CD Earliest Negro Vocal Groups, Vol. 5 (CD 867362),
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Earliest Negro Vocal Groups, Vol. 5

  • 1. Shout All Over God's Heaven/Little David (Ed Amb 979)
    2. Roll, Jordan, Roll
    3. All Over This World
    4. Great Campmeeting, The
    5. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
    6. I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray (5040a)
    7. Shout All Over God's Heaven/Little David (5042a)
    8. Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray (79583)
    9. River of Jordan
    10. Were You There?
    11. In'a That Mornin' Oh My Lord
    12. I Done Done What You Told Me to Do
    13. You May Carry Me, You May Bury Me in the Comin' Day
    14. Good News, Chariot's Comin'/O Mary, Doan You Weep, Doan You Moan
    15. Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray
    16. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
    17. Shout All Over God's Heaven/Standin' in the Need of Prayer
    18. Lift Every Voice and Sing
    19. My Way Is Clouded
    20. Everytime I Feel the Spirit
    21. Keep A' Inchin' Along (Take 1)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 5613

  • Credits

    Recording information: 12/27/1911-01/20/1926.
    Volume five in Document's amazing series entitled The Earliest Negro Vocal Groups opens with five spirituals recorded onto Edison blue Ambersol phonograph cylinders on December 27, 1911 by the Fisk University Jubilee Quartette. These precious artifacts allow 21st century listeners to enjoy an experience something like what audiences encountered as early as the 1870s, when Afro-American students seeking to raise monies for Nashville's Fisk University toured the U.S. and Europe, singing almost exclusively sacred songs. Note that by the time these recordings were made, the singers from Fisk were aiming to disassociate themselves from the prevailing exaggerations of minstrelsy by delivering the words and melodies in a clear and distinct manner. Tracks six and seven are believed to have been waxed for Starr Records in the year 1916 by the same ensemble, and tracks seven-thirteen were recorded by two different groups billed as the Fisk University Jubilee Singers for both Silvertone and Columbia during December 1920. By then the personnel had changed, as it had on January 20, 1926 when track 21 was recorded, and continues to change today, for the Fisk Jubilee Singers are alive and well in Nashville, TN. The rest of the recordings on this compilation are rare and fascinating examples of work by Afro-American harmony vocal groups who achieved considerably less renown than those associated with Fisk. The Southern Four made only four sides for Edison at two different sessions that took place in 1921. The Manhattan Harmony Four cut two sides onto one Black Swan record at some point during April 1923, and the Morehouse College Quartet cut their rendition of "Every Time I Feel the Spirit" -- this compilation's only material recorded outside of New York City -- for Okeh records in Atlanta, GA two months later. With the exception of tracks 18 and 19 which have piano accompaniments by one Lorenzo F. Dyer, all of the songs on this compilation are performed a cappella. ~ arwulf arwulf

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