Hugh W. McGraw obituary

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Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Rvaughn » Tue May 30, 2017 9:23 pm

Hugh McGraw may not be all that well-known among Baptists generally, but he was a Baptist and well-known to a subset of us Baptist who participate in Sacred Harp Singing (which book was published by two Georgia Baptists in 1844). I know there are a couple other Baptist Life members who know who he is, and posting his obituary here.
http://www.hightowerfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Hugh-Winfred-McGraw?obId=1871754#/obituaryInfo
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Re: Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Haruo » Wed May 31, 2017 11:08 am

I thought he was a Baptist but couldn't find specific documentation the last couple days. Thanks, Robert.

And not just Baptist, but Primitive Baptist, I see, to judge by the church the funeral will be at.
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Re: Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Haruo » Wed May 31, 2017 2:10 pm

I've posted several threads on Facebook the last few days memorializing Hugh McGraw, but probably the most widely read would be this one, since Fox mentioned it on the Sacred Harp Friends FB group (inducing me to repost the lead-off there).

I'm still working on the comment thread, where I attempt to respond to my friend Paul Richards' (whose father was a music teacher in the high school he, I, and Mrs H all graduated from) question about the definitions of and distinctions between "Sacred Harp" and "shapenote". My comments there were done mostly off the cuff, without research, and I know my use of the term "moribund" was too strong in characterizing the decline from which Hugh McGraw was instrumental in rescuing the Sacred Harp tradition/movement. I am hoping to get some comments from RVaughn in or on that thread.
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Re: Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Rvaughn » Wed May 31, 2017 2:11 pm

Haruo wrote:I thought he was a Baptist but couldn't find specific documentation the last couple days. Thanks, Robert.
And not just Baptist, but Primitive Baptist, I see, to judge by the church the funeral will be at.
Maybe the funeral was at Holly Springs because of the Sacred Harp connections. When I first met Hugh maybe 35 years ago, he was a member of a Southern Baptist Church in or around Bremen, Georgia (can't remember which one). But he may have changed churches (and "sub-denominations") and joined Holly Springs PBC. I'll ask someone.
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Re: Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Rvaughn » Wed May 31, 2017 2:15 pm

Haruo wrote:I am hoping to get some comments from RVaughn in or on that thread.
I'll take a look, but I may not have much to add. I didn't know Hugh as well as many, though I had known him quite a while. His great love was expanding the Sacred Harp tradition where no singer had gone before. We already had a long and well-established tradition in East Texas -- and Cooper Book at that, not his book company -- so he didn't make that many treks to Texas and I seldom got as far as Georgia.
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Re: Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Haruo » Wed May 31, 2017 2:47 pm

Rvaughn wrote:
Haruo wrote:I am hoping to get some comments from RVaughn in or on that thread.
I'll take a look, but I may not have much to add. I didn't know Hugh as well as many, though I had known him quite a while. His great love was expanding the Sacred Harp tradition where no singer had gone before. We already had a long and well-established tradition in East Texas -- and Cooper Book at that, not his book company -- so he didn't make that many treks to Texas and I seldom got as far as Georgia.

It's comments on my off-the-cuff historical stuff I was thinking of, not on Hugh. Good point about how he might only be primitive for post-mortem musical reasons. But so far I haven't seen any mention of his church membership.
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Re: Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Rvaughn » Wed May 31, 2017 9:50 pm

Looks good to me. There are a few things I might say differently.

I'd agree that "moribund" was too strong a word. But there is no doubt that Sacred Harp was in decline.

The yielding of too much ground to "gospel" is something of a partisan matter of opinion -- at least the "too much" part. All books have yielded some ground to Gospel music styles. To some degree this is used as a "selling point" of one book over others. In the 1991 revision there was an effort to exclude "gospel music style". In the last SH newsletter, though, Raymond Hamrick said of the 1991 revision "Some elements of modern composition did creep in inevitably as some of the new composers were trained musicians rather than the amateurs of previous generations."

Bob's observation that "There is almost no interaction between the two traditions [i.e. gospel & Sacred Harp] reflects his experience, and may be generally true. But both in the past and in the present there have been folks -- some of them very important folks -- who were or are active in both. One prime example is the S. M. Denson family, at least one of whom is even in the gospel music hall of fame. Leading SH singers today who move in both circles include Henry Johnson, Dennis & Tom George, Stanley Smith, to name just a few.
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Re: Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Haruo » Wed May 31, 2017 10:19 pm

Glad to hear I didn't make huge numbers of egregious errors. You're much better versed in the history than I am.
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Re: Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Rvaughn » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:41 pm

Looking at it again, noticing this:
...right around the turn of the eighteenth century, the four-shape notation...was invented and first printed in a book called the Easy Instructor by Little and Smith.

According to what you mean, that might need a little tweaking. Little and Smith were the compilers of the book, but credited the invention to John Connelly.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shape_note#/media/File:Connelly_shapenotes.jpg
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Re: Hugh W. McGraw obituary

Postby Rvaughn » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:26 am

Haruo wrote:And not just Baptist, but Primitive Baptist, I see, to judge by the church the funeral will be at.
When I first met Hugh maybe 35 years ago, he was a member of a Southern Baptist Church in or around Bremen, Georgia (can't remember which one). But he may have changed churches (and "sub-denominations") and joined Holly Springs PBC. I'll ask someone.
I didn't get a definitive answer, but an almost positive that Hugh was still Southern Baptist. He probably didn't emphasize his church membership in his public Sacred Harp activities. His son-in-law is pastor of First Baptist Church of Franklin, Georgia.

Mr. Sacred Harp receives send-off from singing community he loved
http://www.times-georgian.com/gallery/mr-sacred-harp-receives-send-off-from-singing-community-he/collection_5a7d6e1c-4e25-11e7-894c-5734970b6077.html
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