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February 8, 2010

The Kings hold court for 40-plus years

WTOP

James "Pop" Dobson is a soft-spoken man who doesn't move very fast, either. But that's understandable since the Annapolis resident is 93 years old. All that changes, however, when he starts singing. As the lyrics of a song flow out of him with ever-increasing strength and passion, he becomes more and more energized, stomping his foot and his cane while slapping his hand against his thigh. It's like he's reborn with the music, seemingly shedding years with every word.

"That's why we call him our secret weapon," said Glen Burnie resident Warren Parker, 62, who performs with Pop in the a cappella gospel group, the Harmonizing Kings. "He sits back and really doesn't say much until he gets on stage."

The Kings have been together an astounding 40-plus years, although the membership has changed a bit over time. The current five-member lineup has blended their rich voices for 12 years, when Parker, who sings bass, joined the group. The other Kings are Pop's sons, Devon and Larry, 72 and 57, both of Annapolis, and Harry Joseph Moore of Upper Marlboro, 70, who serves as the manager of the group.

Their music is what has carried them through good times and bad, sickness and health, and is wrapped up in their faith. In fact, when they sing, several members look like they're praying. "I enjoy it. The Lord has blessed me, and that's the way it is. My family is right here," Pop said, referring to the other Kings. "I call them all my sons."

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Posted by acapnews at February 8, 2010 10:43 PM

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