Smithsonian Sparks

Dress for fall like Ira Tucker, lead singer of the Dixie Hummingbirds

November 12, 2021

Addthis Share Tools

Necktie with a landscape of haystacks during sunset

Necktie worn by Ira Tucker Sr., collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, gift from Ira Tucker Jr. of the Dixie Hummingbirds

We're falling for this autumnal necktie from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This tie—made by Metcalf Neckwear Company—belonged to gospel singer Ira Tucker Sr., who wore it around 1950. Tucker was the lead singer for the Dixie Hummingbirds for around 70 years.

For decades, the Dixie Hummingbirds have been one of the most popular gospel quartet groups in the country. With Tucker's large range and energetic performance style, they influenced artists including the Temptations and Stevie Wonder. In 1973, they sang back up on Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock”; soon after, they recorded their version of the song, which won a Grammy for Best Soul Gospel performance.

Tucker died in 2008; Ira Tucker Jr. donated the tie to the museum. See more collection items related to Tucker online.

It’s one of millions of pieces that are part of Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images for any purpose without permission. Explore Smithsonian Open Access media and data.