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Charles Hutchinson Gabriel
From Des Moines Register
Short Name: Charles Hutchinson Gabriel
Full Name: Gabriel, Charles Hutchinson, 1856-1932
Birth Year: 1856
Death Year: 1932

Pseudonymns: S. B. Jackson, Jennie Ree
Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (August 18, 1856, Wilton, Iowa – September 14, 1932, Hollywood, California) was a writer of gospel songs and composer of gospel tunes. He is said to have written and/or composed between 7,000 and 8,000 songs, many of which are available in 21st century hymnals. He used several pseudonyms, including Charlotte G. Homer, H. A. Henry, and S. B. Jackson.

Charles Hutchinson Gabriel was born in Wilton, Cedar County, Iowa, and raised on a farm. His father led singing schools in their home, and young Charles developed an interest in music. It is said that he taught himself to play the family's reed organ. Even though he never had any formal training in music, he began to travel and lead his own singing schools in various locations around the age of 17.

His musical talent was well recognized in his boyhood home of Wilton. There is one folklore story, that the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Wilton (Pastor Pollock or McAulay) once saw Gabriel walking in town early in the week. He asked Gabriel if he knew a good song to go along with his sermon. The pastor shared the sermon topic and by the end of the week the boy had written a song for that Sunday, words and music. The Rev. N. A. McAulay was a pastor at the Wilton church for many years, and it is also said that young Gabriel wrote the music for one of McAulay's songs. The song, "How Could it Be," was later published in Songs for Service, edited by Gabriel, with the music being credited to "Charles H. Marsh," possibly one of Gabriel's pseudonyms.

Eventually he served as music director at Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, San Francisco, California (1890-2). While working at Grace Church, he was asked to write a song for a mission celebration. He wrote "Send the Light," which became his first commercial song. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, and in 1912 he began working with Homer Rodeheaver's publishing company.

Gabriel was married twice, first to Fannie Woodhouse, which ended in divorce, and later to Amelia Moore. One child was born to each marriage.

He died in Hollywood, California. Gabriel wrote an autobiography titled Sixty Years of Gospel Song (Chicago, Illinois: Hope Publishing Company, undated)

Gabriel edited 35 gospel song books, 8 Sunday school song books, seven books for male choruses, six books for ladies, ten children's song books, nineteen collections of anthems, 23 choir cantatas, 41 Christmas cantatas, 10 children's cantatas, and books on musical instruction.

Among these publications are: Gospel Songs and Their Writers (Chicago, Illinois: The Rodeheaver Company, 1915) The Singers and Their Songs (Chicago, Illinois: The Rodeheaver Company, 1916) Church Music of Yesterday, To-Day and for To-Morrow (Chicago, Illinois: The Rodeheaver Company, 1921) Golden Bells (Chicago, Illinois: The Rodeheaver Company, 1923) (music editor) His "Dream of Fairyland" was an exceedingly successful children's cantata, and sold well for several years. He considered his best work to be a sacred cantata for adult voices: "Saul, King of Israel." He also had an interest in military bands, and wrote marches, waltzes, etc., for bands.

"Gospel songs" are not necessarily published in the main hymnals used in denominational worship (they are typically found in evangelical Protestantism and are less prevalent in more liturgical churches), but Diehl's index to denominational hymnals published from the 1890s to 1966 lists 37 tunes by Gabriel.

As a sample of Gabriel's vast output, below are the Gabriel tunes from three songbooks and one denominational hymnal. This list omits tunes attributed to names that are possible Gabriel pseudonyms but includes lyrics published by Gabriel under a known pseudonym. Note that none of these sources published one of Gabriel's most popular songs, "Brighten the Corner Where You Are" (1913).


