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Campbell, Lucie E. (1885–03 January 1963), gospel composer and teacher, was born in Duck Hill, Mississippi, the daughter of Burrell Campbell, a railroad worker, and Isabella Wilkerson. Her mother was widowed several months after Lucie’s birth, and the family soon moved from Carroll County to Memphis, the nearest major city. Lucie and her many siblings struggled to survive on their mother’s meager wages, which she earned by washing and ironing clothing. Given the family’s insubstantial income, it could afford a musical education for only one child: Lucie’s older sister Lora. Lucie eventually learned to play piano, however, through her own persistence, a gifted ear for music, and a little help from Lora....

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Hanby, Benjamin Russel (22 July 1833–18 March 1867), songwriter and music educator, was born in Rushville, Ohio, the son of the Reverend William Hanby and Ann Miller. He learned music as a child by attending singing schools. The family moved to Westerville, Ohio, around 1848 in part so that the children might attend Otterbein College. Hanby entered Otterbein in 1849, but his studies were seldom full-time, for he also taught school and directed singing schools. In addition he began composing songs, generally of a type promoting social, moral, or religious betterment. In 1856 his immensely popular “Darling Nelly Gray” was published by ...

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Kagen, Sergius (22 August 1908–01 March 1964), pianist, pedagogue, and composer, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, the son of Isaiah Kagen, a newspaperman, and Vera Lipshitz, a writer and educator. At age nine Sergius was sent to study piano with Glazunov at the Petersburg Conservatory. To escape the famine and destruction that accompanied the Russian Revolution, Kagen’s family fled to Berlin in 1921 in a cattle car, a difficult journey of several months’ duration. There Kagen was enrolled at the Hochschule für Musik and studied piano with Leonid Kreutzer. In 1922 the family began to emigrate to the United States, one member at a time. The fifteen-year-old Kagen, already a veteran of historical and personal turmoil, was the last to follow....