Singers and spectators filled Judge Kim Chaney’s district courtroom for the 126th annual Cullman County Courthouse Singing Convention, the last traditional shaped note singing convention held in any courthouse in the United States. (W.C. Mann for The Tribune)
CULLMAN – Crowds filled the district courtroom at the Cullman County Courthouse Saturday and Sunday for the 126th annual Cullman Courthouse Singing Convention, the last traditional shaped note singing convention held in any courthouse in the United States.
Event coordinator Henry Guthery shared with The Tribune, “Used to, people every year would have annual singings and events at their courthouses, and they gradually got just closed down, and it stopped.
“But, anyway, people come here from Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida; they come from all over. Many of the people are new singers, and many of the people have been singing all of their life, but whatever station in life, they come. We have judges, doctors, lawyers, politicians, congressmen; we have all kinds of people come to the singings, including newspaper reporters, which we’re glad for!” he smiled.
“The event is something that is treasured. And some people come mainly just to learn how to sing, but for the majority of us, we sing because it’s like singing prayers all day. Anyway, it’s something that we all enjoy, and the fellowship that’s involved with it.”
The crowd sang from 9:30 until noon Saturday, then broke for a potluck covered dish lunch at the courthouse, before returning for more singing until 2:30. After that, the fun continued for some of the singers as they traveled to the home of local singers Tom and Linda Booth, for a fellowship dinner and evening bluegrass and gospel jam session.
The singing and fellowship continued with the same schedule of events at the courthouse on Sunday.
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