Cleave Graham of the Pilgrim Jubilees passes away

Cleave Graham funeral information

GMF was saddened to receive news of the passing of Cleave Graham of the Pilgrim Jubilees. Cleave passed June 11, at age 96. Born January 8, 1928, Cleave was a cherished member of a family of singers who went on to significantly impact the quartet music scene.

The Pilgrim Jubilee Singers started in Mississippi with Cleave’s brothers Theophilus “Hoppy” Graham and Elgie C.B. Graham alongside their cousin Monroe Hatchett and cousins-in-law Alfred Brownlee and Willis Johnson. After a brief disbandment in the late 1940s, the group regrouped in Chicago in the early 1950s, with Cleave, Hoppy, Elgie, and Monroe. Major Roberson was also added to the roster and later on, Cleave’s younger brother Clay.

Throughout their career, the Pilgrim Jubilees, as they came to be called, recorded for several labels, including Nashboro, Peacock, Savoy, and Malaco, and traveled extensively on the quartet circuit. They won the admiration of audiences not only with their charisma but also with Cleave’s rollicking drives like “Wonderful,” “Don’t Let Him Down,” and “Safety of Your Soul,” and Clay’s compelling sermonettes as heard in “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “Barnyard.”

The Pilgrim Jubilees, a biography written by Alan Young and published in 2001, documents the group’s rich history and offers fans and new enthusiasts deeper insight into the Jubes’ musical legacy.

Cleave was the group’s longest active member. Clay passed away in 2018. Major died eight years prior, in 2010. Ben Chandler, another longtime member, transitioned in 2012.

Funeral arrangements have been announced by the family as follows:

Thursday, June 20, 2024
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Maggie’s Bereavement Services
South Chicago Chapel Funeral Home
2939 East 95th Street
Chicago, IL 60617

Musical Tribute
Thursday, June 20, 2024
7:30 p.m.

Prayer Center Baptist Church
1432 West 79th Street
Chicago, IL 60620

Homegoing Celebration
Friday, June 21, 2024
Wake: 10:00 a.m.
Funeral: 11:00 a.m.

Saint John Church of God in Christ
7527 South Cottage Grove
Chicago, IL 60619

GMF extends condolences to the Graham family and the Pilgrim Jubilees. Another soldier is at rest.

10 Replies to “Cleave Graham of the Pilgrim Jubilees passes away”

  1. Omy, I just learned of the Legendary Mr.Cleve ‘s passing!! R.I.P. Legend!! Take your bow!!

  2. I love him and his ministry we lost a wonderful legend and Heaven once again got their beautiful angel again. His legacy will live on.

  3. A true warrior who sung with reverrance and praise! He, his brother Clay and “The Jubes” were my favorite group and true legends on the quartet landscape!!Their music was timeless and will live on for generations!

  4. To the Family of The Graham Brothers. Mr. Cleve and Mr.Clay was my favorite. They perform many times in Greenwood, Mississippi. Don’t let them drift away. I am praying for the family. I love the Pilgrims Jubilees. I listen to their music everyday. We know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord.
    Love you all
    Ms. Regina Shoddie Burch

  5. R.i.P Sir Cleve Graham you are truly a legion a true trail blazer and a great friend we will miss you but your memories we will forever cherish

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