Early Gospel Singers – A

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Name: Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
Location: Alabama
Biography Synopsis: The Alabama Sacred Harp Singers were a rural Alabama ‘sacred harp’ choir specializing in gospel music. On April 16, 1928, they recorded several songs for Columbia, amongst which was “Present Joys”, later included on the Anthology of American Folk Music. They are most commonly referenced alongside Alan Lomax, who toured the Southern states, amongst other areas, recording rural music. Lomax recorded the group in 1942, for the Library of Congress. A new recording was made in the same church in Alabama that Alan Lomax had recorded in 50 years later. The recording featured some of the same singers as the recording done by Lomax some 50 years earlier.
– Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabama_Sacred_Harp_Singers)
Recording career: Recorded for Columbia in the late ’20s and for Alan Lomax in the early ’40s. Available as follows:

1. Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture
Alabama Sacred Harp Singers: Sacred Harp Singing
2. The Alan Lomax Collection: Southern Journey – Volume 9: Harp of a Thousand Strings: All Day Singing from the Sacred Harp
3. The Alan Lomax Collection: Southern Journey – Volume 10: And Glory Shone Around: More All Day Singing from the Sacred Harp

All three recordings have been reissued by Rounder Records (www.rounder.com)

Most popular song(s): “Present Joys” – Click here for video
Musical Influences: The Alan Lomax recordings have taken on a mythic proportion as they were the inspiration for using Sacred Harp in the soundtrack to the film Cold Mountain.
References / links:
Images:

Name: Alphabetical Four
Location: New York City
Biography Synopsis: The group comprised: Emory Johnson, Curtis Brown, Asher Short or Johnny Pearce, Lockwood
– Blues & Gospel Records (1890-1943) Dixon, Godrich  and Rye, Oxford University Press, 1997 (Fourth Edition)
Recording career: Recorded 28 songs between August 1938 – November 1943
Most popular song(s): Harlem Blues – Click here for video

Go Where I Send Thee – Click here for video

Musical Influences:
References / links: AllMusic
Images:
Name: Blind Joe Amos
Biography Synopsis: Pseudonym for Blind Joe Taggard
References / links: Click here for Blind Joe Taggard entry
Name: The Angels of Harmony
Aka:
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Biography Synopsis: Popular in the 1940s, the group included: Clinton Levert, Denver Wilbor, and Hiawatha Nowden. There were three others in the group.
Recording career: 1940s
Most popular song(s):
Musical Influences:
References / links: ‘Cleveland’s Gospel Music’, Frederick Burton, Arcadia Publishing 2003
Images:
Name: Apollo Jubilee Quartet
Location:
Biography Synopsis:
Recording career: 1898-1912
Most popular song(s): Shout All Over God’s Heaven – Click here for recording
Musical Influences: Fisk Jubilee Quartet
References / links: Discogrophy of American Historical Recordings
Images:

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To help with further browsing click on the large ‘Initial’ to return to the Early Gospel Singers Introduction, or click another initial to take you to details of more early gospel singers.

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Please Note:

As this is a continuously developing website, several entries only give the names with no biographical details. Please be patient as these entries are included for completeness, indicating the details are ‘coming soon’ and will be added when time allows.

If there are any early (pre war) gospel singers missing from the lists that you think should be included, please email the details to alan.white@earlygospel.com. Thank you in advance for your assistance.