Ganus Brothers Quartette (older group)
Ganus Brothers Quartet (1920s–early 1940s)
The Ganus family of Birmingham, Alabama was involved in many phases of gospel and country music through much of the first half of the twentieth century.
Brothers Walter P., Stancel A., and Alva Floyd Ganus, along with another member sang in the Birmingham area as the Ganus Brothers Quartette in the 1920s. Walter had been a part owner of the A.J. Showalter Company. He started his own music publishing company in 1914.
In 1928 a younger Ganus Quartet came along which was made up of four sons of Walter P. Ganus: Claude, Clyde, Clarence, and Cecil. Each brother was proficient with several musical instruments. They went on tours and conducted singing schools throughout the southeast instructing their students in vocal and instrumental skills. Their concerts included vocal, instrumental, and comedy songs.
The younger quartet also operated out of Birmingham. They sold songbooks from their family’s music publishing company, and they had their own line of musical instruments. W. P. Ganus often accompanied his sons at the schools and concerts at the piano. They were sometimes called the "W.P. Ganus Quartet" or the "Ganus Brothers Junior Quartet" during the early years. The quartet was billed in the late 1930s as being “recording artists and radio singers.” An article from 1939 said they were "famous in 28 states for their talent as singers and entertainers...," and it said, "They are one of the few groups of musicians who offer a general variety of entertainment featuring music produced by electricity, novelties and many kinds of instruments. One of the special features will be music from a $1050 accordion made in their own factory in Birmingham."
The Ganus Quartet disbanded around the beginning of World War Two, and the brothers went their separate ways. Several of the Ganus brothers and cousins continued in the music business as teachers, music store operators, performers, and songwriters.
Six different Ganus family members wrote or co-wrote forty-two of the one hundred sixty-three songs in their songbook Ganus Favorite Songs (copyright 1937) with Claude penning twenty-three. Many songs were co-written by James Rowe. Walter's brother, S. A. Ganus and James Rowe composed "Redeemed" which was recorded by the Alcoa Quartet on Victor Records in 1927 in Bristol Tennessee. The song's chorus was featured as the final chorus in J. D. Sumner's "Old Country Church" medley and in in Phil Cross's number one charting song "I Am Redeemed."
The older group, with young Clarence filling in at bass, was heard on the late 1920s quartet recordings on the Vocalion label. The younger quartet recorded some songs on Columbia Records. Brothers Clarence and Clyde also made a number of gospel and country recordings as the "Ganus Brothers" on the Columbia and Vocalion labels.
Ganus Brothers Quartette Discography (older group) (incomplete)
1928(Vocalion Records/5271): There We'll Spend Eternity; Jesus Knows The Way: (WP Ganus, SA Ganus, AF Ganus, Clarence Ganus).
1928(Vocalion Records/5324): Cast Thy Bread On The Water; Beautiful City Of Zion: (WP Ganus, SA Ganus, AF Ganus, Clarence Ganus).