Carry Me Back to Old Virginia by Columbia Quartette (1907)
CD 1, track 27
“Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” (usually written “Virginny”) by James A. Bland (1854-1911) was published in 1878 and served for more than half a century as the state song of Virginia. Bland was one of the most successful African American songwriters of the 19th century, but his images of happy plantation life have not sat well over time. This 1907 recording is by the Columbia Quartette, which was soon to change its name to the Peerless Quartet. First tenor Albert Campbell sings lead, and you can hear the voice of second tenor Henry Burr in the chorus. The group is likely rounded out by baritone Steve Porter and leader and bass Frank C. Stanley.