HAMPTON INSTITUTE QUARTET & SEXTETTE

Hampton Institute Quartet & Sextette


Although vocalists affiliated with Virginia's Hampton Institute are known to have made in-house phonograph cylinder recordings during the late 19th century, it wasn't until the summer of 1939 that the Hampton Institute Quartet cut their school's first commercially produced and distributed records. Reissued on Document some 60 years later, eight of the quartet's ten Musicraft sides stand as rock-solid examples of their finest work. At least one of these spirituals, "Reign, Massa Jesus, Reign," clearly dates back to slavery times. Tracks nine through 14 were recorded by an unaccompanied male vocal sextet for the Library of Congress in Hampton, VA during the years 1937-1942, and constitute a trove of precious old-time melodies including Stephen Foster's "Old Black Joe" and introspective versions of "Water Boy" and "Deep River." The unusual acoustic dimensions of these rare pressings lend a mysterious and even transcendental quality to the playback experience, with "Goin' Home" (based on the largo from Antonin Dvor?k's Ninth Symphony) sounding particularly ethereal. Half of the Hampton Institute Quartet's Victor recordings made in April 1941 are reproduced here, rounding out this sampling from an extraordinary body of works deserving greater recognition. This volume in Document's extensive catalog of rare African-American gospel recordings concludes with examples by three little-known groups that were active in the 1940s. "Lead Me to the Rock," "Do You Want to Be a Follower of the Lord?," and "Children Go Where I Send You" were recorded for the Library of Congress in June 1941 in Seaford, DE by a capable unit known as the Harmony Four. "Rock My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham" and "Wade in the Water" are credited to the somewhat more modern-sounding Richard Huey & His Sundown Singers. The final two entries in this collection are of socio-historic interest, as they were used in support of Henry Wallace, Progressive Party candidate for the presidency in 1948. "Henry Wallace Is the Man" is sung by the Royal Harmonaires, who successfully emulate the Golden Gate Quartet. As electoral propaganda it probably won a few more votes than "Wallace Fit the Battle of America," during which Richard Huey delivers an impassioned sermon describing the decadence of Wall Street, where "the Golden Rule is abandoned for the Rule of Gold." Years later, Duke Ellington would employ the old Joshua spiritual on his album My People as "King Fit the Battle of Birmingham." By then Alabama governor George Wallace had managed to link his surname with bigoted white supremacy rather than civil liberties. ~ arwulf arwulf, Rovi

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: --
  • Label: Document (USA)
  • UPC: 714298562828
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Track listings

  • 1. Goin' To Shout All Over God's Heav'n
  • 2. Little David, Play On Your Harp
  • 3. I Want To Go To Heaven When I Die
  • 4. Ezekiel Saw De Wheel
  • 5. Ole Ark A Moverin' Along, De
  • 6. Mary And Martha Jes' Gone Along
  • 7. In Bright Mansions Above
  • 8. Reign, Massa Jesus, Reign
  • 9. Walk Together Children
  • 10. Keep Inching Along
  • 11. Old Black Joe
  • 12. Water Boy
  • 13. Deep River
  • 14. Going Home
  • 15. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  • 16. My Lord What A Morning
  • 17. Tis Me
  • 18. Steal Away
  • 19. Lead Me To The Rock
  • 20. Do You Want To Be A Follower Of The Lord?
  • 21. Childern Go Where I Send You
  • 22. Rock My Soul In The Bosom Of Abraham
  • 23. Wade In The Water
  • 24. Wallace Fit The Battle Of America
  • 25. Henry Wallace Is The Man
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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