Who was A. B. Windom?

I’m trying to track down Aaron Bash Windom, a mid-twentieth century composer of gospel music from St. Louis. One of his better-known songs was “Let Us Sing Till the Pow’r of the Lord Come Down,” often known as “Now Let Us Sing.”

My best guess is that Windom was born in 1910, and died in 1981. The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, vol. 2, part 5A, number 1, Published Music, January-June 1948 (Washington, D.C.: Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 1948) reveals that his name is Aaron Bash Windom, that he was born in 1910, and that he was the sole owner of A. B. Windom Studio, St. Louis, Mo. The Find-a-Grave Web site has a photo of a grave stone of Aaron Bash Windom who died in March, 1981, at age 70; the grave stone is in Saint Peter’s Cemetery, Normandy, St. Louis County, Missouri.

Windom is mentioned in passing in Horace Clarence Boyer’s The Golden Age of Gospel ([University of Illinois Press, 1995], p. 138): “Two other S. Louis natives who were important figures in gospel between 1945 and 1955 were Martha Bass and A. B. Windom. … Windom, a one-time accompanist for Mother Smith, composed several gospel songs: her ‘I’m Bound for Canaan Land’ and ‘I’ve Got the River of Jordan To Cross” became gospel standards.'” Several other sources indicate that he taught piano; in a couple of places he is referred to as “Professor A. B. Windom,” though I don’t know if he was affiliated with a school or college, or if he, like many other music teachers, was accorded the honorary title lf “Professor” by his students and local community.

The gospel song “Let us sing till the pow’r of the Lord come down” was published in St. Louis, Mo., and is copyright 1948 by A. B. Windom Studio. If you look around online, you can find recordings of it by various musicians. Some online discographies seem to indicate that he made some recordings of his own music, but I can’t confirm that.

But I have no idea if he was white or black; if he played anything besides gospel music; to what extent he made his living as a performer, a teacher, and/or a composer. I cannot find him in the 1930 or the 1940 U.S. Census. Was he married? Did he have children?

If anyone out there knows anything about him, I’d love to hear.

7 thoughts on “Who was A. B. Windom?”

  1. I am in the process of updating additional information about Professor Aaron B. Windom. on YouTube. I took vocal lessons from him in St. Louis, Missouri. I was introduced to him though the renown Keyboardist/Organist David L. Jones. Professor Windom’s many copyrighted song were left to a Mr. Dello Thedford. Professor Windom was never married, nor did he have any children.

  2. Professor Windom actually was married. I can’t remember his wife’s name (maybe Thelma) but he was the Minister of Music at my stepdather’s church, Christ Pilgrim Rest MB Church on Kingshighway Blvd in St. Louis. They did not have children but he was married.

  3. Yes, Professor Windom was married to Selma Windom, who passed away in 1994. He was Minister of music for 40 years at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church – later named Christ’s Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in St Louis.

  4. I was a piano student of Professor Windom where I was classically trained in music. He was very well versed in music theory as well. Gospel music is not all he knew. He was a light-skinned Black man, eccentric. I still miss him.

  5. C. Jesseria Claire, thank you so much for your information. I was particularly interested to learn about the depth of his musical knowledge — no surprise, given the excellence of the few compositions of his I’ve seen, but it’s good to have it confirmed.

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