Historic Markers Across Tennessee

The John Wesley Work Home

Marker ID: THC 3A 159
Location: 17th Avenue North, Nashville TN
County: Davidson
Coordinates: N 36° 10.117    W 086° 48.217
  36.16861666    -86.80361666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


In 1937 this Victorian-style house became the home of John W. Work III. A teacher and composer for 39 years, he served his alma mater by enriching the Fisk musical traditions. Director of the Jubilee Singers, Work III, a serious composer, completed more than 100 compositions. He was not only an acclaimed composer and choral conductor, but also a recognized author, educator, and ethnomusicologist.

His father, John W. Work II, composer of the Fisk alma mater, "The Gold and Blue," was known as the rescuer and preservationist of Negro religious music. Work II's book, Folk Songs of the American Negro, was one of the first extensive studies on the origin and development of religious African-American music by a descendant of an ex-slave who lived during the time many of the songs had their beginnings.

Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission.