Audio Recordings Oh, dem golden slippers

Format Audio Recordings
Contributors Bland, James A.
Desellem, Phillip
Gill, Linda
Library of Congress
Saladini, Robert
Dates 1998
Location Washington D.C.
Oh, dem golden slippers
Contributor Names
Bland, James A. (composer)
Saladini, Robert (conductor)
Gill, Linda (alto_soloist)
DeSellem, Phillip (pianist)
Created / Published
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C, 1998, monographic.
-  James A. Bland's song "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers" started its life in 1879 as a minstrel parody of a spiritual sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. That spiritual ran: "What kind of shoes you going to wear? Golden slippers! Golden slippers I'm bound to wear, That outshine the sun." (The Fisk song was not published until 1880; it was then described as "one of the most popular songs of the "Jubilee Singers"; it had presumably been performed for some time before it was published.) Bland's song soon outstripped the Fisk song in popularity; by now people tend to think of "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers" as the original and the Fisk spiritual as some kind of variant. It is, in fact, somewhat disconcerting to hear "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers" as first published, with its mocking piano part and its silly verse proclaiming it a parody, since it has been taken seriously for so long. James A. Bland (1854-1911) published most of his songs in a burst of creativity from 1878 to 1881. In 1881 he left America for Europe with Haverly's Genuine Colored Minstrels, and stayed in Europe when the troupe returned. Perhaps he continued to write songs after 1881; if so, very few were published, and were after the period of this online collection.
-  The performers are the "Music for the Nation" Singers, and are all Library of Congress staff members. These selections were recorded in the Library's Coolidge Auditorium on September 23, 1998. Robert Saladini, director; Phillip DeSellem, pianist; Carol Guglielm, Elizabeth Miller (sopranos); Laura Lee Fischer, Linda Gill (altos); David Arbury, Thomas A. Howe (tenors); Ralph Gingery, John Oswald Greene (basses).
1 digital file. 1:36
Other Formats

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

While the Library is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-1885 materials, there may be content protected by copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations. Images identified in the corresponding catalogue record as "government" photos are not subject to copyright protection.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Music Division

For guidance about compiling full citations, consult Citing Electronic Resources on the learning page.

More information about American Memory and Copyright.

Rights assessment is your responsibility.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.