This spiritual is one of the great clips on YouTube, for my money. Plucking these five Georgia field hands — almost certainly share croppers or tenant farmers — out of obscurity and immortalizing what otherwise would simply have disappeared is a great thing.
Two interesting points, both from the comments. There is a suggestion that the soloist in the foreground is a young Leadbelly. The conclusion is that he probably is not. He has the same diction, which suggests he comes from Alabama. The other point is that this actually is a sophisticated filming. There are two or three close ups, which means that they actually recorded the song at least twice and edited it together.
Editor’s Note: The Daily Music Break is periodically re-posting some of the posts that appealed earlier in the life of the site. This post — with one of the best videos I’ve found — originally was on the site on March 12, 2012.