Joel Mossberg

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Joel Mossberg (1870-1943) was a Swedish-American singer, educator and choir director, who was active between the years 1900 and 1940.

Joel Mossberg
J. Mossberg.jpg
Born(1870-01-30)January 30, 1870
DiedOctober 15, 1943(1943-10-15) (aged 73)
choir director
Spouse(s)Olga Meine, m. December 10, 1906


A noted singer and vocal teacher, Joel Mossberg was born in Kumla, Sweden. After completing his elementary education he worked as a stone-carver in Visby before emigrating in 1892.[1]

In Chicago Mossberg continued working at his trade, devoting his spare time to musical studies. His fine voice and masterful technique soon made him famous as a baritone of rare ability and secured for him the position of soloist at the North Shore Jewish Synagogue and the Sixth Presbyterian Church.[1]

Much in demand for his concert work, he sang in over twenty states throughout the country. He was a choral director and teacher at the Mendelssohn Conservatory of Music in Chicago as well as head of the American Union of Swedish Singers. A member of several fraternities, he held honorary membership in the Orpheus Singing Club and Björgvin Singing Society. [2]

Between 1906 and 1919 Joel Mossberg released over seventy songs on the Columbia, Edison and Victor labels. Many were from the Swedish choral tradition: folk songs, student songs, hymns and patriotic anthems. Literary stalwarts Carl Michael Bellman, J. L. Runeberg and Gunnar Wennerberg contributed to his repertoire. He nonetheless also recorded several comic songs written by the entertainer Lars Bondeson.[3]

In 1916 Mossberg recorded two Socialist songs for Columbia Records.[3] The first one, Arbetets söner (Sons of the workers), was a Swedish labor song from 1885 with lyrics by Henrik Menander.[4] The second one, Marseljäsen (La Marseillaise), may well have been The Internationale, which had originally been sung to the melody of the French national anthem.[5] Eugène Pottier's lyrics were first translated into Swedish in 1902 by Henrik Menander.[4]

Selected lyrics[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Swedish element in Illinois by Ernst W. Olson, (Chicago: Swedish-American Biographical Association, 1917) p. 393.
  2. ^ Life sketches of men of today Retrieved: October 21, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Ethnic Music on Records: A Discography of Ethnic Recordings Produced in the United States, 1893-1942 by Richard K. Spottswood, (University of Illinois Press, 1990) LCCN 89-020526. Volume 5, pp. 2709 - 2711.
  4. ^ a b Henrik Menander Retrieved: February 9, 2013.
  5. ^ The Internationale Retrieved: February 9, 2013.

External links[edit]

Swedish music and film
Historic American Newspapers
Streaming audio at the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project
Streaming audio at the Library of Congress
Streaming audio at the Internet Archive
Gustavus Adolphus College