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Sun, 04.22.1855

Georgia Taylor, Jubilee Singer born

Georgia Taylor

Georgia Taylor’s birth in 1855 is celebrated on this date.  She was a Black vocalist.

From Nashville, Tennessee, Georgia, Gordon had a Mulatto mother, Mercy Duke Gordon, and a slave father, George Gordon.  Mercy's mother was white, and the law required that children of free mothers were free. Mercy had another child, Elwina, fathered by a white man (a "Doctor Warner") before she married Gordon.  Gordon was allowed to live in his free spouse's household, hire out his own time, and pay part of his wages to his owner. Mercy and George had two children: Governor B. and Georgia.

She entered Fisk University in 1868, a student in the literary department, and took music lessons from George L. White before becoming a Jubilee Singer in 1872.  At eighteen, she was with the first vocalists to tour the United States and Europe in 1872-73, when the Jubilee Singers appeared before Queen Victoria in England.  After returning to America, she married the Reverend Preston Taylor, founder of Nashville's Greenwood Cemetery and Lea Avenue Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church.

The couple had one child, Preston G. Taylor. She became her husband's constant companion, but she freely gave her singing ability as a soprano soloist throughout Nashville's Black community.  Following her death in 1913, Georgia Gordon Taylor was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.  In 1978, Walter Leonard, president of Fisk University, posthumously awarded Taylor a bachelor’s degree.

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