About The Group
The Spindale Quartet was an Acappella group from Rutherford County, North Carolina, organized by Dee Christopher Cole. He was a World War I veteran best known for organizing horn bands in various parts of Rutherford County and near environs. He was a vocalist and taught singing schools.
Among other achievements, he organized and led the Spindale Quartet from those who worked at the Spindale textile mill. Unfortunately, no one recalls the name of the fourth member. However, subsequent research uncovered the identity of the fourth member. The Spindale Quartet members were:
A small 8-line article in an April 1928 newspaper provided the identities of the quartet, naming them by their first and middle initials and their last names as often was the case in that early era. The article mentioned they were to do a sacred concert program over WWNC in Asheville, NC on Sunday afternoon, April 15, 1928. An article in the Asheville newspaper indicated that Mr. Cole was the director of the Spindale quartet as well as the Methodist Church Choir. Mr. Starnes and Mr. Hendrix were also members of the Methodist choir in addition to their participation in the quartet. The article went on to state: "All are musicians of ability and those who tune in Sunday afternoon may expect an excellent program."
The quartet were on WSPA in Spartanburg, SC for a Sunday broadcast on November 27, 1932. They were part of a motorcade with the Rutherfordton Spindale Men's Evangelistic Club and drove down to Spartansburg to attend an annual convention of the South Carolina Men's Evangelistic clubs. They did another concert over WSPA in May 1931.
Unlike the many early country music figures who worked in cotton mills, Howard and Starnes were management figures who eventually became mill superintendents.
The four unaccompanied numbers the quartet recorded at Johnson City in October 1929 were modest sellers. They might have done better had not the Depression hurt record sales.
The Spindale four continued to work together until 1934 when some moved to more distant locales which made it more difficult to continue working together.
Credits & Sources
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