As well known in his day as his contemporary Paul Robeson, the African-American tenor Roland Hayes thrilled audience throughout the United States and Europe with his interpretations of songs he first heard at the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Gordon County, Georgia. As a student at Fisk University, Hayes performed with the institution's celebrated Jubilee Singers, a choral group that introduced listeners around the world to the glories of gospel music.
Thirty of Hayes' arrangements, described by The New York Times as "simple and tasteful," are assembled here in a collection of beloved spirituals set comfortably for medium voice, with piano accompaniments of only moderate difficulty. Divided into three sections, the music interprets a series of biblical events — the first concerning the Old Testament and featuring such well-known tunes as Deep River and Dry Bones; the second part comprises songs based on teachings from the Old and New Testament, including You're Tired, Chile, I'm Troubled, Steal Away, and Good News. The final section focuses on songs celebrating the life of Christ: Sister Mary Had-a But One Child, Hear de Lambs a-Cryin'?, The Last Supper, Were You There?, and others.
In addition to an introductory chapter, the author has also provided perceptively written notes to each song, which either reconstructs the spirit of the melody or provides some background history. A rich and informative collection, this volume will appeal to lovers of great spirituals and anyone who delights in the rich legacy of African-American music.
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|Dimensions||9 x 12|
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