Gospel singer Jeter dead at age 94

Jan. 11, 2009 at 11:22 AM

NEW YORK, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The Rev. Claude Jeter, known for his gospel singing with the group the Swan Silvertones, has died in New York at the age of 94, his niece says.

Jeter's niece, Gwendolyn Davis, confirmed the co-founder of the Silvertones died Tuesday of unspecified causes, ending a musical career that was highly influential to pop singers during the 1950s and '60s, The New York Times said Sunday.

Among the artists inspired by Jeter's falsetto singing were soul singer Al Green, Temptations singer Eddie Kendricks and singer Paul Simon, The Times said.

While enjoying a widely credited yet non-profitable career with the Silvertones, Jeter became a minister for the Church of Holiness Science.

Shortly after being ordained in 1963, Jeter left the gospel group and only performed occasionally while living in New York.

Davis is Jeter's only surviving immediate relative, The Times said.

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