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The Soul Stirrers was one of the most popular and influential gospel groups of the 20th century, as they were pioneers in the development of the quartet style of gospel. They were creating soul without knowing.

First R.H. Harris was their musical leader, introducing for example the 'swing lead', singing in delayed time, rhythmic and emotional support from back singers. When they signed with another label, R.H. Harris left the group and was replaced by the then-unknown Sam Cooke. He was 19 years old at the time.

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