September 21, 1873, Jones County, Mississippi.


Educated in the public schools of Louisiana and Mississippi, James attended several singing schools in his boyhood days, and taught his first singing school in 1895. He attended sessions of James M. Bowman’s American Normal School of Music (ANSM) (1897-8), and received a diploma there. He served as associate principal at an ANSM session in 1900, taking a post graduate course at the same time. He attended Anthony Showalter’s Southern Normal Musical Institute in Omaha, Texas, in 1901.

James’ first song, Highway to Heaven, was written and published in 1899. He was one of the associate authors of Hymns of Glory, and taught a number of singing schools and normal institutes, and sang at evangelistic meetings. As of 1904, he was living at his father’s home in Pleasant Hill, Louisiana.

  1. Glory Enough for Me
  2. Sweet Is the Promise
  3. When the Joy Bells Ring Home
  1. He’ll Come for Me
  2. Singing in the Storm