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John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (...

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Roxanne R. Reed

Gospel trio. Its members were Delores [Delois] (soprano), Billie (alto), and Rhodessa (high soprano) Barrett. Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, they grew up with seven other siblings and were members of the Morning Star Baptist Church where they sang in a choir directed by their aunt. As the Barrett–Hudson Singers, Delores and Billie had performed in a group with a cousin, whom Rhodessa later replaced to form the Barrett Sisters. Delores, the eldest and the group’s leader, started singing at the age of six. Her professional career began in earnest after graduating from Englewood High School, when she became the first female to join the Roberta Martin Singers (...

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Shawn Young

(b Paducah, KY, Nov 21, 1962). American singer-songwriter, record producer, and social activist. His father was a guitar teacher, and Steven played and sang at an early age. A respected figure in contemporary Christian music (CCM), Chapman is known for his unique mixture of country music, bluegrass, and pop-rock. The recipient of multiple Grammy Awards and Dove Awards, Chapman (along with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith) set the standard for the burgeoning Nashville-based CCM music scene. His eclectic approach is, in part, a result of multiple collaborations throughout his career. Before becoming a CCM icon, Chapman penned songs for the Imperials, Sandi Patty, Charlie Daniels, and Glen Campbell....

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Horace Clarence Boyer

(b Philadelphia, PA, c1939; d 1988). American gospel singer. He began singing as a youth with choirs in Philadelphia. In the early 1960s he appeared with Ruth Davis and the Davis Sisters in a series of concerts that introduced him to the gospel public. Later he moved to New York and sang with the Raymond Rasberry Singers before organizing his own group, the Isaac Douglas Singers. In ...

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Jonas Westover

(b Kitzingen, Bavaria, Germany, Feb 23, 1905; d Brookline, MA, March 10, 1995). Composer, organist, conductor, and writer on music, of German birth. After attending the State Academy of Music in Munich, Germany (1925–9), he worked as a conductor in both Bielefeld and Würzburg in the early 1930s. Because his Jewish background prevented him from holding a state position under the Nazis, he became enmeshed in Jewish musical life in Frankfurt, where he was a member of the Jüdischer Kulturbund and a musician for the West End Synagogue. He immigrated to the United States in ...

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Darlene Graves and Michael Graves

(b Alexandria, IN, March 28, 1936). American gospel songwriter, performer, producer, and publisher. He grew up on a small farm in Indiana and graduated from Anderson College with a major in English and a minor in music. He went on to receive a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and met his future wife and song-producing partner, Gloria Sickal, while both were teaching high school. Gaither started singing gospel music as a child and in ...

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J. Bryan Burton

(b New Mexico, 1829; d Fort Sill, OK, Feb 17, 1909). Native American instrument maker, singer, medicine man, prophet, and military leader. He is better known in Western history for his military leadership of Western Apache resistance to reservation life during the 1880s. Goyaałé (“One who yawns”) was given the name Geronimo after an attack on a Mexican village on St. Jerome’s day when terrified Mexican soldiers cried out “Jeronimo” appealing for help from St. Jerome. After his surrender he was held as a prisoner of war, first in St. Augustine, Florida, then in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until his death. His celebrity was such that he often made public appearances, including at the ...

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Shawn Young

(b Augusta, GA, Nov 25, 1960). American singer-songwriter and author. Amy Grant is one of the most successful artists in Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) and one of the first CCM musicians to achieve major success in the general market. Grant’s love for music was crystallized when her family moved from Augusta to Nashville, the center of the gospel and country music industries. Her rise to fame began when a demo tape she made for her parents fell into the hands of Chris Christian at the Home Sweet Home recording studio where Grant swept the floors. At 15 she was offered a contract with Word Records. Word’s subsidiary label, Myrrh, released Grant’s first set of albums, produced by Brown Bannister, former leader of Grant’s high school youth fellowship. Her breakthrough effort, ...

Article

Emmett G. Price III

(b Oakland, CA, Aug 18, 1943). American gospel singer, songwriter, and producer. He began piano at five and by seven accompanied the Hawkins family group. In 1967 along with Betty Watson, he founded the Northern California State Youth Choir with the aim of singing at the annual COGIC youth conference in Washington DC. As a fundraiser, the choir recorded ...

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Emmett G. Price III

(b San Francisco, CA, Oct 11, 1951). American gospel singer. Raised in the Ephesian Church of God in Christ, pastored by her grandfather, Bishop Elmer Elisha Cleveland, Tramaine Davis emerged as one of the most noted voices in contemporary gospel music during the 1970s. Her first recording was “I Love the Lord” as a member of the Heavenly Tones, a group that would later sing background with Sly & The Family Stone as Little Sister. In ...

