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The Beautiful Music All Around UsField Recordings and the American Experience$
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Stephen Wade

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036880

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036880.001.0001

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Bozie Sturdivant

Bozie Sturdivant

A Song That Went with Him

(p.179) 7 Bozie Sturdivant
The Beautiful Music All Around Us

Stephen Wade

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes the recordings of second-tenor quartet singer Bozie Sturdivant, who held down a job as a yard boy in Clarksdale, Mississippi, among other domestic chores. In July 1942, during a service at Clarksdale's Silent Grove Baptist Church, Bozie made nine recordings with his group, including a spiritual called “Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down.” Bozie's approach to the song reflected a traditional style of religious singing and an emerging sound in quartet performance. Like the jukeboxes that Lewis Jones cataloged, Bozie's impassioned performance brought together the local with the national and the personal with the manufactured. Life in the Delta, as elsewhere in rural America, was changing. Bozie Sturdivant's song captured the complexity of that change. It also preserved what he held most dear.

Keywords:   Bozie Sturdivant, quartet singers, second tenor, Library of Congress recordings, religious singing, Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down

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