[Cotton Blossom Singers of the Piney Woods School in Mississippi].
Musical concert program and fundraising appeal for an historically black boarding school
C.1950s Musical concert program broadsheet for the all-girl “The Cotton Blossom Singers” of Piney Woods School, an historically black boarding school in Mendenhall, Mississippi.
The concert was a quasi-religious program of prayers, “Negro” spirituals, and fundraising appeals for the school. As stated in the program, “[t]he Piney Woods School is an eleemosynary ‘work your way’ school depending upon the free will offering of kind-hearted people.”
The school followed the model educational plan of Booker T. Washington and taught the students, many of them orphans, a trade. To support this effort, select students traveled to perform fundraising musical concerts similar to such 19th century African American singing groups as the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University.
This particular concert appeal references the recent destruction by fire of the group’s traveling motor home. Two half tone illustrations show both the damaged vehicle and its appearance before the fire. “This summer the girls are trying to sing up $3500 with which to build another travelling home.”
The undated program references Manager Miss Fannie Chaffee, who led The Cotton Blossom Singers’ first tour in 1950, as well as other students from the inaugural tour.¹
Description: [Cotton Blossom Singers of the Piney Woods School in Mississippi].
[Np., c.1950s]. pp. Broadsheet. 12 x 6 inches. Illustrated with halftones from photograph. Folds, creases; corner smudged; very good.
Note. 1. Wilson, It’s Cotton Blossom Time (America Star Books, 2010), p39.