Uncovering the Past at the Billy Sunday Historic Home

PriG C 1or to last week, there were roughly 15 issues of The Gospel Choir known to exist anywhere. Today, we know of 69. The Gospel Choir was a religious journal published by the Rodeheaver Company based in Chicago and Philadelphia between 1915 and 1922. The publishing firm was owned by Homer RodeheaGC 2ver, a pioneer in what would become the sacred music industry and more notable, the music leader for Billy Sunday’s famous evangelistic crusades. Last week, dozens of copies of the journal were found in a closet in the Billy Sunday Historic Home and our knowledge of the Rodeheaver Company will expand because of this discovery. Still in their original envelopes, the issues are in near mint condition. To be truthful, it should be said that these were not exactly unknown, but a former curator had placed them in a box marked “songbooks” and then they were stored away and forgotten. But this IS a great historical find – especially for two top-notch scholars who are completing what will be the first critical biography of Rodeheaver.

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