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Article

Thomas Henry Porter

(b Spring Hill, PA, Jan 21, 1887; d Whittier, CA, July 3, 1960). American gospel composer and editor, brother of Bentley DeForest Ackley. He studied harmony and composition in New York and London, and later became an accomplished cellist. Ackley was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in 1914...

Article

Harry Eskew

(b Spring Hill, PA, Sept 27, 1872; d Winona Lake, IN, Sept 3, 1958). American gospel music composer and editor, brother of Alfred H(enry) Ackley. He learned to play several instruments, including melodeon, piano, reed organ, alto horn, cornet, piccolo, and clarinet. He studied shorthand and typing and then worked as a stenographer in New York and Philadelphia. Several of his secular songs were published in the 1890s. From 1908 to 1915 Ackley was pianist and private secretary to the evangelist Billy Sunday, and during this period he began to compose gospel songs. In 1910 he and Homer A. Rodeheaver founded the Rodeheaver–Ackley publishing company in Chicago, which became the Rodeheaver Co. the following year. He worked for the firm as a composer and editor until his death; with his brother and Charles H. Gabriel, he provided many of the firm’s copyrighted publications. More than 2000 of Ackley’s gospel songs were published, including “If your Heart Keeps Right” (...

Article

Liz Thomson

(Claxton)

(b Maynardville, TN, Sept 15, 1903; d Nashville, TN, Nov 23, 1992). American country singer-songwriter and publisher. He was first influenced by traditional music heard at home, much of it British, and by music at the church where his father was the pastor. His Southern Baptist heritage became evident in the mournful, wailing style of his vocals. A keen sportsman, he was denied a professional athletic career through ill-health, but learnt to play his father’s fiddle. His early career was in so-called medicine shows, and radio appearances with local musicians led to the formation of his first group, the Tennessee Crackerjacks. His first record followed in 1937, and he made his début on ‘The Grand Old Opry’ radio show, subsequently becoming a regular contributor as Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys. His recording of the Carter family classic Wabash Cannonball earned him a gold disc and led to nationwide tours as well as work in Hollywood....

Article

Richard Crawford

revised by Nym Cooke

(b Norwich, CT, March 22, 1762; d Philadelphia, cSept 30, 1793). American singing teacher, concert organizer and tune book compiler. In 1783 he assisted Andrew Law in a Philadelphia singing school. Later he worked in the city as a wool-card manufacturer and merchant; he was a volunteer in the citizens’ committee organized during Philadelphia’s yellow-fever epidemic of 1793, and died of that disease. In 1784 he opened an ‘Institution for the Encouragement of Church Music’, later reorganizing it as the Uranian Academy. Adgate presented many concerts during the mid- to late 1780s, most notably a ‘Grand Concert’ on 4 May 1786, at which works by Handel, James Lyon, William Billings, William Tuckey and others were performed by 230 choristers and an orchestra of 50. Adgate’s first known compilation is an anthology of sacred texts: Select Psalms and Hymns for the Use of Mr. Adgate’s Pupils (Philadelphia, 1787...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy and Barry Kernfeld

[Wilton Jameson ]

(b New Albany, IN, July 21, 1939). American educator, publisher, record producer, and saxophonist. He performed locally from the age of 15 and while studying at Indiana University (BM 1961; MM 1962) led groups that worked in southern Indiana and Kentucky. Having taught music education at Indiana University Southeast (1967–9) and classical saxophone at the University of Louisville (1970–72), in the early 1970s he established a week-long jazz workshop (or “jazz camp”) held during the summer; by the late 1990s the workshop took place twice annually. Aebersold also presented workshops in other countries, including Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark, and Canada. In 1992 he received an honorary doctorate in music from Indiana University and began teaching jazz improvisation at the the University of Louisville.

In addition to his principal instrument, Aebersold plays piano and double bass, but he is far better known as an educator than as a performer. In ...

