A Century of Negro Spirituals for Solo Voice–2nd Generation

The Second Generation: From Lawrence Brown to Betty Jackson King

These composers, born from the last decade of the 19th Century to the 1920s, were witnesses to or impacted by the effects of Jim Crow Laws, the Great War, the Harlem Renaissance, and World War II. Their compositional treatments of the Negro Spiritual not only reflected Neo-Romanticism, but the influences of popular music, such as Jazz and Blues.

Lawrence Brown (1893–1972)

“Dere’s a Man Goin’ Roun’ Takin’ Names”
Lawrence Brown, composer
Paul Robeson, bass-baritone
The EMI Sessions 1928-1939


William Grant Still (1895-1978)

“Here’s One”
William Grant Still, composer
Florence Quivar, mezzo-soprano


William Lawrence (1895-1981)

“Let Us Break Bread Together on Our Knees”
William Lawrence, composer
Marian Anderson, contralto


Robert MacGimsey (1898-1979)

“Sweet Little Jesus Boy”
Robert MacGimsey, composer
Carol Brice, contralto
The Christmas Album


Edward Boatner (1898-1981)

“City Called Heaven”
Edward Boatner, composer
Mattiwilda Dobbs, soprano
Tva Sidor Av Mattiwilda Dobbs Och Gotthard Arner


Hamilton Forrest (1901-1963)

“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hand”
Hamilton Forrest, composer
Martina Arroyo, soprano


John Wesley Work III (1901-1967)

“This Little Light o’ Mine”
John Wesley Work III, composer
Kevin Maynor, bass
Songs of America from Another American


Undine Smith Moore (1904-1989)

“Is there anybody here who loves my Jesus”
Undine Smith Moore, composer
Pamela Dillard, mezzo-soprano
Watch and Pray


Margaret Bonds (1913-1972)

“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hand”
Margaret Bonds, composer
Leontyne Price, soprano
The Essential Leontyne Price


Julia Perry (1924–1979)

“I’m a poor little orphan in this world!”
Julia Perry, composer
Shirley Verrett, mezzo-soprano
Gospels & Spirituals Gold Collection


Hale Smith (1925-2009)

“I Want to Die Easy”
Hale Smith, composer
Donnie Ray Albert, baritone
Donnie Ray Albert in Recital


Robert Owens (1925-2016)

“Go Down Moses”
Robert Owens, composer
Oral Moses, bass-baritone
Amen! African-American Composers of the 20th Century


Betty Jackson King (1928-1994)

Betty Jackson King, composer
Robert Honeysucker, baritone
Watch and Pray: Spirituals and Art Songs by African-American Women Composers



The Pioneers | The Second Generation | The Now Generation | Discography