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Quiz about The Blind Boys of Alabama
Quiz about The Blind Boys of Alabama

The Blind Boys of Alabama Trivia Quiz


You should be able to answer a few questions correctly even if you've never heard of this American gospel group, so feel free to play whether you're a fan or simply curious.

A multiple-choice quiz by skylarb. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
skylarb
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
400,109
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
12 / 15
Plays
156
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Question 1 of 15
1. The Blind Boys of Alabama were founded in what city? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. Of the six founding members of The Blind Boys of Alabama, what was different about J.T. Hutton? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. "Way Down In the Hole," sung by the Blind Boys of Alabama, was the theme song for the debut season of what HBO crime drama? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. The Blind Boys of Alabama became mainstream after appearing in what 1983 African-American musical version of a tragedy by Sophocles? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. The Blind Boys of Alabama released the album "Deep River" in 1992. It featured a cover of "I Believe in You," a song first recorded by what musician on his 1979 album "Slow Train Coming"? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. What First Lady of the United States presented the National Heritage Fellowship award to Clarence Fountain and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama in 1994? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. Who invited The Blind Boys of Alabama to the White House in 2011 to perform at a celebration of music from the Civil Rights Movement? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. The Blind Boys recorded their first live album, "I Brought Him With Me," in 1995. The album featured an appearance from what blues singer known for her albums "Force of Nature," "From the Heart of a Woman," and "The Earthshaker"? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. On their 2001 album "Spirit of the Century," the Blind Boys of Alabama covered "I Just Want to See His Face," which was originally recorded on what rock band's 1972 album "Exile on Main Street"? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. In 2002, the Blind Boys released "Higher Ground." The album takes its name from its title song, which was written by what fellow blind musician? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. What 2003 Blind Boys album, which contains mostly Christmas songs, won the Grammy for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. In 2010, the Blind Boys performed "Jesus" on "Late Night With David Letterman" with what Velvet Underground singer and guitarist? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. In 2016, the Blind Boys contributed to "God Don't Never Change," a tribute album to what American gospel blues singer born in 1897? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. What founding member and longtime leader of the group rejoined The Blind Boys of Alabama for the recording of their 2017 album "Almost Home"? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. How many Grammy Awards did The Blind Boys of Alabama win between 2000 and 2010? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Blind Boys of Alabama were founded in what city?

Answer: Talladega

Only one of these cities - Talladega - is in Alabama. Atlanta is in Georgia, Memphis in Tennessee, and Tulsa in Oklahoma.

Since their formation in 1939, the Blind Boys of Alabama (also billed as Clarence Fountain and the Blind Boys of Alabama and, at times, as the The Five Blind Boys of Alabama) have featured a changing roster of musicians, most of whom have had one thing in common: visual impairment. They had their first national hit in 1949 with "I Can See Everybody's Mother But Mine."
2. Of the six founding members of The Blind Boys of Alabama, what was different about J.T. Hutton?

Answer: He was the only sighted member

Most of the founding members of The Blind Boys of Alabama (Clarence Fountain, George Scott, Velma Bozman Traylor, Johnny Fields, and Olice Thomas) sang together in the school choir at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Deaf and Blind beginning in 1939. They were around nine years old. They were joined by J.T. Hutton, a friend of two of the boys. Hutton was the only sighted member of the group.

Eventually, these choir boys began sneaking off campus to perform gospel music for World War II soldiers at nearby encampments. They performed under the name of the Happy Land Jubilee Singers. In 1945, the young men dropped out of school and began touring.

The group got its Blind Boys name in 1948, when a promoter paired them with the Jackson Harmoneers, a Mississippi gospel group whose members were also visually impaired. The promoter advertised their joint act as the "Battle of the Blind Boys," and so both groups changed their names. One of the members of the Blind Boys of Mississippi, Percell Perkins, for a time became a member of the Blind Boys of Alabama.
3. "Way Down In the Hole," sung by the Blind Boys of Alabama, was the theme song for the debut season of what HBO crime drama?

Answer: The Wire

"Way Down in the Hole" was written by Tom Waits. "The Wire" used a different cover version of the song for its theme song in each of its first five seasons, starting with the the Blind Boys of Alabama. The show then used the Tom Waits version, followed by one from the Neville Brothers. For its fourth season, the show used the DoMaJe version, and for season five, Steve Earle's version.

"Criminal Minds" aired on CBS, not HBO, and "Game of Thrones" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" are not crime dramas.
4. The Blind Boys of Alabama became mainstream after appearing in what 1983 African-American musical version of a tragedy by Sophocles?

Answer: The Gospel at Colonus

The musical is based on "Oedipus at Colonus" by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles and premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival in 1983. It was created by Lee Breur, an experimental theater director, and had a short run on Broadway in 1988, when it featured Morgan Freeman (as Messenger), Sam Butler, Jr. (as The Singer), and Clarence Fountain and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama (as Oedipus). Prior to this performance, the group had performed almost exclusively to black gospel audiences, but they would begin to reach a wider audience in the 1980s.
5. The Blind Boys of Alabama released the album "Deep River" in 1992. It featured a cover of "I Believe in You," a song first recorded by what musician on his 1979 album "Slow Train Coming"?