Article

Paul G. Hammond

(b Chester Co., PA, March 5, 1808; d Montgomery Co., PA, 1900). American tune book compiler. He introduced a system of seven-shape notation in The Christian Minstrel (Philadelphia, 1846; for illustration see Shape-note hymnody, ex.2), a tune book containing many pieces found in the publications of Lowell Mason. The book underwent one revision and at least 171 reprintings by 1873 and reportedly sold more than 180,000 copies. Aikin’s notation found widespread acceptance, particularly in the South, and eventually supplanted all other forms of shape-notation. It continues to be used in denominational hymnals and books of the southern gospel-music tradition. His other publications include The Juvenile Minstrel (Philadelphia, 1847), Harmonia ecclesiae, or Companion to the Christian Minstrel (Philadelphia, 1853), The Sabbath-School Minstrel (Philadelphia, 1859), The Imperial Harmony (with Chester G. Allen and Hubert P. Main, New York, 1876), and The True Principles of the Science of Music...

Article

Richard Crawford

revised by Nym Cooke

(b Dalkeith, c1746; d Philadelphia, Sept 8, 1831). American music engraver, publisher and dealer of Scottish birth. He also worked as a metalsmith for much of his life. Arriving in Philadelphia by 1785, he began his career as a music publisher in 1787 with three large works: Alexander Reinagle’s A Selection of the most Favorite Scots Tunes, William Brown’s Three Rondos for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord, and his own A Compilation of the Litanies and Vespers Hymns and Anthems (2/1791), the only 18th-century American collection of music for the Roman Catholic Church. In 1788 he issued another anthology by Reinagle and also probably Francis Hopkinson’s Seven Songs; a few pieces of sheet music and more of Reinagle’s song collections followed in 1789. By 1793 he had brought out at least 20 titles, but between then and 1806 he published only the compendious Scots Musical Museum...

Article

(b Meadow, TN, Oct 24, 1867; d Birmingham, England, Oct 13, 1920). American revivalist and publisher. He attended Maryville College, Tennessee, and the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago; in 1893 he assisted Moody in his revival at the World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago. From 1908 he toured with J. Wilbur Champman through the USA, Great Britain, Australia and missionary areas of East Asia. He was noted for his skill in inspiring a congregation to sing enthusiastically and in conducting large choirs. He published a number of revival songbooks and owned the copyrights of several popular gospel hymns, such as Charles H. Gabriel’s ...

Article

(b Philadelphia, PA, Feb 14, 1760; d Philadelphia, March 26, 1831). American tunebook compiler. A former slave, he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia in 1794 and was elected its first bishop on the incorporation of the church in 1816. He compiled a hymnbook of 54 hymns, A Collection of Spiritual Songs and Hymns, for use by his congregation, the Bethel AME Church, in 1801. Later that year an enlarged version was published as A Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs. It was the first hymnbook published by an African American for use by African Americans, and many of the hymns later became sources for black spirituals. With Daniel Coker and James Champion, Allen also compiled the first official hymnbook of the AME Church in 1818.

SouthernB R. Allen: The Life Experience and Gospel Labours of the Right Reverend Richard Allen (Philadelphia, 1887/R) C. Wesley...

Article

Renee Lapp Norris

(b Northborough, MA, Sept 5, 1830; d Madison, WI, Dec 9, 1889). American classical scholar, teacher, editor, and writer. Allen is best known musically as an editor of Slave Songs of the United States (New York, 1867), also edited by Charles Pickard Ware and Lucy McKim Garrison, who were white collectors of black music.

Allen graduated from Harvard in 1851, subsequently studied in Europe, and returned to the United States in 1856. In 1863 he began an eight-month stint as a teacher on St Helena Island in South Carolina, home to former slaves who remained after plantation owners left in 1861. Here, Allen gained first-hand experience of slave singing that contributed to the detailed explanations of his 36-page prologue to Slave Songs. In 1867 Allen was appointed chair of ancient languages at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he remained until his death.

Allen’s interest in philology is evident in the many pages of the prologue to ...

Article

Roxanne R. Reed

(b Anguilla, MS, March 21, 1919; d Hazel Crest, IL, 15 June, 1995). American gospel director, singer, composer, and publisher. Anderson established a career forming and training gospel groups in Chicago. His formative years were spent as one of the original Roberta Martin Singers, one of the premiere gospel groups of the 1930s and 1940s. He left briefly, between 1939 and 1941, to form the first of his many ensembles, the Knowles and Anderson Singers with R.L. Knowles. He rejoined Martin, but ultimately resigned because of the travel demands. In 1947 he formed Robert Anderson and his Gospel Caravan, but after several members left in 1952, he formed a new set of singers that recorded and performed under the name the Robert Anderson Singers through the mid-1950s. Throughout his career, Anderson recorded on a multitude of labels including Miracle and United with Robert Anderson and the Caravans; and later with the Robert Anderson Singers, on Apollo. Anderson wrote, and often sang lead on, many of the songs his groups performed, including “Why Should I Worry” (...

