From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Kentucky Jubilee Singers

The Kentucky Jubilee Singers probably formed in the mid-1870s but may have existed prior to that. The group toured around the country singing spirituals, and, unlike other jubilee groups, survived at least until the 1890s.

In 1928, Forbes Randolph organized an eight-man chorus by the same name; the group was used in a stage production, made film shorts and recordings, and toured in Australia and Europe until the beginning of World War II. Arthur J. Gaines was one of the group members.

A trio from the group, known as Day, Dawn, and Dusk, continued to perform until the 1950s.

For more see chapter 7 of Lost Sounds: blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks; and "The Kentucky Singers" in Under the Imperial Carpet, edited by R. Lotz and I. Pegg, pp. 157-163.

*Songs performed by Forbes Randolph's Kentucky Jubilee Singers can be heard on the recording Church Choirs, Gospel Singers and Preachers Vol. 2 (1925-1955), availabe in African American Song, an online listening service by Alexander Street Press.

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“Kentucky Jubilee Singers,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-06 16:44:22