Jackson, Judge [J. ]
- Joe Dan Boyd
(b Montgomery County, AL, March 12, 1883; d Ozark, AL, April 7, 1958). American composer, music teacher, and songster. He was the youngest child of an African American sharecropper family and received no more than two years of education in public school before leaving home at age 16 with his clothes in a flour sack and a half-dollar in his pocket. He eventually found farm work in Dale County, Alabama, where he spent the rest of his life, earning a livelihood as a farmer, a real-estate developer, and a door-to-door salesman of religious books. He was baptized in May 1902 and married Lela Campbell in October of that same year.
At an early age, around 1899, Jackson was attracted to Sacred Harp singing (see Shape-note hymnody). Unable to attend Sacred Harp singing schools as a youth because his employer on the farm refused to permit it, he learned by interviewing other youths who were allowed to attend and quickly mastered the art. He evolved from curious student to teacher and in ...