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Jester Hairston

Born: 1901. Died: 2000. Lived in: United States

Actor, Musician. An arranger, composer, traveling choir leader, actor and story teller, his career took him all over the world. Best remebered for his TV role as Rolly Forbes on the TV show "Amen." The grandson of slaves, he was born in 1901 in Belews Creek, North Carolina. A star athlete in high school and college, he graduated as a Cum Laude music major from Tufts University and then furthered his studies at Julliard School of Music in New York.

In 1936 he came to Hollywood with Hall Johnson to help with arranging the chorous music for "Green Pastures." In 1937 he became a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild. In 1943 he formed his own choir and arranged the choral background music for many of Hollywood's outstanding films, among them "Carmen Jones." As an actor he played a number of character roles on television and motion pictures. He played on "Amos and Andy" for 15 years and also played 'Wildcat' on the 1970s TV show "That's My Mama." He died in Los Angeles one year before reaching his 100th birthday.

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Media Articles
Obituary, Los Angeles Times, Jester Hairston Dies; Actor Overcame Race Stereotypes

Obituary, New York Times, Jester Hairston, 98, Choral Expert and Actor

Obituary, Los Angeles Times,

Obituary, New York Times,


Songbooks, Arrangements and/or Media

Displaying 1-5 of 5 items.


Jester Hairston : A Celebration Of His Life In Music : Mixed 5-8 Parts : Songbook : Jester Hairston : 423057

Jester Hairston : A Celebration Of His Life In Music

SATB songbook including many of this talented composer's spirituals plus a biography, photos and a list of published works.

Songlist: Elijah Rock, Let The Church Roll On, Angels Rolled De Stone Away, Poor Man Lazrus, Don't Be Weary Traveller, Great God A'Mighty, Amen, (Glossy book includes photos and bio)

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Voicing: Mixed 5-8 Parts | 1201b | Songbook | $23.98 | A Cappella


Jester Hairston : Spirituals 1 : SATB : Sheet Music Collection : Jester Hairston

Jester Hairston : Spirituals 1

A fine collection of spirituals.

Songlist: Amen, Deep River, Dis Train, Don't Be Weary, Traveler, Give Me Jesus, I Want Jesus, It's All Over Me

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Voicing: SATB | 1225b | Sheet Music Collection | $19.95 | A Cappella


Jester Hairston : Spirituals 2 : SATB : Sheet Music Collection : Jester Hairston

Jester Hairston : Spirituals 2

Another fine collection from Jester Hairston

Songlist: Live-A-Humble, Oh, Rocka My Soul, Poor Man Lazrus, Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, Steal Away, What Kind O'Shoes You Gonna Wear, Who'll Be A Witness For My Lord?, Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho

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Voicing: SATB | 1226b | Sheet Music Collection | $19.98 | A Cappella


Jester Hairston : Spirituals and Folk Songs : SATB : Songbook : Jester Hairston : 163176

Jester Hairston : Spirituals and Folk Songs

A great selection for male voices from this American treasure.

Songlist: Angels Rolled De Stone Away, Aurore Pradere, Brother Rabbit, Free At Last, Give Me Jesus, I Heard From Heaven Today, My Lord's A-Writin' All De Time, Nobody Knows De Trouble I See, Lord, Oh My Lovin' Brother, Po' Ol' Lazrus, Sandy Anna (TTBB), Sanguree, Somebody's Knocking At Your Door, Sweet Potatoes, Wasn't That A Mighty Day?, You Better Mind

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Voicing: SATB | 2839b | Songbook | $9.98


Jester Hairston : Christmas Spirituals : 2-Part : Songbook : Jester Hairston : 407548

Jester Hairston : Christmas Spirituals

A collection of Jester Hairston Christmas spirituals arranged by William Ryden, and scored for two-part women's choir.

Songlist: Go, Tell it on the Mountain, Mary's Little Boy Chile, Christmas In De Tropics, Rise Up Shepherd and Follow, Wasn't That A Might Day, Ring De Christmas Bells, Mary, Mary, Where Is Your Baby?, Christmas Gift

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Voicing: 2-Part | 6143b | Songbook | $10.98 | A Cappella


Individual Folios

Displaying 1-9 of 9 items.


Deep River : SATB divisi : Jester Hairston : Traditional : Songbook : 31826

Jester Hairston : Deep River

Composer: Traditional

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Voicing: SATB divisi | Sheet Music | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 31826


Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho : SATB : Jester Hairston : Traditional : Sheet Music : 71426

Jester Hairston : Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho

Composer: Traditional

More details
Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | $2.95 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 71426


Mary's Little Boy Child : SATB : Ed Lojeski : Sheet Music : 08342100 : 073999421002

Ed Lojeski : Mary's Little Boy Child

Recorded most famously by Harry Belafonte and covered by dozens of artists, this calypso-flavored Jester Hairston song is a Christmas standard. Ed Lojeski's choral arrangement is now available with additional voicings and a newly recorded track. Available separately: SATB, SAB, ShowTrax CD. Duration: ca. 4:25.

Arranger: Ed Lojeski

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | $2.10 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 08342100 | Digital Version Available| Showtrax CD Available


Mary's Little Boy Child : SATB : Ed Lojesk : Sheet Music : 1000197536

Ed Lojesk : Mary's Little Boy Child

Recorded most famously by Harry Belafonte and covered by dozens of artists, this calypso-flavored Jester Hairston song is a Christmas standard. Ed Lojeski's choral arrangement is now available with additional voicings and a newly recorded track. Available separately: SATB, SAB, ShowTrax CD. Duration: ca. 4:25.

Arranger: Ed Lojesk

More details
Voicing: SATB | Digital | $2.10 |
(Minimum order 10 copies)
| 1000197536


Oh, Rocka My Soul : SATTBB : Jester Hairston : Digital : 96276

Jester Hairston : Oh, Rocka My Soul

More details
Voicing: SATTBB | Sheet Music | $1.95 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 96276


Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child : SATB : Jester Hairston : Traditional : Sheet Music : 120846

Jester Hairston : Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

Composer: Traditional

More details
Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | $1.95 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 120846


Steal Away : SATB : Jester Hairston : Wallace Willis : Sheet Music : 125306

Jester Hairston : Steal Away

Composer: Wallace Willis

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | $1.95 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 125306


What Kind O'Shoes You Gonna Wear : SSATBB : Jester Hairston : Sheet Music : 143206

Jester Hairston : What Kind O'Shoes You Gonna Wear

More details
Voicing: SSATBB | Sheet Music | $2.95 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 143206


Who'll Be A Witness For My Lord? : SSATB : Jester Hairston : Sheet Music : 146506

Jester Hairston : Who'll Be A Witness For My Lord?

More details
Voicing: SSATB | Sheet Music | $2.95 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 146506

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