The Favorite Melody Quartet

Bessie Lawson
Oma Lawson
Hurstle Lawson
Ernest Hamby (bass)

J R Whitlock

Position Unknown
Leon Lawson
Jack Miller

Favorite Melody Quartet (19??-1977)
(AKA The Hartford Favorite Melody Quartet/Hartford's Favorite Melody Quartet and The Wheelchair Quartet)


The Favorite Melody Quartet was based in Knoxville, Tennessee during the 1950s. Group members included siblings Bessie, Oma, and Hurstle Lawson who were all confined to wheelchairs. Although it is unclear if they were ever billed as the Wheelchair Quartet, that is a name by which they were also known. The group was also billed at times as The Hartford Favorite Melody Quartet or variations like Hartford's Favorite Melody Quartet. This is possibly due to an affiliation with the Hartford music publishing company.

The Lawson siblings were joined by Ernest Hamby who was Oma Lawson's husband. In addition to singing, Hamby wrote songs and served as their chauffeur. Some historical images of the group also show members identified as J R Whitlock (pianist), Jack Miller, and Leon Lawson who was presumably another relative, though not all three at the same time.

The group toured throughout the southern United States until 1977.


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