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Alabama Sacred Harp Singers


A rural Alabama choir of “sacred harp” (or shape-note) singing, the Alabama Sacred Harp Performers recorded for Columbia through the later ’20s as well as the Collection of Congress in the first ’40s. The sacred harp custom, which got journeyed from Britain to the first American colonies and afterwards spread towards the southeastern USA, relied on a far more stark, Bible-based type of gospel music than traditional dark choirs. Led by Paine Denson, A. Marcus Cagle, and “Uncle Dock” Owen, the Alabama Sacred Harp Performers documented several edges for Columbia in 1928 (two had been afterwards compiled in the 1952 folksong compendium Anthology of American Folk Music). In 1942, Alan Lomax and George Pullen Jackson documented the group for the Library of Congress, some songs which were afterwards reissued on Rounder as Sacred Harp Performing. Similar recordings may also be found on amounts nine and ten within the Rounder series referred to as Southern Trip.

Quick Facts

Music Songs Present Joys, The Last Words of Copernicus, Religion Is a Fortune, I'm Going Home, I Belong to This Band, Rocky Road, Rocky Road: Shape-Note Singing, Idumea, Hallelujah / Amazing Grace, Wondrous Love, Heavenly Vision, Sweet Morning, Sour Away, Melancholy Day, Closing Prayer, Traveling On, Prayer for Recess, Sinner's Friend, David's Lamentation, Christmas Anthem, Baptismal Anthem, Weeping Mary, Pleyel's Hymn, Loving Jesus, New Prospect, Memorial Lesson, Sacred Throne, Heavenly Port, Long Sought Home, Parting Hand, Murillo's Lesson, Canaan's Land
Albums Original Sacred Harp, Lookout Mountain Convention 1968, New Year's Eve At the Iveys' 1972, Southern Journey, Volume 9: Harp of a Thousand Strings, Southern Journey, Volume 10: And Glory Shone Around, Bibletone: Original Sacred Harp

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