In the late 1920s, gospel music performer Washington Phillips recorded 16 songs. The songs featured Phillips’ voice and an home-made instrument, — some argued not a Dolceola, but a common fretless zither (possibly both of the Phonoharps in the photo above.) The instrument(s) add an ethereal effect to Phillips’ voice (on first listen, I thought I was hearing the voice of a woman, a trace of Nina Simone.) Earlier this year, Dust-to-Digital, a record company based in Atlanta, Georgia released Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music (1924 – 1940) and Photography (1890 – 1950) – a 96-page hardbound book containing amazing historic images and an incredible 25-track CD of songs and sermons. It’s available everywhere.
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