DRAFT – DRAFT - DRAFT
SOUTHERN GOSPEL CONVENTION SINGING COLLECTION 06-018
Sound recordings and papers OPEN COLLECTION
NOTE: This collection is currently in process. Please contact the archivist for access or information.
Sound recordings: CDs, mini discs
Agency History/biographical sketch:
In order to enhance the study and scholarship of the gospel convention-singing tradition and resurgence, the Center for Popular Music and Dr. Stephen Shearon of the MTSU School of Music decided to embark on this project to document singing conventions in the South.
gospel” describes the multifaceted genres of vernacular sacred music that have
evolved among white Southerners since the late 1800s. Southern gospel
convention singing is an amateur American musical tradition in which
practitioners train at singing schools and gather at monthly and annual
singings to sing and play from upright, or octavo, "new books"
containing southern gospel songs in seven-shape notation. Historically it follows the four-shape tradition
(Southern Harmony, Sacred Harp, etc.) and has been led
primarily by publishers such as Ruebush-Kieffer,
Anthony J. Showalter, James D. Vaughan, Stamps-Baxter,
Scope and Content:
In November of
2006 the CPM partnered with Dr. Steve Shearon to
undertake an ongoing field recording project to document the vanishing art of
Southern Gospel Convention style piano accompaniment. During 2006 and 2007 a team comprised of Dr. Shearon and CPM Manager of Recorded Media Collections,
Martin Fisher, traveled to record the National Southern Gospel Singing
Convention in Lawrenceburg, TN., the New Years Eve singing in
Dr. Shearon has also donated 23 mini discs containing approximately 40 hours of field notes, interviews and on site field recordings to the Center. A project is underway to convert all of these to a more accessible format.
Audio tapes and transcripts of interviews are located in the manuscript collection, searchable by accession number and are filed chronologically and by format. Performance documents have been retained in the collection. These can be searched by accession number in the Center’s InMagic database. Compact discs are filed with manuscript sound recordings, searchable by accession number.
The Center has secondary sources related to Southern gospel music convention singing available in the Reading Room and searchable in Voyager. Gospel song books may be found in the rare book collection searchable through the InMagic database. Additional manuscript materials related to gospel music may be found in the Archives database.
Series A: 71st National Gospel Singing Convention (13 CDs)
National Gospel Singing Convention occurred November 17 and 18, 2006 in
Includes two name tags and ribbons worn by attendees and an obituary of pianist Harvey Day Shelton of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Flyers and advertisements for upcoming singing events, namely the James D. Vaughan Homecoming Singing Convention in Lawrenceburg, the Tri-city Gospel Music Camp in Kingsport, Cumberland Valley School of Gospel Music, Inc. in Knoxville, Leoma School of Gospel Music in Leoma. A quarterly newsletter for convention singers from the Jeffress/Phillips Music company What’s Happening?! also included.
Series B: New Years Eve Singing
Series C: Joe and Ruth Stewart Singing
Series D: Dr. Steve Shearon Interviews and Field Notes
© The Center for Popular Music,
LPC February 2008 [History of Southern gospel written by Steve Shearon.]