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Hymnals by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (53)sort iconAs
26 Scripture SongsC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
All HailC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
All Hail the MessiahC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Awakening Songs for the Church, Sunday School and Evangelistic ServicesChas. H. Gabriel (Music Editor)
Epworth Praises: a Collection of Popular Sacred Songs New and OldC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Epworth Songs. For use in the Epworth LeagueC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Fillmore's Women's Choir, Nos. 1, 2 and 3 CombinedC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Freely We GiveC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Gems of PraiseC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Golden BellsChas. H. Gabriel (Music Editor)
Gospel hymn selections for female voices: for use in young people's societies, female seminaries, etc., etc.Gabriel, Charles Hutchinson, 1856-1932 (Author)
Gospel hymn selections for male voices: for use in colleges, Y.M.C.A.'s, y. p. societies, etc., etc.Gabriel, Charles Hutchinson, 1856-1932 (Author)
Gospel Hymns and Songs for the Church, Sunday School and Evangelistic ServicesC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Gospel Songs for Men, a Collection of Quartets and Choruses for Male VoicesC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Hymns of the Heart: for public worship, evangelistic campaigns, prayer meetings, young people's services, etc.Charles H. Gabriel (Editor)
Joy Bells of ChristmasC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Joyful Praise: for Sunday Schools, young people's societies, devotional and revival meetingsChas H. Gabriel (Editor)
Jubilant Voices for Sunday Schools and Devotional MeetingsC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Little Branches: a collection of songs prepared especially for the primary and infant departments of the sunday schoolChas H. Gabriel (Editor)
Little Branches No. 2: a collection of songs prepared especially for the primary and infant deparments of the sunday schoolCharles H. Gabriel (Editor)
Little Branches No. 3: a collection of songs prepared especially for the primary and infant departments of the sunday schoolChas. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Living PraiseC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Living Praise No. 2C. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Loyal Praise: a collection of new and popular hymns for Sunday schools, young people's societies, etc. Chas, H. Gabriel (Editor)
Nineteen Sunday School SongsC. H. Gabriel (Publisher)
Nineteen Sunday School SongsC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Our ChoiceC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Pentecostal Hymns Nos. 5 and 6 Combined: a winnowed collection for young people's societies, church prayer meetings, evangelistic services and Sunday schoolsChas. H. Gabriel (Music Editor)
Praise and ServiceC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Progressive Sunday School SongsC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Rainbow SongsC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Rodeheaver's Gospel Songs for church, Sunday Schools and evangelistic servicesChas. H. Gabriel (Music Editor)
Rodeheaver's Sunday School SongsC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Salvation Songs: for gospel meetings, Endeavor Societies, Epworth Leagues, Baptist Unions, Sunday schools and prayer meetingsChas. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Sifted Wheat: a collection of songs for Sunday schools, young people's societies, devotional and revival meetingsChas. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Song Praises: for Sunday schools, Epworth League meetings,Christian Endeavor and young people's societies, evangelistic services, prayer meetings, and for family and private devotionsChas H. Gabriel (Editor)
Song SunbeamsC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Songs for MenC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Songs for ServiceC. H. Gabriel (Music Editor)
Songs of the Pentecost for the Forward Gospel MovementC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Special Songs: for Sunday schools, revival meetings, etc.Charles H. Gabriel (Publisher)
Special Songs: for Sunday schools, revival meetings, etc.Chas. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Sunday School Songs: Suitable for Prayer, Praise and Gospel Meetings. No. 1C. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Sunday School Voices: a collection of sacred songsChas H. Gabriel (Music Editor)
Sunday School Voices, No.2C. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Sunshine: songs for Sunday schoolsChas H. Gabriel (Editor)
The Children's KingC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
The Gospel ChorusC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
The ShepherdC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
The Victory: a collection of popular Sunday school songs new and oldChas. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Vineyard SongsC. H. Gabriel (Editor)
Williston HymnsCharles H. Gabriel (Music Editor)
World Wide Revival Songs for the Church, Sunday School and Evangelistic MeetingsC. H. Gabriel (Editor)

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