There are several all male, black gospel quartets including "The Heavenly Gospel Singers," "Golden Gate Quartet," "Soul Stirrers" and "Norfolk Quartet." Professional black gospel quartets have existed since the end of the Civil War, creating a large library of groups and recordings.
Often referred to as "Southern Gospel," the early groups were called "quartets" because they were made up of a lead tenor with baritone and bass back up vocals and almost always male. African American music tradition defines a quartet as a minimum of four voices but may have up to eight; therefore, many types of African American singing groups fall under the "quartet" category. After the Civil War, quartets were formed as a way to fund higher education institutions for newly-freed slaves. One of these quartets was called the "Jubilee Singers," resulting in many gospel quartets being referred to as jubilee quartets.
While artists such as "The Heavenly Gospel Singers" and "Golden Gate Quartet" were popular during the 1920s and 1930s, there are several current all-male, black gospel quartets including: "Soul Shakers," "The Escorts," "The Persuaders" and "The Brown Boys."