In Memory of John Bayer, Jr.

Jan 11, 2017 by

In Memory of John Bayer, Jr. by Kelly Macklin John Bayer, Jr. passed away on December 8, 2016 just over a year after the death of his wife, Loraine. They are survived by their children, Regina, Hans, and Jubal, and four grandchildren. I first met John Bayer in September 1990 at the United Convention in Chicago (held for the first time out of the South!) My husband, John, and I were new singers and this was one of our first conventions. John Bayer was also a fairly new shape note singer, but I never realized that until much later, as he was a strong, vibrant and enthusiastic singer who seemed as though he had sung this music all his life. He was a bear of a man, with a beautiful, clear tenor who could...

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The Pros and Cons of Imitating the South...

Feb 23, 2016 by

We recently came across this article in a copy of Shape Notes, a newsletter edited by Bob Hall and Ella Wilcox for several years in the Washington, D. C. area. Our good friend, Kat Kinkade wrote this in 1995. It still seems relevant today! Kat was one of the founders of Twin Oaks, the longest surviving income sharing, non-religious commune in the U. S., and author of several books about it. As you can tell from the article she was an enthusiastic and articulate singer. THE PROS AND CONS OF IMITATING THE SOUTH by Kat Kinkade, Louisa VA, first published in 1995 in Shape Notes, a newsletter by Bob Hall and Ella Wilcox I attended the New York State convention in October and listened to Judy Hauff give a talk that dealt with, among...

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Did Lucius Chapin write the Amazing Grace tune?...

May 12, 2015 by

The melody sung to John Newton’s 1779 hymn “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound” is, without a doubt, America’s best-loved hymn tune. Rachel discovered an 1828 manuscript by Lucius Chapin (1760-1842), who was famous in his day as a hymn tune writer, that raises the possibility that Lucius was its composer.

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Download the (in)Complete Recordings...

Sep 15, 2014 by

We’ve had a number of requests for a way to download all the recordings from our (in)complete recordings playlists. Here goes… Just a warning – as of September 15, 2014 we have 374 songs in the playlist, for a total of 1.72 GB and 13 hours (long car trip?).

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