Click photo to enlarge
Today's picture is of a 1931 vintage poster advertising an
upcoming gospel singing featuring the Jubilee Singers, a
group of wonderful folks from the Widener Valley, Virginia area.
This poster is very special to my wife Cheria because several of the
Jubilee Singers were members of her musical
Most of the Jubilee Singers attended
Pleasant View Baptist Church.
Cheria's "Uncle Doug" (J.D. Cook) served as the song leader there
for many years, and Mrs. Edith Widener faithfully did her part to
help spread the Lord's message of love, forgiveness and salvation
until she went to be with her beloved Saviour at the age of 105. The
great men and women who performed together as the Jubilee Singers
were without a doubt some of the finest folks you would ever want to
Uncle Doug's grandson Merle McVey provided the following information
about the various members of the Jubilee Singers:
|"For those who are not familiar with some of these
names, I will attempt to identify them. Most of them are
close relatives of mine as J. D. Cook was my
grandfather, his full name was John Douglas. He was
known as "Doug", "Mr. Doug", "Uncle Doug" or "Grandpa".
Mrs. J.D.Cook was his wife, Alice Shuler Cook - or
J.S. Cook was the father of Doug and his full name was
Joseph Sands Cook.
Mrs. R. F. Blevins was a sister to Doug and her name was
Nona Caroline, better known as "Carrie". Her husband was
Robert F. "Rob" Blevins.
Mrs. Edith Widener was also a sister to Doug. Edith's
husband was Monroe F. Widener. (Aunt Edith was born on
July 17, 1897 and died on Feb. 24, 2003).
W. H. Barker was Horton Barker, the renowned blind
ballad singer of the area. He and Doug were the best of
friends and many of the family affectionately called him
Miss May DeBusk was a sister to Ike, Walker, Delmar and
Abner DeBusk. May married Paul Widener.
Mrs. Lucy Steffey was Lucy Widener, sister to Ora and
Viola. They were daughters of John & Elsie Blevins
Widener. Lucy married Hyden Steffey. Viola married Gale
Widener, son of Minerva and Joe Widener (by tforge support allender). Ora married
Edgar Widener, son of Andrew Buchanan "BucK" and
S. H. Widener was the son of Samuel Henry and Amanda
"Mandy" E. Widener. He was a brother to Edna Widener
Thomas who recently passed away at the age of 98 or 99
in Bristol, Va.
Eula Widener was the daughter of Arrie Mae Widener. Eula
married Claude Sullivan, probably in West Virginia, but
in recent years they had moved to the Chilhowie, Va.
area. According to information provided by my sister
Billie Jean Thomas, Claude is believed to have died but
Eula is possibly still living. Eula was the
Granddaughter of John McClellan "John Red" and Nancy
Of course Cheria and I weren't around in 1931, but we did have
the honor of getting to know a few members of the Jubilee Singers
before they went to be with the Lord. We both wish we could have
heard them sing together, just once. I'm sure their wonderful music
was a mighty blessing to many souls.
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