Article

Greg A. Handel

(Eugene)

(b West Hempstead, NY, April 26, 1956). American music educator, choral arranger, editor, and conductor. He was a member of the American Boychoir (1969–71), and received degrees from St Olaf College (BM 1978), the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (MM 1980), and Michigan State University (DMA 1987). He was on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School and now serves on the Board of Trustees. He taught at Calvin College (1980–90) before becoming the fourth conductor of the St Olaf Choir and the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Endowed Professor of Music (1990–). Armstrong is the editor for Earthsongs publications and co-editor of the St. Olaf Choir Series. He chronicled the history of the St Olaf Choir in his doctoral dissertation. He is featured on an instructional video for adolescent singers, Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice (2002...

Article

Barbara Turchin

revised by Meredith M. Eliassen

(b Boston, MA, June 4, 1811; d Oakland, CA, Nov 29, 1891). American proprietor of music stores and sheet music publisher. From 1833 to 1849, Atwill operated a “Music Saloon” music store and publishing business on Broadway in New York City, using printing plates of the Thomas Birch Company. He married Eliza Dugliss in 1834. After suffering financial setbacks, the business was taken over by Samuel C. Jollie, and Atwill left his family to travel to San Francisco. He arrived penniless on 28 October 1849 but hit paydirt in the gold fields. Unlike many miners who sent paper money drafts home, Atwill sent about $75,000 in gold dust to New York. He brought his wife and daughters to California in 1854. Atwill moved his East Coast stock to California and established California’s first music store, a tiny metal-constructed building at 158 Washington Street that withstood San Francisco’s many firestorms. In New York, Atwill published Vincenzo Belini’s ...

Article

Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Milton, MA, Feb 18, 1760; d French Mills, NY, Nov 23, 1813). American composer, singing master, singer, and tunebook compiler. Babcock lived most of his life in Watertown, MA, where he worked as a hatter. As a teenager he fought in the Revolutionary War, and he died while enlisted in the Army during the War of 1812. He was active primarily as a psalmodist during the period from 1790 to 1810. Babcock was the choir leader at the Watertown Congregational church, sang at and composed music for town events, and taught singing schools there in 1798 and 1804. He may also have been an itinerant singing master in the Boston area. Babcock composed 75 extant pieces, including anthems, set pieces, fuging tunes, psalm, and hymn tunes. Most of his music was first published in his own tunebook, Middlesex Harmony, which was published in two editions (1795...

Article

Paul C. Echols

(b Detroit, MI, Feb 19, 1803; d New Haven, CT, Dec 23, 1881). American author of hymn texts and hymnbook compiler. The son of a missionary to the Native Americans, he was educated at Yale University and Andover Theological Seminary. While at Andover he compiled a small pamphlet containing 101 missionary hymns, three of them his own: entitled Hymns and Sacred Songs; for the Monthly Concert (Andover, MA, 1823), it was intended for use at missionary prayer meetings and was the first such collection to be published in the United States. In 1825 Bacon was ordained and became pastor of the Center Church, New Haven, where he served until he joined the faculty of the Yale Divinity School in 1866. In 1833 he published in New Haven a revision of Timothy Dwight’s edition of Isaac Watts’s Psalms and Hymns, to which he appended the collection Additional Hymns, Designed as a Supplement to Dwight’s Psalms & Hymns...

Article

H. Wiley Hitchcock

(b New York, June 3, 1851; d Dresden, Oct 13, 1934). American music scholar and lexicographer. Trained as a young man for a business career, he decided rather on music. For a time he was an organist in Concord, Massachusetts. He went to Germany to study in 1874 and took the doctorate at Leipzig in 1882 with a dissertation based on field studies among the Seneca Indians in New York state. This, the first serious work on American Indian music, was shown to MacDowell by Henry Gilbert, and provided themes for MacDowell's Second (‘Indian’) Suite for orchestra. Baker returned to the USA in 1891 and became literary editor and translator for the music publishing firm of Schirmer, Inc. (1892), a post he held until his retirement in 1926, when he returned to Germany. Besides making many translations into English of books, librettos and articles (the last especially for the ...

