Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Sorting out and out of sorts

I've recently posted on Sacred Harp composers W. A. Robinette and T. W. Loftin. One historical curiosity is whether they had a falling out with W. M. Cooper early on in the continuing revision process.

The list of the 1902 Sacred Harp revision committee contains twelve names, which include W. A. Robinett and T. W. Loftin. In the 1907 fourth edition of Cooper's Sacred Harp, this same original revision committee report is included. But... the name of C. W. Poyner is substituted where Robinett's name was and W. H. Yarbrough is substituted where Loftin's name was. (This could have been changed by the 3rd edition, but I have never seen a copy of it.)

This replacement of names/committeemen suggests a falling out between Cooper, Loftin and Robinett. Maybe they withdrew their support for the ongoing revision? Loftin and Robinett were both on the 1909 revision committee listed in J. L. White's 5th edition Sacred Harp book. Loftin took a prominent place as the "secretary-treasurer" for this revision. But there are others from south Alabama on White's committee who apparently continued to support the Cooper book (e.g. W. R. McCoy).

But, further, in regard to these two particular men I noticed:

(1) T. W. Loftin's two songs that were added to the 1902 edition (SORROWING SOUL and PRAISE HIS NAME) were gone by 1907,  replaced by other songs.

(2) The attributions for W. A. Robinett(e) for the tune SECURITY (No. 66) and the bass on REES (No. 418) got removed at some point -- though the attributions to him for the tunes SAFETY and YARBROUGH remained.

As folks were trying to sort out how to go forward with Sacred Harp revision, perhaps folks also got out of sorts.

[Note: T. W. Loftin "came back" and participated on the 1927 committee for the 9th edition of the Cooper revision. He has songs from this period in the 2012 book on pages 527 and 557.]

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