Singing Billy Walker


Singing Billy Walker and Amazing Grace

We're here to talk about the man who's responsible for “Amazing Grace,” but I want to build a base first so you'll appreciate the song better, because the song's being attributed, I think, by people who are rewriting history, whether willfully or ignorantly (and I think it’s ignorantly, because we haven't done our work). We need to give the story…

The Colored Sacred Harp

I have written here before about the history and mechanics of Sacred Harp singing, shape-notes, and Singing Schools.  James Kibler has delivered some truly excellent talks about Singing Billy Walker and the origins of Amazing Grace as an original tune called New Britain in Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, and I strongly urge you to listen to his presentations.  Listen…
Tom Daniel
July 29, 2020

Not Just Whistling Dixie

There are few Southern hearts that still fail to skip a beat or two when a military band strikes up “Dixie,” the de facto national anthem of the Confederacy and the song that has undoubtedly become the one most closely associated with the antebellum South.  This, however, was not the case with the creator of that iconic tune, Daniel Emmett,…
John Marquardt
December 13, 2019