Jonathan E. Spilman

Jonathan Edwards Spilman (15 April 1812 – 23 May 1896) was a Kentucky lawyer, minister, and composer.

Jonathan Spilman was born in Greenville, Kentucky to Benjamin Spilman, and graduated from Illinois College in 1835. While at Transylvania Law School, 1837, he wrote the music for Robert Burns' "Flow gently, sweet Afton", best remembered of his seven melodies. An adaptation of this music was used in one of the tunes to "Away in a Manger"; and also "We Hail Thee Carolina", the alma mater of the University of South Carolina.

He was married to Mary V.J. Menefee, who died prematurely in 1843. Two years later, on 10 April 1845, he married Eliza Sarah Taylor (1822–1866), a niece of U.S. President Zachary Taylor. To them were born ten children, of whom six survived: Charles, Louise, William, Byrd, Clara, and Lewis. His wife Eliza died on 10 August 1866, as the result of a fire aboard the steamboat "Bostona No. 3" in Maysville, Kentucky.

Working as a lawyer for 18 years, he became Presbyterian minister at the age of 46. A Historical Marker was erected in the city of Greenville in his memory.

Birth and Death Data: Born April 15th, 1812 (Greenville), Died May 23rd, 1896 (Flora)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1909 - 1928

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-8031 10-in. 6/7/1909 Flow gently, sweet Afton Herbert Witherspoon Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-13455 10-in. 6/19/1913 Flow gently, sweet Afton Reed Miller Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-18564 10-in. 10/19/1916 Drink to me only with thine eyes Victor Band Band composer  
Victor B-18973 10-in. 1/9/1917 Flow gently sweet Afton Olive Kline Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-30402 10-in. 6/23/1924 Flow gently, sweet Afton Alma Gluck Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-36115 10-in. 8/10/1926 Flow gently sweet Afton The De Reszke Singers Male vocal quartet, unaccompanied (takes 5-9); with piano (takes 1-4) composer  
Victor BVE-39529 10-in. 7/14/1927 Accompaniment for singing, no. 9 Victor Band Band composer  
Victor BVE-47805 10-in. 10/4/1928 Flow gently sweet Afton Lambert Murphy Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 19490 10-in. 7/27/1911 Afton water Harold Jarvis Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 38544 10-in. 1/8/1913 Flow gently, sweet Afton Sue Harvard Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 79508 10-in. 11/5/1920 Flow gently, sweet Afton Oscar Seagle Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30509 12-in. ca. Jan.-May 14, 1910 Flow gently, sweet Afton Mrs. A. Stewart Holt Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 37322 12-in. 6/5/1915 Flow gently, sweet Afton Corinne Rider-Kelsey Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W140661 10-in. 6/9/1925 Flow gently, sweet Afton Barbara Maurel Mezzo-soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
OKeh [OK cat 1078-A] 10-in. approximately 1918 Flow gently sweet Afton Reed Miller Male vocal solo composer  
Brunswick 1253 12-in. approximately Aug. 1917 Flow gently, sweet Afton Marie Morrisey Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Brunswick E27418 10-in. 4/25/1928 Flow gently, sweet Afton Marie Morrisey Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Edison 4766 10-in. 6/5/1916 Flow gently, sweet Afton Thomas Chalmers Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Edison 5244 10-in. 12/28/1916 Flow gently, sweet Afton Marie Morrisey Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Edison 5581 10-in. 5/23/1917 Flow gently, sweet Afton Christine Miller Mezzo-soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Edison 8211 10-in. 9/12/1921 Flow gently, sweet Afton Robert Trucksess Guitar solo composer  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Spilman, Jonathan E.," accessed November 23, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116905.

Spilman, Jonathan E.. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116905.

"Spilman, Jonathan E.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 23 November 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116905

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