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Bessie Jones, John Davis & The Georgia Sea Island Singers with Mississippi Fred McDowell & Ed Young - The Complete Friends of Old Time Music Concert


CD: £11.99

Label: SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS

Release date: 14.06.2024

In Stock and Available For Dispatch

Further Information


Bessie Jones, John Davis, and the Georgia Sea Island Singers gained wide renown during the 1960s and '70s for their powerful performances of traditional songs from the African American Gullah Geechee community on St Simons Island, Georgia. Most in the group were born and raised on St. Simons, and could trace their ancestry to the enslaved West and Central Africans who worked on the island's cotton plantations. Throughout the '60s, the Georgia Sea Island Singers were prominent voices in the civil rights movement, bringing hundreds of years of Black musical tradition to bear on a pivotal time in American history. This previously unheard recording captures their complete Friends of Old Time Music concert of April 1965, at which they were joined by legendary bluesman Mississippi Fred McDowell, cane fife player Ed Young, and folklorist Alan Lomax, who acted as emcee. The album showcases a variety of traditional music from the Island and beyond, including stirring work songs, emotionally charged spirituals, jubilant songs for children, and revelatory renditions of Mississippi blues.

Track Listing


1. Introduction by Alan Lomax / Travelin' Shoes ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Bessie Jones

2. Handclapping - Cane Fife ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Bessie Jones with Ed Young

3. Buzzard Lope (Dance) - In That Old Field ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Bessie Jones

4. Josephine ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Bessie Jones

5. Goodbye My Riley O ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by John Davis

6. Go Row the Boat Child ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Peter Davis

7. Join the Band ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by John Davis

8. Sink 'Em Low ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Bessie Jones

9. Going Down to the River ft. Mississippi Fred McDowell

10. Shake 'Em on Down ft. Mississippi Fred McDowell with Mable Hillery

11. Once There Was No Sun ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Bessie Jones

12. Adam in the Garden ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by John Davis

13. Who Built the Ark ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Bessie Jones

14. Let My Children Go ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by John Davis

15. My God Is a Rock ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Peter Davis

16. I Heard the Angels Singing ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Mable Hillery with Mississippi Fred McDowell

17. Read 'Em John ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by John Davis

18. Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Mississippi Fred McDowell

19. Sign of the Judgment ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Bessie Jones

20. Chevrolet ft. Ed Young, Emma Lee Ramsey

21. Write Me a Few of Your Lines ft. Mississippi Fred McDowell

22. Don't Ever Leave Me ft. Mississippi Fred McDowell with Mable Hillery

23. Marching on the Mississippi Line ft. Mable Hillery, Emma Lee Ramsey

24. Down to the Mire ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by John Davis

25. Before This Time Another Year ft. Georgia Sea Island Singers led by Bessie Jones

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