Jackson and the Colored Sacred Harp
by Joe Dan Boyd with an introduction by John Bealle. Purchase $29.95
Listen to an example in RealAudio "The Morning Trumpet" led by W. Columbus Sistrunk with spoken introduction.
In the book Boyd chronicles the life of Judge Jackson ("Judge" was his given name) as he progressed from a penniless sharecropper to a prominent landowner in Ozark, Alabama, and specifically focuses on his role as publisher in 1934 of a small volume of religious songs, written by and for African Americans in the style of the venerable shapenote book, The Sacred Harp.
Boyd continues the narrative beyond the death of Judge Jackson to trace the history of the Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers, led by Dewey Williams and Judge Jackson’s son, Japheth, through their appearances at the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C. in 1970, an exposition in Montreal in 1971 and inclusion in the National Geographic and a Bill Moyer’s special on public television. He also writes of African-American Sacred Harp singing communities in Texas and Mississippi and compares them to the Wiregrass singers.
The attractive, 160-page hardback book contains an informative introduction by John Bealle and 50 black and white photos. It also contains a CD that includes a recording made at a Sacred Harp singing by folklorist John Work in 1938, one made by Judge Jackson and family at a coin-operated recording booth in Dothan in 1950 as well as 25 other selections made at various singings through 1972.
The book with CD enclosed costs $29.95 and is also available from The Alabama Center for Traditional Culture, 410 N. Hull Street, Montgomery, AL 36104. If ordering by mail, add $2.50 for postage and handling.