Tuskagee Institute Singers / Quartet 1914 – 1927 – Full Album

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This CD Album (Physical Format) – DOCD-5549 – FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING $18.99

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Full Album Download – DOCD-5549 $8.99 Add to cart
1. Go Down Moses (B-15167-1) – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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2. Good News (B-15168-1) – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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3. Live A-Humble (B15169-1) – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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4. I Want To Be Like Jesus (B-15170-1) – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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5. Roll, Jordan, Roll; I Want God’s Heaven To Be Mine – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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6. Heaven Song; Inchin’ Along – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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7. Steal Away – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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8. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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9. Nobody Knows The Trouble I See – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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10. The Old Time Religion – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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11. I Been A-Listenin’; Good Lord, I Done, Done – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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12. My Way’s Cloudy; I’m A Rolling – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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13. I Want To Be Ready; Get On Board – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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14. I’ve Been Buked And I’ve Been Scorned; Most Done Travelling – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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15. Good News (BVE-37072-3) – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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16. Live A-Humble (BVE-37073-3) – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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17. Go Down Moses (BVE-37074-2) – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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18. Heaven Song – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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19. I Want To Be Like Jesus (BVE-15170-2) – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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20. Golden Slippers – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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21. Adam And Eve In The Garden – Part 1 – Aunt Mandy’s Chillun
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22. Adam And Eve In The Garden – Part 2 – Aunt Mandy’s Chillun
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23. The Prodigal Son – Part 1 – Aunt Mandy’s Chillun
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24. The Prodigal Son – Part 2 – Aunt Mandy’s Chillun
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DOCD-5549
Tuskegee Institute Singers / Quartet 1914-1917 Plus Aunt Mandy’s Chillun 1930 Recordings

Genres: Unaccompanied Male Vocal Quartet: Spirituals / Gospel; Alabama (Tuskagee), Unaccompanied Preaching with choir.

Informative booklet notes by Steve Tracy.
Detailed discography.

It is difficult, and rightly so, to think of Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute and not think of its founder,  principal and sole teacher of its first 30 students in 1881, Booker T. Washington. Washington’s interest in the sacred folk songs of African Americans strikes critics as curious in the context of his policies. Yet Washington clearly championed those old plantation songs to such an extent that he sought to uncover them by a variety of means, perpetuating their memory for future generations despite calls by Tuskegee music teachers to favour songs in the European tradition. It is difficult to tell whether Washington was using the so-called “quaint” and “weird” antebellum melodies to cultivate white philanthropists with messages like Live A-Humble or whether in fact he entertained a genuine interest. Regardless, they were a part of his Tuskegee, fuelled, perhaps, by the organization in Boston of the Society for the Collection of Negro Folklore in 1890, which at its 1899 Hampton Conference encouraged the preservation of “the beautiful plantation melodies” to the exclusion of coon songs and ragtime. Clearly, though, Washington was aware of the benefits of utilizing travelling student choirs to stump for Tuskegee. Continuing after his death in 1915, as Patricia Turner reports, a collection of student’s tours in 1916-1918 were under the direction of lead tenor Alvin Neely, who was still touring with a non-student quartet in 1930. It may be that some of those students form part of the octet that recorded these 1914-1916 titles. It has also been rumoured that composer William Levi Dawson was a member of a recorded Tuskegee group, but Albert Scipio relates that Dawson reported membership in a quintet of student cadets who offered free concerts at Army and Nan training camps during the summer of 1918. This would position him in a group active between the recording dates of these sessions. Led by Charles Winter Wood, the group included Dawson (2nd tenor), William T. Handy ( 2nd tenor), William G. Washington (1st tenor), Howard Wilson (baritone), and Rutherford Sanders (bass). Dawson, incidentally, was not only a talented student at Tuskegee, but later returned there to found a music department and choir. He became noted for his transcription of African American folk themes, composed a symphony premiered by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1934, played classical and jazz trombone and served as one of the judges at the Fort Valley Folk Festivals in 1941 and 1942 (see DOCD-5576), moving with great facility from classical to folk and jazz.
The first song reveals a very competent, well-trained group. Their sombre voices on Go Down Moses rise and fall in slow, sweeping harmony, creating a contemplative and haunting ambience. In contrast, the next title, Good News, is a lively and spirited performance, demonstrating a more complex approach, with slow and rapid interchanges and overlapping vocal parts.
The group’s choices of material to record were popular, standard items, but this does not make them any less interesting, as excellent renditions are given of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen and Roll Jordan, Roll. As The Tuskegee Quartet, the group made two recordings in December 1926 both issued on Victor. Their version of I Want To Be Like Jesus, recorded by the previous group in 1914, is a moving performance.

Aunt Mandy’s Chillun’s 1930 recordings round the collection off with the light hearted Adam And Eve In The Garden (two Parts) and the uplifting The Prodigal Son (two Parts). The male/ female group’s singing is of a good standard and enjoyable enough, despite a rather staged feel to the church sermon setting, with the bass vocalist sounding somewhat caricatured.

 

This CD Album (Physical Format) – DOCD-5549 – FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING $18.99

Out of stock

Read more
Full Album Download – DOCD-5549 $8.99 Add to cart
1. Go Down Moses (B-15167-1) – Tuskegee Institute Singers
$0.99 Add to cart
2. Good News (B-15168-1) – Tuskegee Institute Singers
$0.99 Add to cart
3. Live A-Humble (B15169-1) – Tuskegee Institute Singers
$0.99 Add to cart
4. I Want To Be Like Jesus (B-15170-1) – Tuskegee Institute Singers
$0.99 Add to cart
5. Roll, Jordan, Roll; I Want God’s Heaven To Be Mine – Tuskegee Institute Singers
$0.99 Add to cart
6. Heaven Song; Inchin’ Along – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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7. Steal Away – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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8. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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9. Nobody Knows The Trouble I See – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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10. The Old Time Religion – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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11. I Been A-Listenin’; Good Lord, I Done, Done – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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12. My Way’s Cloudy; I’m A Rolling – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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13. I Want To Be Ready; Get On Board – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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14. I’ve Been Buked And I’ve Been Scorned; Most Done Travelling – Tuskegee Institute Singers
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15. Good News (BVE-37072-3) – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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16. Live A-Humble (BVE-37073-3) – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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17. Go Down Moses (BVE-37074-2) – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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18. Heaven Song – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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19. I Want To Be Like Jesus (BVE-15170-2) – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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20. Golden Slippers – The Tuskegee Male Vocal Quartet
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21. Adam And Eve In The Garden – Part 1 – Aunt Mandy’s Chillun
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22. Adam And Eve In The Garden – Part 2 – Aunt Mandy’s Chillun
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23. The Prodigal Son – Part 1 – Aunt Mandy’s Chillun
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24. The Prodigal Son – Part 2 – Aunt Mandy’s Chillun
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