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African Americans > High
The High Speed Quartette was a group of young men who joined together in Gainesville around 1913-1915 to entertain audiences with their smooth, well-blended voices. Their musical style leaned to spiritual and comical songs, including the popular songs of the day, such as "Over There," "Johnny Get Your Gun," and "Keep the Home Fires Burning." They sang in churches, hotels, and clubs throughout the State of Florida, selling thousands of dollars worth of Government Liberty Bonds for World War I. The name, "High Speed," was based on the speed of the Ford automobile that they drove to reach their shows. Brothers Virgil and Jim Smith were members and officers of the Mt. Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church, and Lonnie H. Brown was an officer and member of the A.M.E Church; all of them sang in their church choirs for more than 50 years. Oscar Perry, Jim, and Lonnie worked at the Gainesville Post Office, and Virgil was a self-employed carpenter and contractor who helped build the Masonic Temple on North Main Street. All were born in Gainesville and lived here all their lives.
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