Sunday I took another visit to Greenwood Cemetery, an African-American cemetery here in Nashville. While photographing tombstones, I saw the one for Georgia Gordon Taylor. Georgia was one of the original Fisk Jubilee singers, and wife to Rev. Preston Taylor, the founder of Greenwood Cemetery. She and Preston married on May 7, 1890. Georgia passed away almost 100 years ago on June 7, 1913.
I also looked up her obituary – this is what appeared in the June 13, 1913 issue of the Nashville Globe.
“Another Jubilee Singer Gone”
On Saturday morning the death angel came into the city of Nashville and removed from her midst one of her most highly respected women, Mrs. Georgia Minor Gordon Taylor. She had suffered for several months, and the end was not a surprise to those who had some knowledge of the condition, and in fact she realized several months ago that it was only a question of time with her. It was only five hours between the time that Mr. William Brewster was found dead when Mrs. Taylor breathed her last. Mrs. Taylor was one of the best known characters in this city, and she enjoyed both a national and international reputation as a Jubilee Singer.
A useful life was closed last Saturday morning when Georgia Gordon Taylor entered “Brith Mansions above.” We were girls and schoolmates and members of the choir of thirty at old Fisk in 1868-1871. We labored together as soprano singers in concert tours to raise funds for Fisk in her poverty. When George L. White asked for volunteers to go north to sing for money out of the hearts and pockets of the people for our school, Georgia was among the first to offer her sweet flute-tone voice in the service. There came a time that we must have a name; special prayer was offered in which our leader, Mr. White, tarried at the mercy seat all night, and toward morning he opened his Bible to the scripture about the Jew’s year of Jubilee and later he came in with a beaming face and said, “Children, you shall be called ‘Jubilee Singers.”‘