29 Days, 29 Stars: A Black History Month Celebration

In honor of Black History Month, The Art of the Negro Spiritual shares video recordings of historical classical music singers performing concert spirituals, featuring one each day during the month of February.

The singers, composers and concert spirituals selected include very familiar names and titles as well as artists and songs that are not as well-known in today’s time. Yet, they all contributed to the development of what we know today as concert spiritual repertoire. A number of the singers and composers listed are linked to biographies on Afrocentric Voices in “Classical” Music.

Enjoy these recordings!



  1. Roland Hayes (1887–1977) – Were You There; traditional, a cappella (https://youtu.be/6ZONb4zM7VI)
  2. John C. Payne (1872–1952) with Lawrence Brown – Standin’ in de Need of Prayer; John C. Payne, composer (https://youtu.be/CaP-PXxdFTM)
  3. Clarence Carroll Clark (1885–193–?) – I’m So Glad Trouble Don’t Last Alway; R. Nathaniel Dett, composer (https://youtu.be/r5F-xx1xnrw)
  4. Florence Cole Talbert (1890–1961) – Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen; Clarence Cameron White, composer (https://youtu.be/qmEvQYMwvk4)
  5. Marian Anderson (1897–1993) – My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord; Florence Price, composer (https://youtu.be/IgGxWGdSOo4)
  6. Paul Robeson (1898–1976) with Lawrence Brown; Lawrence Brown, composer – Bye and Bye (https://youtu.be/ufnAOGDyVbw)
  7. Jules Bledsoe (1898–1943) – Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; William Dawson, composer (https://youtu.be/o_cxCcwSZn0)
  8. Todd Duncan (1903–1998) – All God’s Chillin Got Wings; John Rosamond Johnson, composer (https://youtu.be/dKaFO1PPnRw)
  9. Ellabelle Davis (1907–1960) – I Stood on de Ribber ob Jordan; composer not identified (https://youtu.be/3dyN3HeRcns)
  10. Ruby Elzy (1908–1943) – On My Journey Now; Edward Boatner, composer (https://youtu.be/kx3MzncLEu0)
  11. Charles Holland (1909–1987) – Hear de Lambs; Roland Hayes, composer (https://youtu.be/OSv0QQ1KoZE)
  12. Dorothy Maynor (1910–1996) – I’m Goin’ to Tell God All My Troubles, R. Nathaniel Dett, composer (https://youtu.be/BRvUbXo8BHk)
  13. Anne Wiggins Brown (1912–2009) – His Name So Sweet; Hall Johnson, composer (https://youtu.be/mKUDNXmWpbk)
  14. Kenneth Spencer (1913–1964) – There’s a man goin’ roun’ takin’ names-Joshua fit the battle of Jericho; composer not identified (https://youtu.be/uXwTeWgxrjY)
  15. Lawrence Winters (1915–1965) – I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray; composer not identified (https://youtu.be/nWsRSCv2j0E)
  16. Inez Matthews (1917–2004) – Round about de Mountain; Roland Hayes, composer (https://youtu.be/csSWHeQda5s)
  17. Carol Brice (1918–1985) – Sweet Little Jesus Boy; Robert McGimsey, composer (https://youtu.be/IrFhpF7l7xM)
  18. Camilla Williams (1919–2012) – Talk about a Child; William Dawson, composer (https://youtu.be/wsO1koa_xzU)
  19. William Warfield (1920–2002) – Deep River; Harry T. Burleigh, composer (https://youtu.be/rcLMUHCcXYg)
  20. Robert McFerrin (1921–2006) – Let Us Break Bread Together; William Lawrence, composer (https://youtu.be/S7bNwpomzYc)
  21. Mattiwilda Dobbs (1925–2015) – City Called Heaven; Edward Boatner, composer (https://youtu.be/BknlExYMv8g)
  22. Adele Addison (b. 1925) – Steal Away; traditional, a cappella (https://youtu.be/YMQqgB5JnL4)
  23. Leontyne Price (b. 1927) – He’s Got the Whole World in His Hand; Margaret Bonds, composer (https://youtu.be/dEuU7CB678I)
  24. Shirley Verrett (1931–2010) – I’m a Poor Little Orphan in This World; Julia Perry, composer (https://youtu.be/2rUUE469hW8)
  25. Benjamin Matthews (1933–2006) – Is There Anybody Here Who Loves My Jesus? Roland Carter, composer (https://youtu.be/DN4CT0cUbiI)
  26. George Shirley (b. 1934) – O Freedom; Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, composer (https://youtu.be/KBygI3ht_2w)
  27. Martina Arroyo (b. 1936) – Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray, Harry T. Burleigh, composer (https://youtu.be/wNLctv93N6w)
  28. Barbara Conrad (1937–2017) – Calvary Medley; composer not identified (https://youtu.be/eAu2u3kU9Ag)
  29. Jessye Norman (1945-2019) – Great Day; Thomas Kerr, Jr., composer (https://youtu.be/F2Sb_GM4C-I)

Daily entries will be posted on the Art of the Negro Spiritual Facebook group.