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Gospel Music


The Hampton Roads area has certainly had its share of contributors to the Gospel scene.  The Library of Congress notes "the Tidewater gospel sound," which is sung in four-part harmony without musical accompaniment, originated right here in Hampton Roads.

Some of the most famous groups were:

  • Norfolk Jubilee Quartet
  • Hampton Institute Quartette
  • Golden Gate Quartet and
  • The Golden Crown Quartet
  • The Paschall Brothers

The Gospel Gents of Norfolk, Virginia

Bill Boykins

Bill Boykins
For the past 50 years, Bill Boykins has been on the radio airways and most of that has been involved in Gospel music.  “The Godfather of Gospel,” as he is affectionately known, has worked with or interviewed most of the Gospel artists who came through this area.  Boykins has also promoted numerous Gospel concerts himself.

Brother Boykins was born in Suffolk, VA and attended Booker T. Washington High School.  He was inducted into the Army before he finished.  Later he attended Norfolk State College.

Bill Boykins first got into radio at a small, Country music radio station in Franklin, VA, WYSR.  Since then he has worked at WLPM, WRAP, WPCE, WBSK, WMYK, WSVY, and WGPL FM 107.7.  More recently at WGPL AM 1600.

Bill Boykins has achieved recognition and been awarded numerous awards, including, the Legendary Pioneer Award in Radio, awarded by the Virginia Announcer Guild.  He is also on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina, South Carolina and Southern Virginia Gospel Announcers Guild of the GMWA.

Golden Gate Quartet

The group was founded as the Golden Gate Jubilee Singers in 1934, by four students at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia. According to the group's website, the original members were Willie Johnson (baritone; d. 1980), William Landford (tenor; d. 1970), Henry Owens (second tenor; d. 1970) and Orlandus Wilson (bass; 1917–1998); other sources state that Landford and Wilson replaced earlier members Robert "Peg" Ford and A.C. "Eddie" Griffin in 1935.

The group was also featured in movies and on TV shows.  "A Song for You," a film starring Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, and other giants of the time also featured the Golden Gate Quartette (as The Golden Gate Quartet) singing "Mockingbird".

The Peerless Four

The Peerless Four is in a long line of Gospel acts which have graced the area with their talent.  They recorded on Martin Culpepper Jr.'s,  JOB'S Records.

Peerless Four

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Hope Askew

Hope Askew
Hope Askew began her music career outside the church. She began singing music at age 15 with high hopes and aspirations. Her gift took her overseas, which eventually led to a CD single release in Germany.

She is once again based in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area where she attends church at Second Calvary in Norfolk, Virginia She has shared the stage with Pastor Andrae Crouch, Marvin Sapp, Ty Tribbett, Fred Hammond, J. Moss, and Donald Lawrence and Tri-City, to name a few.

She has appeared on  - Bobby Jones Gospel (Florida) 2007 -- Singsation (Chicago) 2007 - Cover of Gospel USA Magazine - Oct 2007 -

She was an undefeated Apollo Winner (New York), and Coordinator for GAG (Virginia Chapter) Music Awards Ceremony

Hope Askew was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2nd Annual En Sound Music Awards, a category which also featured Ann Nesby and Shirley Murdock.

“When I sing, I make it a point to take my time and effectively minister each lyrical word to ensure the audience understands my message.”  --Hope Askew--

Hope Askew performs.

Hope's MySpace

The Gospel Union


The Gospel Union

Rev. Melvin L. Phillips