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Home Sweet Home: Life in Nineteenth-Century Ohio is made available on this Web site with permission from New World Records, Recorded Anthology of American Music, Inc., 16 Penn Plaza #835, New York, NY 10001-1820, www.newworldrecords.org External.
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Born in Pennsylvania in 1838, composer and singer Philip Paul Bliss worked
as a farmer and woodcutter until 1855. After attending a singing school and
later the Normal Academy of Music in Geneseo, N.Y., he began teaching music
and composing songs in the mid 1860s. It was during this period that Bliss
met composer and music educator George F. Root, who encouraged Bliss to continue
his efforts at music composition. In 1865 Bliss began working for the music
publishing house of Root & Cady of Chicago, which hired him to conduct
musical conventions throughout the northwestern United States.
Bliss enjoyed a reputation as an able basso profundo soloist and chorister.
With evangelists D.L. Moody and Daniel Whittle, Bliss toured the country
for a time singing and even preaching. By the 1870s Bliss began to devote
a great deal of energy to the composition of sacred music. Some of his earliest
songs were set to music by his friend George F. Root, but he soon was composing
words and music, and he had four collections of songs published. Philip Bliss
and his wife, Lucy J. Young, died tragically in a railway disaster near Ashtabula,
Ohio, on December 29, 1876.