NOBODY KNOWS

NOBODY KNOWS                                               CRAIG VON BUSECK
Posted:  June 3, 2014

Nobody Knows: The Forgotten Story of One of the Most Influential Figures in American Music We shouldn't be surprised when we see God use the ordinary to accomplish the incredible. We should be inspired.

From the depths of near obscurity at the turn of the last century, a young African American man rose to fame through those ordinary things--listening to his grandfather sing the old slave songs as he lit the streetlamps, sweating through a rented suit during an audition, having a chance meeting with a musical legend as he was mopping the halls of his school. Through the seemingly insignificant pieces of life, God led Harry T. Burleigh along the path to fame, and through him preserved the songs that would form the basis of a uniquely American music.

Now Harry T. Burleigh, once world-renowned for his career as a beautiful baritone soloist, an arranger of Negro spirituals, and a composer in his own right, is lifted out of obscurity once more by Craig von Buseck. This inspiring true story will take you back in time to Southern plantations and Northern boom towns, to minstrel shows and soaring sanctuaries, and into the heart of a man who never suspected that God had destined him for greatness.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
First let me say that I have never heard of this man before. Harry T. Burleigh. He would first start out singing what they called plantation songs, he was taught those by his grandfather. Along with stories about his family. He would learn another set of songs from the hands working in the stables but those songs were sung there or by himself. If his mama or step daddy heard any of those songs he would have been tanned with a switch. He would continue to sing and play the piano but mostly sing. With the help of Francis MacDowell, Burleigh was accepted into the National Conservatory of Music in New York. Once accepted he also worked for the registrar Mrs. MacDowell, so he could also earn some money. He would sing spirituals while working at night moping the floors when he meet the composer Antonin Dvorak the Czech composer who was teaching at the school. He would spend time with his family and also singing and telling him the same stories that his grand farther told him. Through Burleigh and the music he shared it became an inspiration for Dorvaks New World Symphony. By 1893 word was spreading about his voice and he was doing concerts at various towns. Then in 1894 he was asked to become a soloist for the ST. George Episcopal church in New York City. This was not only the oldest and largest but also all white. He accepted and although some members walked out others stayed and he stayed. He would become friends with JPMorgan, sing at Governors Teddy Roosevelt’s inauguration, just to name a few. From 1900-1925 he was also a member of the Synagogue choir at the Temple Emanu-El in New York City, the only African- American to sing there. He would go on to many more great things in the world of music his one down side was his personal life that part was sad. This is a fascinating book about a man who touched so many people not only with his voice but also made them look at themselves and the way they treated there fellow man. I got this book from net galley.

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