Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

Background, histories, development & commentary

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
"In personal appearance they are far from unprepossessing, three of the young ladies being both handsome and pretty, and their com�plexion present every variety of the 'colored' from deep black to al�most white. Their service of song, regarded as a musical perform�ance is chiefly remarkable for its novelty. The melodies and choruses are of the simplest possible construction, but one or two of them were very picturesque and the harmony exquisite, if not per�fect. They have been very highly spoken of by Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Bright, and by the Metropolitan and provincial press."
Fisk has sent out other companies at different times, since the original company made its memorable campaign.
In 1890-1891 a company composed of Misses Linalina Haynes, Alice Vassar, Fanny Snow, Marie Antoniette Crump, and Messrs. John W. Halloway, Paul LaCour and Thos. W. Talley toured the North and East in the interest of the Theological Building.
In 1899 another troup left the University in the general interest of the institution. It was composed of Misses Mabel L. Grant, Ida M. Napier, Lenetta V. Hayes, Edith Bowman, Mrs. Agnes H. Work, and Messrs. S. S. Caruthers, A. E. Greenlow, G. E. Martin, and J. W. Work, the director. This company, with some changes, re�mained in the field for four years. During these four years Misses Jeanette Washington, Katherine Kainey, Florence Pamplin, Marie Antoniette Crump, Henrietta H. Crawley, Elnora J. Work; Messrs. J. A. Myers, Frederick J. Work, and N. W. Eyder at one time or another were members of this company.
In 1909-1910 the University was represented by a male quartette, the members of which were J. A. Myers, Alfred G. King, N. W. Eyder, and J. W. Work. This quartette was engaged by the Victor Talking Machine Company to make twenty records of folk songs. Of this quartette, Dr. H. E. Krehbiel wrote in the New York Tribune:
"A concert goer might live a lifetime and never hear such beau�tiful homogeneity of tone as that which they produce, nor such euph�ony, perfection of nuance and precision. Save for its vital human quality, which lifts it above all mechanical products, their harmony sounds like that of a well-attuned organ. A quartette of instinctively excellent artists are these Fisk Singers."
The quality of all the singing at Fisk University since the time of the Original Company has been largely wrought out and main�tained through the efficient work of Miss Jennie A. Eobinson, who

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III