Nobody Knows

The Forgotten Story of One of the Most Influential Figures in American Music

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We shouldn't be surprised when we see God use the ordinary to accomplish the incredible. We should be inspired.

From the depths of near obscurity at the turn of the last century, a young African American man rose to fame through those ordinary things--listening to his grandfather sing the old slave songs as he lit the streetlamps, sweating through a rented suit during an audition, having a chance meeting with a musical legend as he was mopping the halls of his school. Through the seemingly insignificant pieces of life, God led Harry T. Burleigh along the path to fame, and through him preserved the songs that would form the basis of a uniquely American music.

Now Harry T. Burleigh, once world-renowned for his career as a beautiful baritone soloist, an arranger of Negro spirituals, and a composer in his own right, is lifted out of obscurity once more by Craig von Buseck. This inspiring true story will take you back in time to Southern plantations and Northern boom towns, to minstrel shows and soaring sanctuaries, and into the heart of a man who never suspected that God had destined him for greatness.


"I'm thrilled that the historical and important story of the legendary Harry Burleigh is finally being told! That he was, for fifty-two years, a member and celebrated soloist at the very church I attend here in New York City makes it all the more extraordinary. Hats off to Craig von Buseck for his tremendous research and work!"--Eric Metaxas, New York Times bestselling author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery

"Mr. von Buseck's book, Nobody Knows, reads like a good novel, and yet he balances this colorful historical narrative with reliable scholarship. I love being taken by surprise, particularly when being introduced with such clarity to a historical figure of my own country, a pioneering spirit, one of those rare musical types that gave the soul of this nation its voice."--David Teems, author of Majestie: The King Behind the King James Bible and Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God an English Voice

"Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I learned basic principles for living that have guided me through my personal life and political career. These same principles--strong family ties, hard work, education, and faith in God--were demonstrated through the life of another man from Western PA, Harry T. Burleigh. His inspirational tale is now being told by author Craig von Buseck in Nobody Knows. I encourage you to read this moving story of an African American man who rose from obscurity at the height of segregation in the US to become a pillar of American music."--Former US Senator Rick Santorum

"This is an important book for people interested in American music, the Episcopal Church, and African American cultural life. Harry Burleigh was a star--he brought light to a vast number of people--his art was shared in Jewish and Christian communities, in New York City, Martha's Vineyard, and so many places. He was a man of deep feeling and ability who shared his gifts in all directions."--Rev. Tom Pike, former rector of St. George's Episcopal Church in New York City

"We welcome Craig von Buseck's new book on Harry T. Burleigh, the great African American musician. Nobody Knows adds a rich chapter to the record of great American composers and musicians."--Vinson Synan, Dean Emeritus, Regent University School of Divinity; author of The Century of the Holy Spirit

"Nobody Knows is an important tribute to a master of the American spiritual. An inspirational story, this work is an important read, as it sheds light on a key composer whose contributions to the history of American music are otherwise neglected."--Afa S. Dworkin, executive director of the Sphinx Organization; member of President Obama's National Arts Policy Committee

"You don't have to be a lover of music or America history or richly evocative writing to lose yourself in Craig von Buseck's magnum opus Nobody Knows, but by the time you're finished you'll be a fan of all three, eager to see what the author comes up with next."--Jerry B. Jenkins, novelist & biographer; owner, Christian Writers Guild

"I felt like I was with Harry on his journey through life. I kept reading Nobody Knows and didn't want to put it down for one second. The words that Craig von Buseck chose to tell Harry's story pulled me in and kept me engaged in every moment."--Lisa Attles, former soloist with the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Craig von Buseck is a contributing writer and former producer for CBN.com, the official website of the Christian Broadcasting Network, with 1.8 million unique visitors every month. He holds a Doctor of Ministry and an MA in religious journalism from Regent University. The author of several books, von Buseck is a professional speaker who has traveled extensively both in America and abroad. He lives in North Carolina.


Endorsements

"I'm thrilled that the historical and important story of the legendary Harry Burleigh is finally being told! That he was for fifty-two years a member and celebrated soloist at the very church I attend here in New York City makes it all the more extraordinary. Hats off to Craig von Buseck for his tremendous research and work!"

Eric Metaxas, New York Times bestselling author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery

"Mr. von Buseck's book, Nobody Knows, reads like a good novel, and yet he balances this colorful historical narrative with reliable scholarship. His subject of choice is the great African American legend, singer and songsmith Harry T. Burleigh. Mr. Von Buseck's language is warm and accessible. I love being taken by surprise, particularly when being introduced with such clarity to a historical figure of my own country, a pioneering spirit, one of those rare musical types that gave the soul of this nation its voice. Nobody Knows is delightfully readable."

David Teems, author of Majestie: The King Behind the King James Bible and Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God an English Voice

"This is an important book for people interested in American music, the Episcopal Church, and African American cultural life. Harry Burleigh was a star--he brought light to a vast number of people--his art was shared in Jewish and Christian communities, in New York City, Martha's Vineyard, and so many places. He was a man of deep feeling and ability who shared his gifts in all directions."

Rev. Tom Pike, former rector of St. George's Episcopal Church in New York City

"We welcome Craig von Buseck's new book on Harry T. Burleigh, the great African American musician. Nobody Knows adds a rich chapter to the record of great American composers and musicians."

Vinson Synan, Dean Emeritus, Regent University School of Divinity; author of The Century of the Holy Spirit

"Nobody Knows is an important tribute to a master of the American spiritual. An inspirational story, this work is an important read, as it sheds light on a key composer whose contributions to the history of American music are otherwise neglected."

Afa S. Dworkin, executive director of the Sphinx Organization; member of President Obama's National Arts Policy Committee

"Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I learned basic principles for living that have guided me through my personal life and political career. These same principles--strong family ties, hard work, education, and faith in God--were demonstrated through the life of another man from Western PA, Harry T. Burleigh. His inspirational tale is now being told by author Craig von Buseck in Nobody Knows: The Forgotten Story of One of the Most Influential Figures in American Music. I encourage you to read this moving story of an African American man who rose from obscurity at the height of segregation in the US to become a pillar of American music."

Former US Senator Rick Santorum

"You don't have to be a lover of music or America history or richly evocative writing to lose yourself in Craig von Buseck's magnum opus Nobody Knows, but by the time you're finished you'll be a fan of all three, eager to see what the author comes up with next."

Jerry B. Jenkins, novelist & biographer; owner, Christian Writers Guild

"I felt like I was with Harry on his journey through life. I kept reading Nobody Knows and didn't want to put it down for one second. The words that Craig von Buseck chose to tell Harry's story pulled me in and kept me engaged in every moment."

Lisa Attles, former soloist with the Dance Theatre of Harlem


The Author

  1. Craig von Buseck

    Craig von Buseck

    Craig von Buseck is a contributing writer and former producer for CBN.com, the official website of The Christian Broadcasting Network, with 1.8 million unique visitors every month. He has an MA in journalism from Regent University and a BA in communication,...

    Continue reading about Craig von Buseck


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