Born on a farm in Charlestown and raised in Ravenna, Frederick J. Loudin (1836-1904) joined the Fisk Jubilee Singers as bass vocalist in the years immediately following Reconstruction. A few years later he took over management and direction of the troupe, arranging an ambitious six year tour of the British Isles, Australia, India, China, Japan, and other countries.
The Jubilee Singers helped introduce spirituals--sometimes identified as the only truly American music--to the world. Gospel, jazz, R & B, rock & roll, soul, and hip hop all owe a debt to the Jubilees.
His singing voice has been compared to that of Paul Robeson, his outspoken oratory to that of Frederick Douglass. In later life, as a resident of Ravenna, he was a manufacturer, inventor, and civil rights advocate.
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