Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cracked voices and monotonous tunes

Some wag in Commerce in 1903 really didn't like our style of music, or else he thought he was being really cute and funny.
The “old-timers” held a singing convention on the 31st of May at Aberfoyle, and antiquated ‘Sacred Harp’ was terribly mutilated. Poor old-timers with their cracked voices and monotonous tunes made a horrible discord, but it gives them pleasure to hold fast to their precious errors, even in this enlightened age. “Such is life.” They may not be up-to-date in music, but the old sisters of Aberfoyle are [actually well up] in the culinary art. An immense table was spread and fairly groaned beneath the load of old-time hams, baked chickens, fried pies, pound cakes, etc., and the old-time singers and constituents did the dinner full justice. W. J. Leavens and Hon. Tom Yarbrough represented this section and in pitching his tune Mr. Leaven (who, by the way, is a fine singer of that kind,) was pitched on by an old sister, who said he pitched too high and sung too fast and so on. Had he been a [timid] stranger he might have been upset, but being from the Sand Mountain we suppose he had plenty of “grit in his gizzard.” 
“General News from N.E. Corner,” Commerce Journal (Commerce, Texas) June 12, 1903, p. 6

I tried, but was unable to identify Mr. Leaven/Leavens and Tom Yarbrough.

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