The Georgia Sea Island Singers

Southern Journey, Vol. 13: Earliest Times

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Subtitled "Georgia Sea Islands Songs for Everyday Living," this is a collection of 21 performances recorded by Alan Lomax in 1959 and 1960. Often structured in a call and response fashion, and arranged a cappella or only with minimal percussion and instrumentation, these are considered as some of the American recordings which are closest to the African roots of African-American music. About a dozen performers are heard on the record, arranged into three different combinations of groups, with different soloists spotlighted all the time. Academic significance aside, it's reasonably strong and stirring music with a spiritual current, even though many of the songs are not religious in content; one, in fact, "Ain't I Right" is an original (by Henry Morrison) about the stinginess of white plantation owners.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: John Davis
3:48
2
feat: Bessie Jones
1:47
3
2:18
4
feat: Peter Davis
1:52
5
1:52
6
1:35
7
feat: Bessie Jones
3:05
8
1:32
9
feat: John Davis
3:38
10
feat: Bessie Jones
2:23
11
feat: Bessie Jones
2:12
12
3:07
13
feat: John Davis
2:04
14
feat: Bessie Jones
2:29
15
1:05
16
feat: John Davis
2:22
17
feat: John Davis
3:13
18
2:10
19
feat: John Davis
2:29
20
feat: Bessie Jones
1:18
21
feat: John Davis
5:21
blue highlight denotes track pick