Born: De­cem­ber 14, 1864, Giles Coun­ty, Ten­nes­see.

Died: Feb­ru­ary 9, 1941, Law­rence­burg, Ten­nes­see.

Buried: Mi­mo­sa Ce­me­te­ry, Law­rence­burg, Ten­nes­see.



James was the son of George W. Vaugh­an and Eli­za Han­nah Shores, and hus­band of Jen­nie Eli­za­beth Free­man (mar­ried 1890).

In 1883, he be­came a mu­sic stu­dent at the Rue­bush-Kief­fer Nor­mal School. He lat­er formed a sing­ing quar­tet with his bro­thers Charles, John and Will.

He then worked as a teach­er, but ev­en­tu­al­ly moved to Law­rence­burg, Ten­nes­see, where he found­ed the James D. Vaugh­an Mu­sic Pub­lish­ing Com­pa­ny, pub­lished the week­ly Law­rence News and served as may­or of Law­rence­burg for four years.

In 1910, he hit the road with the South­ern Gos­pel Quar­tet to pro­mote his song books. The move was huge­ly suc­cess­ful—the com­pa­ny’s sales dou­bled the next year, to 60,000 vol­umes.

In 1911, Vaugh­an formed the Vaugh­an School of Mu­sic. In 1921, he ex­pand­ed his com­pa­ny with Vaugh­an Pho­no­graph Rec­ords. He lat­er opened branch of­fic­es in Ar­kan­sas, Mis­sis­sip­pi, South Ca­ro­li­na, and Tex­as. The man­ag­er of the Jack­sonv­ille, Tex­as, of­fice, Vir­gil O. Stamps, would go on to form the Stamps/Bax­ter Mu­sic Com­pa­ny.

Vaughan was in­duct­ed in­to the South­ern Gos­pel Mu­sic As­so­cia­tion Hall of Fame in 1997.