CD 4, track 1
Adjt. Edward Taylor (1864-1944) was a celebrity evangelist with the Salvation Army, known as “The Golden Minstrel.” He sang and played cornet and guitar throughout the country. In August 1897, he preached and performed at the annual camp meeting at Ocean Grove, NJ, where an amateur recordist—a Manhattan optician named Henry Heath—had set up his phonograph to make records of star participants with the aim of taking the records back to play at the Hudson Valley YMCA rescue mission. To the tune of “Just Tell Them that You Saw Me,” Taylor sings his own song, “Just Tell My Mother,” a tale of his own personal salvation journey. It is the earliest recording of guitar of which we are aware. The story of Taylor, Heath, and how we identified these previously unknown recordings is told in our double GRAMMY-nominated Waxing the Gospel: Mass Evangelism and the Phonograph, 1890-1900.