cords, tenacity, perserverance and a special anointing of God, The Legendary Swanee Quintet has traveled around the world, lifting up the name of Jesus Christ through song. Known for their old-fashioned traditional songs, The Swanee Quintet appeared on the gospel scene in 1940. Charlie Barnwell (Founder), Rufus Washington, Willie Bush, James “Big Red” Anderson, William Crawford, Floyd Fouch, Oscar Bing, Ruben Willingham, and Purcell Dunbar started singing together in Georgia and South Carolina in 1939. Other long time members have included: Johnny Jones, Percy Griffin, Augustus Mims, Johnnie Mims, Clarence Murray and Eddie Bynes.
In 1956, the Quintet became the first black gospel group to have its own touring bus. One of their first major trips outside of Augusta was to Mount Olive Baptist Church onn Long Island, New York. It was their first guaranteed concert fee, which was $150.00. Their first broadcasts were on Augusta radio station WTNT. They later moved to WGAC Radio in Augusta, Ga. For over six decades, the Quintet has performed in almost every state including such prestigious places as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Harlem’s Apollo Theater, and The House of Blues. They have shared the stage with Gospel Luminaries such as Shirley Ceasar, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, The Canton Spirituals and The Williams Brothers. National figures realize the impact of the Quintet musical legacy. Main Source: Swanee Quintet MySpace