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Catherine Wojtanowski

(b Sarajevo, Yugoslavia [now Bosnia and Herzegovina], 1925). American singer and guitarist. Growing up in a Sephardic Jewish community, she learned Balkan folklore as well as traditional songs in the Ladino language with guidance from her grandmother. In 1946 she married a serviceman and immigrated to the United States, where she has become known as the Flame of Sephardic Music because of the strength of her commitment to this unique musical heritage. In addition to transcribing, performing, and teaching traditional Ladino material, Jagoda has composed and arranged new Sephardic songs. She also has performed material drawn from biblical verses, poems, and prayers. She has recorded several albums, which often recall her early experiences, including ...

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Horace Clarence Boyer and Jonas Westover

(b Montgomery, AL, 1919; d New York, NY, Jan 6, 2009). American gospel singer. After leaving high school he took a job in the coal mines of West Virginia and in 1938 organized a gospel quartet, the Four Harmony Kings, with his brother and two miners. When the group became established its members were Jeter (first tenor and lead), Solomon Womack (second lead), John Myles (baritone), and Henry Bossard (bass). They performed in the traditional barbershop style, in which Jeter’s light and lyrical voice, as well as his extraordinary falsetto, contrasted well with Womack’s heavier, energetic tenor. The group moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, and worked as full-time professional singers, broadcasting five days a week on WNOX. In order to advertise the bakery that sponsored their broadcasts, they changed their name to the ...

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Carrie Allen Tipton

(b Henry, TN, Sept 18, 1938). American gospel music television and radio host, singer, choir director, and media executive. He began singing publicly in the Methodist church as a child, although his first exposure to gospel music came in sanctified churches. His involvement with gospel music deepened in Nashville when he served as keyboard player, singer, and director for church and civic choirs while studying at Tennessee State University. In ...

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( b 1762; d 1821). American Moravian violinist and composer . See Moravians, music of the, §3 .

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Jonas Westover

(b Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, May 9, 1882; d Jerusalem, June 19, 1933). Cantor of Ukrainian birth. Regarded by many to be the greatest cantor (hazzan) of his time, he had a remarkable high tenor voice that soared across a wide range and possessed a unique beauty; his perfect pitch, accuracy, and rich falsetto enhanced his reputation. He was born into a large family and was expected to follow in the footsteps of his cantor father. He was a child prodigy, who sang with his father on tours of synagogues. Despite having no formal training, he also began to compose music, focusing on cantorial campositions. In ...

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Margaret Cayward

(b Petra, Majorca, Spain, Nov 24, 1713; d Mission San Carlos Borromeo, Alta California [now in Carmel, CA], Aug 28, 1784). Spanish Franciscan friar and founder of the Alta California missions. Baptized Miguel José, upon joining the Franciscan order at age 17 he took the name of Junípero, after a companion of St. Francis. In ...

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(b Shoah, Ethiopia, 1949). Ethiopian singer, church musician, and liturgical scholar, naturalized American. Seyoum began studying music at the age of eight and attended various religious schools in his homeland. As he grew older, he began to learn new types of performance, including the Bethlehem style of singing, Christian chant, and sacred dance. At 17 years of age, he was already named a ...

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Jonas Westover

(b Winchester, ON, Feb 1, 1909; d Asheville, NC, April 16, 2013). Canadian gospel singer, naturalized American. He learned music from both of his parents; his father was a Methodist miniser who played the violin, and his mother played both piano and organ. He sang in the church choir and performed at church meetings in the Ottawa Valley. He attended Annesley College in Canada and also Houghton College in New York, where he sang in the glee club and took lessons from Herman Baker. He did not graduate and instead moved to New York, taking a job in insurance but continuing to study voice, with Gino Monaco. He won singing roles on radio, but resisted a pop career because he was uncomfortable with secular songs. He began his recording career singing gospel music for Decca Records in the late 1930s, then moved in ...

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Horace Clarence Boyer and Jonas Westover

(b Spartanburg, SC, 1925; d Philadelphia, PA, June 24, 2008). American gospel singer. He began singing at any early age, leading the devotional singing for chapel services at school, and as a teenager formed the group the Gospel Carriers. When he was 14 he attended a battle of song between a local group, the Heavenly Gospel Singers, and the traveling ...

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Horace Clarence Boyer and Roxanne R. Reed

(b Chicago, IL, Aug 29, 1929; d Chicago, IL, Oct 8, 2010). American gospel singer. She began singing at the West Point Baptist Church in Chicago as a little girl, and by the time she was 17 had become part of an ensemble led by Robert Anderson. Walker was sought after to record as a soloist and, reportedly resistant to sing solo, recruited fellow members of Anderson’s group to record with her. After making a decided split from Anderson in ...