In my CD library I have a compilation of old interviews featuring the voices of people who you may well have thought would not have been recorded - Queen Victoria, for example, and eyewitness accounts such as an elderly gent, taped in the 1930s, who as a young boy had seen the Duke of Wellington's funeral. Fascinating stuff. I played it with great pleasure. Once. And then stored it away for use as a teaching resource in my history classes. This CD falls into the same category. It was an interesting listen but not one that bears repeated plays. Part of the problem is that the recordings have been taken from original 78 rpm records or even taped copies of records that have now been lost. There is some good four-part harmony singing of sacred and secular material here but sometimes it gets lost in the hiss and few of the performances are particularly distinctive. The Dunham Jubilee Singers were a vehicle for Charles "Son" Dunham who was an itinerant quartet trainer in and around Birmingham, Alabama who died in 1955. The quartet's claim to fame, or at least a footnote in the history of Gospel music, is that they backed Bessie Smith on the legendary Empress of The Blues' one religious release which, frustratingly, is not included in this otherwise comprehensive collection. Really an album for historic-recording completists only.
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