Article

Raoul F. Camus

(b Grafton, WV, March 20, 1865; d Oskaloosa, IA, Nov 18, 1929). American music publisher, bandmaster, and composer. As a child, he was given cornet lessons by his uncles. He became a proficient soloist, and by the age of 16 was director of the Grafton Band. He then toured for several years with musical comedy companies. In 1886 he moved to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where he directed the local band and set up a music publishing business. He moved his family and business first to Burlington, Iowa, in 1888, and then to Oskaloosa in 1891. For many years he directed the Iowa Brigade Band, for which he provided a rehearsal hall. He published more than 100 of his own band compositions, including cornet solos, marches, galops, waltzes, and dirges; some works appeared under the pseudonyms Jim Fisk and A.M. Laurens. A number of his marches are recorded in the Heritage of the March series compiled by Robert Hoe, Jr. (6, A, G, O, FF, ZZ, RRR). His publishing business flourished, becoming one of the largest in the country. In addition to his own compositions, he published the works of such important composers as Fred Jewell, J.J. Richards, Karl King, Russell Alexander, and Walter English. The company bearing his name continues to publish band music of high quality....

Article

William Brooks

revised by Deniz Ertan

(b Bethel, CT, July 5, 1810; d Bridgeport, CT, Apr 7, 1891). American impresario, author, publisher, philanthropist, and politician/reformer. He produced theatrical matinées, blackface minstrelsy, melodramas, circus tours (the first to own private trains), farces, baby and beauty contests, and temperance lectures. After an early success exhibiting Joyce Heth (advertised as George Washington’s 160-year-old nurse) in 1835, he capitalized on the enthusiasm for Tyrolean acts by introducing the often parodied “Swiss Bell Ringers” in 1844. His management of such novelties as the celebrated midget Tom Thumb had established him as America’s leading showman, and the lecture hall at the Museum became an early venue for “family” minstrelsy and variety. Barnum’s greatest triumph, however, was a tour by soprano JENNY LIND (1850–51); under his management she gave 95 concerts in 19 cities, attracting unprecedented receipts of $712,161.34 (see also Taylor, Bayard). This was the first major tour in the United States to be managed by a nonperformer, marking the rise of a separate class of agents and promoters. He also sponsored the Irish soprano Catherine Hayes on a tour of California (...

Article

Mimi Tashiro

(Phillips) [Todd Mayfield, Ann; Todd, Ann E.]

(b Denver, CO, Aug 26, 1931). American music librarian, editor, and publisher. Daughter of composer Burrill Phillips and Alberta Phillips, and wife of composer Robert Basart, she was raised by her maternal grandparents who named her Ann Todd Mayfield. As Ann E. Todd, she was a child actress featured in more than twenty films such as Intermezzo, All This, and Heaven Too, and Three Daring Daughters. In 1953 she graduated from University of California, Los Angeles in Music History and continued her studies at the University of California, Berkeley earning an MLS in 1958 and MA in 1960. She had a distinguished career as reference librarian at the UC Berkeley Music Library from 1960–61 and 1970–90, during which time she founded and edited the library’s newsletter, Cum Notis Variorum, which gained a national audience. It contained news, reviews, and substantial articles, including bibliographies, checklists, and indexes on various topics and sources. Basart also wrote numerous reviews for ...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Plainfield, NJ, March 14, 1949). American composer, engraver, author, and editor. Báthory-Kitsz has written under a wide array of aliases, including Kalvos Gesamte, Grey Shadé, D.B. Cowell, Brady Kynans, and Kalvos Zondrios. He is a self-proclaimed humanist and believes strongly in the power of everyday people to create and perform music. He has also advocated for locally-centered performances and has been a tremendous force in the creative life of Vermont, where he has made his home. While Báthory-Kitsz remains a highly prolific composer, penning over one thousand works since the late 1960s, he is also recognized as an important writer, both on music and on other topics, such as computers and Vermont country stores. Báthory-Kitsz’s commitment to the life of music reaches out from his own compositions, which he allows people to download and perform for free, and also to his advocacy for the performance of contemporary music, seen especially in his involvement with several festivals and projects that keep “modern” music in the forefront. He has served on the board, directed, and founded many of these events himself. He was the director and founder of Dashuki Music Theater (...