Richard DeLong

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Richard Lee DeLong (born February 28, 1963) is a leading figure in contemporary Sacred Harp singing. He has taught frequently in singing schools and served as the youngest member of the editorial board that created the 1991 Revision of The Sacred Harp, the most widely used book for Sacred Harp singing.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, DeLong is a "traditional" Sacred Harp singer, meaning that he became a singer by participating as a child, learning from other singers in the rural Southern singing community in which Sacred Harp music is rooted. He relates that he was carried to his first singing by his grandmother, Dollie DeLong Hudgins, at the age of six months.[1]

According to the web site of the 2004 Garden State Sacred Harp Singing Convention,[1] DeLong had "taught more than 60 singing schools throughout the U.S. and was invited to teach Sacred Harp singing in England in 2000. He has also written articles on the history of Sacred Harp and its singers as well as producing several CDs. He participated in the recording session for the [2003] Civil War movie Cold Mountain." More recently, DeLong made a cameo appearance in the 2012 movie on bootlegging Lawless.[2]

DeLong served as Executive Secretary of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company, the publishers of the 1991 Edition, from 2008–2011.[3] He is the composer of two songs in this volume, "Big Creek" (p. 494, 1986) and "Corley" (p. 510, 1988; arranged from John Wilson).[4]

DeLong is frequently seen at singing conventions. He has taught singing schools in 28 states, plus D.C. and participated in singings in 38 states.[citation needed] His own singing voice, familiar to many singers, is a robust and powerful tenor.[citation needed] He has dedicated his life to collecting over 1500 hours of recordings from several collections. These date from 1939 to 2011.[citation needed] He also has a varied collection of tune books including every "Sacred Harp" from 1850 to present.[citation needed]

In addition to his work with Sacred Harp, DeLong was a high school economics,[1] AP US History and world history teacher in Carrollton, Georgia.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Garden State Sacred Harp Singing Convention 2004
  2. ^ Fasola Discussions Group listserv; "Lawless," September 23, 2012
  3. ^ Board of Directors
  4. ^ "Camp Fasola Camp Lee, Anniston, Alabama" in Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings


  • The Sacred Harp, 1991 revision. Carrollton, Georgia: Sacred Harp Publishing Company.