Sunday, December 20, 2009

YouTube clips of period arrangement of 'Roll Jordan' and a TV segment on 'Slave Songs' (1867), also a guy who does reproduction Civil War-era banjos

PBS segment on PBS History Detectives on "Slave Songs of the United States"

It runs 17 minutes. Here's the blurb:

The president of the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum in Culver City, California [Avery Clayton], recently discovered an unusual book in his late mother's extraordinary collection of African-American artifacts. The small, cloth-bound book, titled Slave Songs of the United States, has a publication date of 1867 and contains a collection of 136 plantation songs. Could this be the first book of African-American spirituals ever published? HISTORY DETECTIVES host Wes Cowan visits a music historian in Los Angeles to explore the coded messages and the melodies that laid the foundation of modern blues, gospel and protest songs of future generations. He also meets with Washington, DC's Howard University Choir for a special concert of selections from Slave Songs sung in the traditional style of mid-1800s spirituals.

Instrumental adaptation of Roll, Jordan, Roll" as written and collected (No. 1, p. 1) in "Slave Songs of the United States"

[An audio snippet of the Fisk Jubilee Singers' concert arrangment of "Roll Jordan Roll" is available on the Smithsonian Folkways CD "Wade In The Water: African American Spirituals." Scroll down to blurb and link to song.]

[Another song, "No More Driver's Driving," with "Roll, Jordan" as a tagline or chorus is cited in "Slave Songs" p. 45 to H[enry] G[eorge] Spaulding, "Under the Palmetto," Continental Monthly 4 (1863): 188-203]

Vocal of "Early in the Morning"

"Walk 'em easy round the heaven (3x) / Till all living may join that band" (No. 58, p. 44)

Also: Interview with 19th century style banjo maker George Wunderlich from The Down Neck Gazette. Filmed in 2001.

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