A.J. Showalter

1 May 1858–15 September 1924


A.J. Showalter, in Men of Mark in Georgia, vol. 4 (1908).

ANTHONY JOHNSON SHOWALTER, author, composer, editor, publisher, and teacher; son of John A. and Susanna (Miller) Showalter; born in Rockingham county, Va., May 1st, 1858; educated in the public schools; began the study of music in the singing schools and private classes taught by his father; attended his first normal music school at New Market, Va., taught by B.C. Unseld and P.J. Merges, in 1876; later attended two more sessions of the same school, at the latter of which he began the study of the organ under Mr. Merges; also attended Dr. Root’s National Normal at Erie, Pa., and Dr. Palmer’s International Normal at Meadville, Pa.; began teaching singing schools at the age of fourteen, literary school at nineteen, and normal music schools at twenty-two, at which age he also had his first book published.

His Harmony and Composition, the first work of the kind by a southern author, was published at the age of twenty-three; his Theory of Music, published some years later, was the second work of the kind by a southern author, while his New Harmony and Composition, issued in 1895, made the third book upon this subject which he had written before any other southern author of works of this kind appeared; since that date three new ones have made their appearance, all of whom have been pupils of Mr. Showalter.

He became a member of the M.T.N.A. in 1888 and was the vice-president for his state for several years; went abroad in 1895 to study the methods of the teachers, conductors, etc., of England, France, Germany, and other European countries; has been sole author, principal author and associate author of about sixty books, of which more than 2,000,000 copies have been sold, Class, Choir, and Congregation, Work and Worship, Glad Evangel, Perennial Songs, Rudiments, Complete Rudiments, Song Land Messenger, Revival Choir, Highway to Heaven, Our Thankful Songs, Singing for Joy, and Hymns of Glory being among the most successful.

He has held sessions of his S.N.M.I. in a dozen or more states and nearly every teacher of prominence of the South and Southwest has attended one or more sessions of this school. He has edited The Music Teacher, now The Music Teacher and Home Magazine, for twenty years, is president of The A.J. Showalter Co., Dalton, Ga., and The Showalter-Patton Co., Dallas, Texas, the two combined being larger than any other dozen music publishing houses south of Mason and Dixon’s line, outside of the large denominational publishing houses.

He married Miss Callie [Lucy Carolyn] Walser of Texas in 1881 and has seven children, the eldest of whom (Miss Tenney) is one of the foremost singers and pianists of the south; the second (Karl Redan) is secretary of The A.J. Showalter Co., while the third (Miss Essie) is the organist of the First Presbyterian Church, Dalton, Ga., of which her father has long been an elder and choir leader; occupies his time now in looking after his publishing interests, composing, and compiling books, editing his music journal, teaching normal schools, and looking after his fruit farm of nearly 20,000 trees, of which 15,000 are of the famous Georgia Elberta variety, the balance being apples, plums, pecans, and a dozen other varieties of peaches; is also a stockholder and director of the Cherokee Lumber Co., of Dalton, Ga., which furnishes building material to a large trade in many of the southern, central, and eastern states.

by A.J. Showalter
The Best Gospel Songs and Their Composers (1904)


Featured Hymns:

Leaning on the everlasting arms

Related Resources:

A.B. Caldwell, “Anthony Johnson Showalter,” Men of Mark in Georgia, vol. 4 (Atlanta: A. B. Caldwell), pp. 188-192: Archive.org

J.H. Hall, “A.J. Showalter,” Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1914), pp. 360-363: Archive.org

Joel Francis Reed, Anthony J. Showalter (1858-1924): Southern Educator, Publisher, Composer, dissertation (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1975).

W.K. McNeil, “Anthony Johnson Showalter,” Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music (New York: Routledge, 2005), pp. 339-340.

