Don Solomon, 2007 Oral History


Don Solomon, 2007 Oral History


Rev. Don Solomon (b.Feb 13, 1932, d. Dec 14, 2017) Pastor for many years of the Lily Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and worked closely for years with UAB’s School of Public Health founding Congregations for Public Health. Solomon served as right hand man to millionaire A.G. Gaston for whom he worked for some 40 years, retiring as a senior vice president of Booker T. Washington Insurance Company. From 2005 until his passing, he was a member and harmony instructor with the Birmingham based Pillars of Birmingham gospel quartet. In this interview, Don shares his early life and his first gospel singing experiences with groups in his child hood in the 1940’s


Don Solomon
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


May 25, 2007


Lindsey Reynolds
Emily Bibb






Bob Friedman


Don Solomon


Transcription of audio snippet:

Don Solomon: out at Legion Field. There was a time when AG Gaston would have, once a year in the summer, a major program in which he featured local quartets from all around the state. And he would bring in one group, one famous group. .. he brought in the Blue Jays. . But the make-up primarily of the program was local groups from all around the state. Whatever they were calling the stadium then – Legion Field – it was all one big thing. It’s not all like it is now… We filled it up. Eating peanuts. Peanuts was a nickel a bag. Wasn’t no popcorn, was peanuts and cold drinks. It cost a quarter to get in the program, but if you had a book with Booker T. Washington Insurance Company, ya got in free. Insurance book, ya understand?

Bob Friedman: Yeah

DS: Anyway, quartets would line up a mile a minute waiting on their chance for the two songs they had.

BF: Did they have a sound system?

DS: Yeah, sound system, it was a big thing…Well, the Heavenly Four won third place in the contest, I think primarily because we were children.

BF: But you haven’t told me how the Titusville Spiritual Five transitioned...

DS: They were called the Titusville Spiritual Five at that program. Ok?

BF: What year is that?

DS: Man are you kidding? Give me a break. I have no idea. But anyway,

BF: must have been ’45 or so…

DS: Anyway, the Titusville Spiritual Five sung at the program. And we won third place. People talk about it now. We sung “The Gospel Train” the way the Golden Gates recorded it. And Monroe, ya see Monroe right over there..he’d come to the mike and say “All Aboard.” (pointing to the picture) that fella right there. Anyway,


Full interview: 40 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


Don Solomon head shot.jpg
Don Solomon 2 min.mp3
Don Solomon 2007.pdf


Don Solomon and Bob Friedman, “Don Solomon, 2007 Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed July 24, 2024,

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Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: The Heavenly Four, Gospel Singers
This Item dcterms:relation Item: WENN Staff, Gaston Lounge
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Don Solomon, Oral History
Item: Don Solomon and Norman B. Wooding Jr., Oral History dcterms:relation This Item
Item: Heavenly Four Gospel Singers dcterms:relation This Item