Robert MacGimsey

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Robert MacGimsey (Pineville, Louisiana 1898 - Phoenix, Arizona 1979) was an American composer. His most famous song was "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" (1934), a well-known Christmas carol written in the style of an African-American spiritual. MacGimsey also composed "Shadrack," which was a 1962 hit for Brook Benton that was also recorded by Louis Armstrong and many, many others.

Born in Pineville, Louisiana, of white, Caucasian parents, Robert MacGimsey spent most of his formative years in the company of African Americans who lived and worked for and with his family. Due to their influence he wrote in the African American style and so prevalent are his songs he is often mistaken as an African American composer.

He was also famous for double whistling, or whistling duets. His library, letters and works can be found in the library archives at Louisiana College, Pineville, LA.

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