Pace Jubilee Singers
(2010 INDUCTEE) IN 1925, CHARLES HENRY PACE ORGANIZED THE PACE JUBLILEE SINGERS. RECORDING FOR GENNETT IN 1927-28, THIS CHICAGO GROUP WAS AMONG THE FIRST TO RECORD GOSPEL HYMNS COMPOSED BY AFRICAN AMERICANS.
DONATED IN HONOR OF MY LOVING MOTHER, LAUREL GENNETT MARTIN, DIRECTOR OF STARR PIANO PACIFIC DIVISION, BY BRIAN HENRY MARTIN
Songwriter, arranger, publisher, and musician Charles Henry Pace was born in Atlanta on August 4, 1886, and moved to Chicago in 1899. He received some formal music training and performed with jazz and dance bands throughout the Midwest during the 1910’s and 1920’s. Sometime in the mid-1920’s, Pace became the choir director for Beth Eden Baptist Church in the middle-class African American community of Morgan Part, located along Chicago’s southern edge. He organized the Pace Jubilee Singers in 1925 from members of Beth Eden’s senior choir. Pace’s piano-accompanied ensemble of seven to ten men and women (including his second wife, Arlene) performed his arrangements of spirituals, gospel songs, and hymns. The group was among the first to record compositions by African-American hymnist Charles Albert Tindley. Befitting conservative Morgan Park and the classical-influenced religious music of the time, the Pace Jubilee Singers sang with strict formality, emphasizing close harmony and temperate rhythms. The piano accompanists-Thomas Dorsey very briefly, then Josephine Inniss-were directed to emphasize chording over improvisation. The Pace Jubilee Singers might have been aurally indistinguishable from other jubilee groups if it were not for its primary soloist, Hattie Parker. Parker was an early gospel singer but her contralto had more in common with the stage than the pulpit. She incorporated bluesy vocal techniques such as glides, scooping, grace notes, and falsetto leaps into the ensemble’s otherwise straightforward musical palette. Her singing foreshadowed by several years the secularization of African-American religious music by Dorsey and gospel soloists of the 1930’s. The Pace Jubilee Singers were among the first African-American religious artists to sing on radio, broadcasting over WLS, WMAQ, and WGN. They were Chicago’s most prolific African-American religious recording ensemble of the 1920’s, recording 85 sides between 1926 and 1929. One-fifth of the sides were recorded for Gennett between March 1927, and March 1929. These sides resulted in five Gennett discs. The Pace Jubilee Singers disbanded during the Great Depression. Hattie Parker continued as a gospel singer and Charles Pace moved to Pittsburgh and established The Old Ship of Zion publishing house.
Website produced by Web Canopy Studio Inbound Marketing Team.