The Story of the Jubilee Singers: With Their Songs

Place Published: Boston
Publisher: Houghton, Osgood & Co.,
Date Published: 1880
Edition: Revised
Binding: Hard Cover


8vo, viii, 243pp. ( 112 spirituals with musical scores), Revised edition., 59th thousand. Green pictorial cloth with gilt type on spine and gilt engraving of Jubilee Hall on cover with black type. The singers depicted are: George E. Barrett, Maggie L. Porter, Jennie Jackson, Ella Shepard, F.J. Loudin, Mabel R Lewis, R. A. Hall, and Patti Malone. A good copy+. Previous owner name stamped on front end paper and on front blank paper. Includes and frontispiece and the last portion of the book reprints the music and lyrics of the songs. The Jubilee singers were a group of ex-slaves who traveled the world to raise money to maintain Fisk University. A revision "of the two Jubilee Histories which were written by the Rev. G.D. Pike. the story is brought down to return of the Jubille Singers from Germany. The personal histories have been more fully written out and many new songs added.

During the mid 1800's most black institutions of higher education fielded a group of jubilee singers and/or a vocal quartet to sing Negro spirituals and "slave songs". These groups toured the nation and "represented" the institution outside the local community. One of the earliest and most famous of these groups was the Jubilee Singers from Fisk University in Nashville.

Historical note on the development of this collection of Spirituals: Fisk University opened in 1866 at Nashville, TN for the education of freed slaves under auspices of the American Missionary Association at the initiative of Edward Parmelee Smith and Erastus Milo Cravath (1833-1900) and was named for Clinton B. Fisk of the Freedman's Bureau. A singing class organized by George L. White, 1838-1895, gave the first of a series of public concerts in spring 1867. 11 singers toured Ohio as `a band of Negro minstrels' in 1871, competing with the Chicago fire for support; in November White conceived the name `Jubilee Singers' and took the group East where Theodore F. Seward's arrangement of 61 songs was published by Gustavus D. Pike in 1873. Performances of `John Brown's body' and `Steal away to Jesus' won the singers great recognition. Marsh's London edition of 1875 extends Pike's historical notes and contains 104 songs, mostly in 4 parts, p. 125-227, with preface and index to the music on p. [121]-24. By the 6th printing of 1876 nos. 105-12 were added on p. 228-43. The Boston edition of 1883 adds 67 songs to the original 61 for a total of 128. Frederick J. Loudin, b. 1830, joined the group in 1875 as basso and, after Fisk University disbanded it in 1878, reorganized the group with 11 singers; his Cleveland, Ohio edition of 1892 adds nos. 113-139. London editions after 1897 continue this arrangement. An edition printed by W. J. Gibbs at Bromley, Kent about 1922 omits the history and gives 139 songs, followed by (unnumbered) `Climb up, ye little children.'.
Good. Item #2734

$65.00 USD
$87.00 CAD

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