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John Jacob Niles

NILES, John Jacob. b. Portland (now a neighborhood of Louisville), Kentucky, 28 April 1892; d. Boot Hill Farm, near Lexington, Kentucky, 1 March 1980. Niles was a singer, composer, and collector of traditional music. His Christmas carol, ‘I wonder as I wander’*, is found in several hymnals. As a youngster living near a river city in Kentucky, Niles became familiar with folk music and various other forms of musical entertainment. He was especially fond of vaudeville. Before leaving his work on the family farm, he had already started to collect songs, and his employment in 1910 by the Burroughs Adding Machine Company enabled him to collect songs while traveling. During World War I, Niles...

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