A singer who helped usher in a new era for a gospel group founded in 1921 died Monday at age 84.
Robert Hamlett joined the Fairfield Four in 1984. In the 1990s, the group that was founded in a Nashville church appeared on albums by Elvis Costello and John Fogerty, and the group’s own album, I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray, won the Grammy for best traditional gospel soul album in 1998.
Two years later, Hamlett and others in the quartet were seen and heard in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? They shared a scene with George Clooney as a group of singing gravediggers.
That film’s soundtrack earned them a second Grammy in 2002.
Hamlett continued to perform with the group through 2014. His last concert with the group was a taping for PBS’ Rock My Soul TV special, filmed at Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church.
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