Roland Hayes


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(1887–1977). African-American international tenor born in Georgia, United States, in June 1887, the son of ex-slaves. When his father died in 1898, Hayes had limited schooling as he had to work to support the family. His mother ensured that he regularly attended church. Here he sang in the choir and founded the Silver-Toned Quartet. He was inspired to sing by hearing Caruso's recordings, and received vocal tuition from Arthur Calhoun, a local choral director. In 1905 he went to study at Fisk University, and then on to Boston, but, despite success with his continuing vocal studies, recitals, and producing his own recordings, he was unable to get the support of an agent.


From The Oxford Companion to Black British History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: British History.

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