Audio Recording Oh, dem golden slippers

Oh, dem golden slippers

About this Item

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
Online Format
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Rights & Access

The Library of Congress Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1870 to 1885 collection is in the public domain and is free to use and reuse.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Music Division

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Bland, James A, Robert Saladini, Linda Gill, and Phillip Desellem. Oh, Dem Golden Slippers. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C, monographic, 1998. Audio.

APA citation style:

Bland, J. A., Saladini, R., Gill, L. & Desellem, P. (1998) Oh, Dem Golden Slippers. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C, monographic. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Bland, James A, et al. Oh, Dem Golden Slippers. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C, monographic, 1998. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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