Answer: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan released "Slow Train Coming" in 1979. It was his nineteenth studio album and included several original gospel songs, including "I Believe in You," which begins:

"They ask me how I feel
And if my love is real
And how I know I'll make it through
And they, they look at me and frown
They'd like to drive me from this towna
They don't want me around
'Cause I believe in you."

The album "Deep River," which was produced by Booker T. Jones, was nominated for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards.
6. What First Lady of the United States presented the National Heritage Fellowship award to Clarence Fountain and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama in 1994?

Answer: Hillary Clinton

National Heritage Fellowship recipients are selected by the National Endowment of the Arts. The Fellowship is the United States' highest honor in the traditional and folk arts, and it is a lifetime award. The fellowships are presented annually to up to fifteen artists or groups at a ceremony in the nation's capital.

In 1994, it was then First Lady Hillary Clinton who made the presentation.
7. Who invited The Blind Boys of Alabama to the White House in 2011 to perform at a celebration of music from the Civil Rights Movement?

Answer: Barack Obama

The gospel group was invited to The White House by President Clinton in 1994, George W. Bush in 2002, and Barack Obama in 2011. In 2011, they performed "Free At Last" at the White House Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.

The Blind Boys of Alabama were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
8. The Blind Boys recorded their first live album, "I Brought Him With Me," in 1995. The album featured an appearance from what blues singer known for her albums "Force of Nature," "From the Heart of a Woman," and "The Earthshaker"?

Answer: Koko Taylor

Koko Taylor was the Tennessee-born daughter of a sharecropper. In 1985, she received the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for her "Queen of the Blues." She sung on the song "Do Lord" with the Blind Boys on the 1995 album "I Brought Him With Me." Blues singer Solomon Burke also made an appearance on the album.
9. On their 2001 album "Spirit of the Century," the Blind Boys of Alabama covered "I Just Want to See His Face," which was originally recorded on what rock band's 1972 album "Exile on Main Street"?

Answer: The Rolling Stones

"Spirit of the Century" was released in 2001 on Peter Gabriel's Real World Records. It included a cover of the Rolling Stones song "I Just Want to See His Face," which was recorded on their 1972 album "Exile on Main St." The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

"Spirit of the Century" also featured a version of "Amazing Grace" arranged to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun." The album won the award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards.
10. In 2002, the Blind Boys released "Higher Ground." The album takes its name from its title song, which was written by what fellow blind musician?

Answer: Stevie Wonder

The "Higher Ground" album combines the music of other artists with traditional gospel, changing the lyrics slightly to make the songs sound like gospel songs. In the song "Higher Ground," for instance, Stevie Wonder's "lovers, keep on lovin'" was changed to "prayers, keep on prayin'." Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" was originally a funk single that peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
11. What 2003 Blind Boys album, which contains mostly Christmas songs, won the Grammy for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards?

Answer: Go Tell It On the Mountain

"Go Tell It On the Mountain" is a Christmas song about the birth of Jesus:

"Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born."

The album of the same title features several special guest artists. Solomon Burke performed on "I Pray on Christmas" and Tom Waits on "Go Tell It on the Mountain." Chrissie Hynde joined for "In the Bleak Midwinter" and Aaron Neville for "Joy to the World." The song "Born in Bethlehem" featured Mavis Staples, while Les McCann joined for "White Christmas."
12. In 2010, the Blind Boys performed "Jesus" on "Late Night With David Letterman" with what Velvet Underground singer and guitarist?

Answer: Lou Reed

"Jesus" originally appeared on The Velvet Underground's third studio album "The Velvet Underground." The Blind Boys had performed with Lou Reed previously in 2004 at a private concert for the Landmine Survivors Network held on the floor of the UN General Assembly. Lou Reed was the lead guitarist, singer, and primary songwriter for The Velvet Underground and also had a long solo career.

He died in 2013 at the age of 71.
13. In 2016, the Blind Boys contributed to "God Don't Never Change," a tribute album to what American gospel blues singer born in 1897?

Answer: Blind Willie Johnson

Blind Willie Johnson's landmark recordings of thirty songs were made between 1927 and 1930. His life was not well documented, but his music made an impact. For "God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson," the Blind Boys of Alabama recorded "Mother's Children Have a Hard Time," which was nominated for a Grammy for Best American Roots Performance.

Other contributors to the album included Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Cowboy Junkies, and Sinéad O'Connor.
14. What founding member and longtime leader of the group rejoined The Blind Boys of Alabama for the recording of their 2017 album "Almost Home"?

Answer: Clarence Fountain

The other three members listed in the answer choices were all deceased by 2017. Clarence Fountain died in 2018, at the age of 88. Fountain was in and out of the group over the years. He left in 1969 to pursue a solo career. Not having much success, he rejoined in 1977 and was at the group's forefront in the 1980s.

In 2007, he stopped touring with the group because of complications from diabetes. However, he rejoined to sing on the "Almost Home" album, which was released on BBOA records in collaboration with Amazon Music.
15. How many Grammy Awards did The Blind Boys of Alabama win between 2000 and 2010?

Answer: Six

They won for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album in 2002 ("Spirit of the Century"), 2003 ("Higher Ground"), 2004 ("Go Tell It On the Mountain"), 2005 ("There Will Be Light"), and 2009 ("Down in New Orleans"). They also won a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. Between 1994 and 2017, the group was nominated for four additional Grammy Awards they did not win.
Source: Author skylarb

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor agony before going online.
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