Inductees Archive

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Oren A. Parris

Mr. Parris was born in Jefferson County, Alabama on December 26, 1897 and lived in Alabama all of his life.  He studied music under James D. Vaughan and Adger M. Pace.  In 1932 he started the Parris Music Company in Jasper, Alabama and continued in the publishing field until 1945.  In 1936 he helped revise “The Original Sacred Harp” song book.

 

With his vast knowledge of dispersed harmony, he was able to edit the new songs that were included this book as well as correct harmonies in some of the old songs. The book preserves songs written some two hundred years ago.  In addition, some of Parris’ own songs in this book.   They use only four shaped notes; namely, fa, sol, la, mi. The notes are sung first, then the words.  Another great work of music preserved by Mr. Parris was “The Christian Harmony” song book, which is identical to the “Sacred Harp” except the seven syllable characters are sung instead of four.

 

This type of music was almost extinct until Mr. Parris, with the help of Mr. John Denson, revised and rewrote this book.  Mr. Parris’ songs are completely different from those usually seen in our song books today.  He used the fugue type harmony in many of his songs.

 

Induction Year

1992

 

Hometown

Jefferson County, AL

 

Mentors

  • James D. Vaughan
  • Adger M. Pace

 

Publishing Companies

  • Stamps Quartet Music Company
  • Convention Music Company (founder)

 

Significant Songs

  • “When the Home Gates Swing Open”
  • “Hallelujah, I’m Going Home”
  • “A Happy Meeting”

 

Video 

Greater Vision- “When the Gates Swing Open For Me”