In November 1949, the Eastern Star Quartet, which actually had five members, appeared at a community sing program at Reid Street Community Center alongside the Stantonsburg Jubilaires and Elm City’s Harris Brothers Quartet.
I think Junius Lucas has the guitar, and Ernest Edwards stands behind him to the left. Can you identify the other singers?
Rev. A.G. Dunston — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 Goldsboro Street, Mary Humphrey, 65, widow, and lodgers A.G. Dunston, 59, minister; Charlie Smith, 31, redrying tobacco factory worker, and Henrietta Smith, 28, cook. Dunston reported that he was living in Lumberton, N.C., five years previously, and the Smiths reported they were living in Atlanta, Georgia. Alfred Grifton Dunston died 18 January 1965 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 26 January 1880 in Currituck County, N.C., to Henry and Emily Dunston; lived near Stantonsburg; was married; and was a minister. Lona E. Dunston was informant. [Note Rev. Dunston’s son, A.G. Dunston Jr., was an A.M.E. Zion bishop and civil rights leader in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.]
Helen Adele Barnes — Helen Barnes, Ruth Hart, Barbara Jones, Evangeline Reid and Marjorie Taylor were classmates and members of the brand new Girl Scout Troop 11. They were all about 12 years old in 1946.
Per an unsourced inventory compiled by Freeman Round House and Museum, the Wilson Chapel Four performed for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inauguration and were the first African-American gospel quartet to sing on WGTM, a Wilson radio station.
The Wilson Chapel Four performed on Sunday at 10:30 A.M. Wilson Daily Times, 17 July 1943.
Presumably, the quartet was affiliated with Wilson Chapel Free Will Baptist Church at 513 East Barnes Street. If anyone can identify members of the Wilson Chapel Four, I’d appreciate hearing from you.