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the Fisk Jubilee Singers


Originally formed in 1871 as a fundraising vehicle for Nashville's African American Fisk University, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were initially a group of nine students from the school's choir. After they began to perform old slave spirituals handed down from their parents, the Singers became a resounding success, eventually touring Europe and England. A later quartet culled from the Singers became one of the first black groups to record when they started working for Victor in 1909. Later editions of the Singers appeared on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry radio station, WSM, and a current group keeps the tradition alive today.

Courtesy of palmpictures.com

The historically Black college, Fisk University remains an active educational institution based in Nashville where Jubilee Hall, created from the funds of the Fisk Jubilee Singers tours still stands. In the last several years, Fisk has revived the Jubilee Singers and the recent group appeared in the documentary. They do many public appearances and have recorded a CD of traditional spirituals in the style of the original group. The earliest recordings of the Fisk Jubilee Singers are available on a series of four CD's from Document (document-records.co.uk), but the sound makes these releases of interest largely to the serious scholar only.

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