Spiritual Wonders Phase II
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History of the Spiritual Wonders Phase II of Boston

The year was approximately 1954, when Group Founder/Manager, Alexander Bruce approached Clarence Thompson, Sr., who at this time was about twenty-one years old, and the youngest member of the group, who previously sung with the Bible Tones of Boston at the tender age of sixteen.

The Rev. George O'Neil, who himself was an original member of the Bible Tones, and James Lockhart, were also founding member of this new group who would call themselves, The Spiritual Wonders.

These four men began the legacy of rich traditional gospel quartet music with an incredible and a very unique sound that would be shared by so many other members who were added throughout the years.

In 1956, approximately 2 years after the group was formed, Deacon Ernest Ruffin, who later became manager and the longest tenured member of the group until his death in October 2002, joined the group. He was followed in that same year by the Rev. Elijah (Bee) Wilkerson. The Late Deacon Carl Abrams was also added around 1956.

The group would sing throughout Boston and Vicinity and was a main stay at such churches as the St. John's Missionary Baptist Church on Vernon Street, which welcomed so many Quartet Gospel Singers.

As the years progressed, many more members came and left the group. It was probably around the early seventies (and possibly late sixties) when long time lead singer, Clarence Houston joined the group, and would occasionally share solo duties with Rev. Elijah Wilkerson.

Claiken Craig, who was instrumental in securing Clarence Houston for the group, played an incredible sound (not many could duplicate on the lead guitar).

As the years progressed, another great singer who would wow the crowd with such songs as "How Great Thou Art" and "Stand Still Jordan" would be added to the group. This young man was Deacon Billy James.

Though there are many who helped shape the legacy of the Spiritual Wonders, including the late Deacon Smitty Jones, who loved to sing, "Strange Man Walking on the Sea", and "If Religion Was a thing that Money Could Buy", and Clifford Amos, a long time organist for the group, time as well as memories of others has its limits, so we offer you what amounts to a snap shot and highlights of a group loved by so many, and called the Spiritual Wonders.

We recognized and are forever grateful to Clarence Thompson, Sr., the sole survivor and original member of the Spiritual Wonders who provided essential information (having been there) in helping us prepare a history of a group that may be gone, but will never be forgotten.

Because of them we are, The Spiritual Wonders Phase II.

 
           
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