Friday, September 9, 2016
Original Sacred Harp Choir
Sacred Harp singing was first recorded by the Brunswick record company in a series of sessions in New York in June and July of 1922. Based on contemporary newspaper accounts, the singers were apparently recruited from Texas and Georgia. Sacred Harp singing tends to be slightly rough-hewn, but the singers on the Brunswick recordings sing in a more refined manner, possibly reflecting the tastes of the record company. Brunswick thought enough of these recordings to issue them with a beautiful special label, depicting the shaped notes.
These sessions are notable for the first recording of "Amazing Grace," issued under the title "New Britain." Brunswick 5154, pairing "Greenfield" and "Hallelujah," has remained a more obscure disc; it doesn't appear in any discographies that I have seen.