January 04 , 2010

Nobody Knows

The Forgotten Story of One of the Most Influential Figures in American Music


It should not surprise us when we see God use the common things of life – snow, streetlights, a rented suit, a mop – to accomplish the incredible. But it should inspire us. 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 intently out in the snow as a child to beautiful music in an elegant hall, listening to his grandfather sing the old slave songs as he lit the streetlamps, sweating through a rented suit during an audition for a musical scholarship, 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.
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