Brother John Sellers (May 27, 1924, Clarksdale, Mississippi, United States – March 27, 1999, Manhattan) was an American gospel and folk singer.
Sellers played in gospel tent shows while young. He was discovered by Mahalia Jackson, who brought him to Chicago in the 1930s to perform with her. He subsequently toured with Jackson in the 1940s. In the 1950s, he began playing secular music, and recorded his first album in 1954 for Vanguard Records. While on tour in Europe he recorded with Big Bill Broonzy; he also plays on the Ella Jenkins record A Long Time to Freedom.
Later in the 1950s, Sellers relocated to New York City, where he became active on the folk revival scene of Greenwich Village. He started a longtime partnership with Alvin Ailey, working with him as a musician on dance performances such as "Revelations" and "Blues Suite". Sellers was involved in the Broadway production of Tambourines to Glory by Langston Hughes, and performed at appearances by Studs Terkel.
Sellers died in Manhattan, New York, in March 1999, at the age of 74.
Birth and Death Data: Born May 27, 1924, Died March 27, 1999
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1947 - 1950
Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, composer
Notes: Also listed as Brother John Sellers.
= 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||D7VB-0312||10-in.||2/12/1947||Farewell night life||John Sellers||Male vocal solo, with instrumental quartet||vocalist|
|Victor||D7VB-0313||10-in.||2/12/1947||Let me be your sidetrack||John Sellers||Male vocal solo, with instrumental quartet||vocalist, composer|
|Victor||D7VB-0314||10-in.||2/12/1947||Mama, what you gonna do||John Sellers||Male vocal solo, with instrumental quartet||vocalist|
|Victor||D7VB-0315||10-in.||2/12/1947||Play around with my head||John Sellers||Male vocal solo, with instrumental quartet||vocalist, composer|
|Decca||75844||2/9/1950||When the roll is called up yonder||Brother John Sellers||vocalist|
|Decca||75845||2/9/1950||I started to make heaven my home||Brother John Sellers||vocalist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Sellers, John," accessed September 23, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/343041.
Sellers, John. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 23, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/343041.
"Sellers, John." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 23 September 2023.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
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