Academic journal article Southern Cultures

The Pleasant Hill Singers Songs of the Shaker West

Academic journal article Southern Cultures

The Pleasant Hill Singers Songs of the Shaker West

Article excerpt

The Pleasant Hill Singers Songs of the Shaker West Verdant Groves Music Foundation, 1999 CD VGMFOI, $17.00

In 1841 a backwoods Alabama Baptist preacher named Benjamin Lloyd published a words-only hymnal adapted, as he wrote, "to singing on all occasions." As was customary in Lloyd's day--and in true Baptist fashion--the tunes to accompany the texts were left up to individual congregations. Over 150 years later the book stands as an unchanging bulwark in an age of frequently revised denominational hymnals, and it continues to command a loyal following among both southern white and black Primitive Baptists. On this twenty-cut CD, listeners can tease out the differences and similarities among congregations wrought by time and circumstance, and gain a greater appreciation for the unaccompanied style that dominated nineteenth-century southern religious music. A one-hundred-page booklet containing six essays illuminates the history of this remarkable hymnal and style of singing. …

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