Joel F. Reed & Harry Eskew, “Anthony Johnson Showalter,” Grove Music Online (2 June 2011):
https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2103596

Stephen Shearon, “Anthony J. Showalter,” Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology:
http://www.hymnology.co.uk/a/anthony-j-showalter

Collections of Hymns and Songs:

List compiled by Joel F. Reed (1975)

The Singing School Tribute (1880)
Hours of Singing (1882)
Good Tidings (1884)
Sabbath Bells (1884)
The Temple of Song (1884)
Good Tidings No. 2 (1885)
Good Tidings Combined (1885)
The National Singer (1885)
Work and Worship (1886)
The Song Evangel (1887)
The Glad Evangel (1887)
Class, Choir, and Congregation (1888)
Hymns, Tunes, and Gospel Songs (1888)
Song Land Messenger No. 1 (1889)
The Voice of Praise (1889)
The New Voice of Praise (1889)
Normal School Chorus Book (1890)
Showalter’s Select Songs (1890)
Song Land Messenger No. 2 (1890)
The Glad Evangel No. 2 (1890)
The People’s Anthems (1890)
The Singer’s Ideal (1890)
Perennial Songs (1891)
Glorious Praise (1892)
Song Land Messenger No. 3 (1892)
Songs for the Harvest (1892)
Blessing and Glory (1893)
Blossoms of Song (1894)
Crowning Vocalist (1894)
Revised Normal Chorus Book (1894)
Song Land Messenger Complete (1894)
The Revival Choir (1894)
Men’s Quartet and Chorus Book (1895)
Showalter’s Normal Chorus Book (1895)
The Harp of the South (1895)
Class, Choir, and Congregation No. 2 (1896)
Rudiments and Notation (1896)
Sunlight Songs (1897)
Bright Beams (1897)
Coronation Songs (1897)
The Revival Choir No. 2 (1897)
The Singer’s Choice (1897)
Lamp and Light (1898)
Christian Life Songs (1899)
Showalter’s Gospel Songs No. 1 (1899)
Songs and Hymns of the Sanctuary (1899)
The Highway to Heaven (1899)
Gospel Praise (1900)
Our Thankful Songs (1900)
Showalter’s Gospel Songs No. 2 (1901)
Standard Church Music (1901)
Day School Singer (1902)
Men’s Treasury of Song (1902)
Showalter’s Anthems Vol. 1 (1902)
Singing for Joy (1902)
Hymns of Glory (1903)
New Songs No. 1 (1903)
Praise and Rejoicing (1904)
The Best Gospel Songs and Their Composers (1904)
Glad News (1905)
Peans of Praise (1905)
Salvation’s River (1905)
Songs of Triumph (1905)
Soul Stirring Melodies (1905)
Songs of Light (1906)
The Feast of Song (1906)
Church Revival Songs (1907)
Selected Songs and Anthems (1907)
The Song Temple (1907)
Sweetest Praise (1908)
New Glory Songs (1909)
Showalter’s Gospel Songs No. 3 (1909)
Onward Songs (1910)
Revival Glory (1910)
Sunny South Quartet Book (1912)
The New Revival Glory (1912)
Songs and Hymn (1913)
Perennial Praise (1914)
Gospel Glory (1915)
Praise and Thanksgiving (1916)
Joyful Praise (1917)
Revival Praise (1918)
Two Hundred Popular Songs and Hymns (1918)
Crowns of Love (1919)
Inspiring Songs (1919)
School, Choir, and Convention Choruses (1919)
Sunbeam Songs (1919)
The Highway of Song (1920)
Praise to Him (1921)
Waves of Salvation No. 1 (1921)
Marching to Zion (1922)
The Gospel Song Quartet Book (1922)
Waves of Salvation No. 2 (1922)
The Gospel Way (1923)
The Shining Way (1924)
The Blessed Way (1925)
The Songland Way (1925)

Other Works:

Showalter’s Elements of Harmony and Musical Composition (1882)
Rudiments of Music (1887)
Showalter’s New Method (1887)
Showalter’s Theory of Music (1888)
True Method for Reed Organ (1888)
New Rudiments of Music (1891)
Practical Voice Culture (1891)
Exercises in Rhythm (1895)
New Harmony and Composition, Part 1 (1895)
New Harmony and Composition, Part 2 (1896)
Showalter’s Practical Harmony (1907)
Practical Rudiments and Music Reader (1909)
National Music Reader (1920)
Practical Rudiments and Music Reader (1926), Revised

Music Teacher and Home Magazine