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Colored Sacred Harp
The Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers
Colored Sacred Harp
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Christian, Gospel
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

African American singers have long participated in Sacred Harp singings, but their involvement remained largely undocumented until this clear, fabulous-sounding recording of the Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers of Ozark, Alab...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: The Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers
Title: Colored Sacred Harp
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: New World Records
Release Date: 1/1/1995
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Christian, Gospel
Style: Traditional Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 093228043324, 093228043348

Synopsis

Amazon.com
African American singers have long participated in Sacred Harp singings, but their involvement remained largely undocumented until this clear, fabulous-sounding recording of the Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers of Ozark, Alabama, was issued in 1993. A chief part of the black harp-singing tradition is the Colored Sacred Harp hymnal, composed and arranged by African Americans in Alabama and first published in 1934. Like the Denson and White hymnals, these songs are sung in four-part shape-note style but sound different from other forms of harp singing. The notes are allowed to waver more, giving them a unique resonance, particularly during those points of a particular song when voices overlap. A unique part of African American history, this recording includes direct descendants of the hymnal's composers, notably the children of Judge Jackson and his wife, Lillie, who wrote most of these celestial and uplifting tunes. --Mike McGonigal
 

CD Reviews

My great-grandfather wrote the Colored Sacred Harp
T. Jackson | 10/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My great-grandfather wrote the Colored Sacred Harp and several members of my family are heard on this recording including myself (the Welcome Address). This album was recorded at the annual Colored Sacred Harp singings held at Union Grove Baptist Church in Ozark, AL every third Sunday in April. It's a family tradition that my great-grandfather passed down to his sons and daughters who passed it on to their sons and daughters and so on. Every time I hear this album, it's home to me because I grew up listening and going to these singings all my life. For some one to criticize it is hard for me to hear because I know how dedicated every one was on this album. For all those who buy it, I want to say thanks, and I truly hope you enjoy the view into our family gathering."
Moving music, accurate notes- a scholar's perspective
Alston E. Lambert, II | New Haven, Connecticut | 10/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The music and the liner notes for this CD struck a positive emotional tone with me. My great grandparents participated in this tradition and because they were proud of their ability to read, write, and compose music and song lyrics, they would have been especially pleased with the quality of Dr. Hampton's liner notes and the care she took to cite the most current research (e.g., the "academic study published in 1987") as well as statements from her interviews with the performers. One of the reviewers clearly is unaware of the history of this music and appears unwilling to grasp it. The pioneers of this music WERE Africans. I would call it accuracy that the author does not refer to African Americans as such until accounts after 1868, when the United States Constitution confers citizenship that would apply to the Africans who were emancipated by its thirteenth amendment. The reader will note that the author refers to the Colored Sacred Harp performers after that year, including the Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers of today, as African Americans. Similarly, the roots of this music in the white communities predate 1776. By the eighteenth century, this music had taken hold in southern Alabama; yet this territory was under the French (1710-1719 so that the Mardi Gras actually began in Mobile), the British (1763-1780) and the Spanish (1780-1813) during much of the 18th century. The last time I looked these were European nations! One reviewer objects to the people there being called Europeans. Moreover, the wiregrass region, specifically, sits on the border with Florida and even today The Wiregrass Singers co-participate in Sings with Floridians. I appreciate the author's recognition of the fact that Florida did not become a state until 1845, halfway through the century during which The Colored Sacred Harp was composed. This is not political correctness. It is historical correctness!! Some of us appreciate precision and accuracy in our liner notes and that is what we get with this CD. It is unfortunate that fans don't take the time to study before they write these reviews."
Superb Documentation
Delois | 04/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The documentation for this album resulted from research done by an outstanding ethnomusicologist. She provides a finely detailed historical and socio-political context that has greatly enhanced my understanding and appreciation of this very important American religious music."