Silas. J. Vail

Silas Jones Vail (1818–1883) was an American hatter and composer, notable for hymns such as "Scatter Seeds of Kindness", "The Guiding Hand", "Nothing But Leaves", "O, Be Saved" and "The Gate Ajar for Me."

Silas Jones Vail was born on October 16, 1818 at Southold, New York.

He was a hatter by trade, but a musician and composer by passion, notable for writing hymns, some of which were set to music by Mrs. Albert Smith. Phillip Phillips published his first book of hymns. He was also associated with famous hymnists such as Fanny J. Crosby, Stephen Foster and William Sherwin.

Publications include The Athenaeum Collection (1863) and Songs of Grace and Glory (1874).

Vail died in Brooklyn, New York on May 20, 1883.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 16, 1818, Died May 20, 1883

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1908 - 1934

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-11257 10-in. 11/21/1911 Close to thee Harry Anthony ; James F. Harrison Male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-83650 10-in. 7/27/1934 Close to Thee Seth Parker Trio Mixed vocal trio, with organ composer  
Columbia 3753 10-in. ca. 1907-Feb. 1908 Nothing but leaves Metropolitan Trio Mixed vocal trio, unaccompanied composer  
Columbia 39610 10-in. 11/13/1914 Scatter seeds of kindness Henry Burr ; Gwilym Miles Male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Edison 2065 10-in. 12/24/1912 Close to Thee Frederick J. Wheeler ; John Young Male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Edison 5280 10-in. 1/11/1917 Scatter seeds of kindness Metropolitan Quartet Mixed vocal quartet, with orchestra composer  
Edison 10352 10-in. 5/4/1925 Revelation 21: 21 to 26 S. Parkes Cadman ; Metropolitan Quartet Sermon, with mixed vocal quartet and orchestra composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Vail, Silas J.," accessed September 23, 2023,

Vail, Silas J.. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 23, 2023, from

"Vail, Silas J.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 23 September 2023.

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