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"Michael Row the Boat Ashore" No. 1 on Billboard Chart

Sept. 4, 1961 - Reaching no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 is "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" by the Highwaymen. The song is an old Negro spiritual first noted during the Civil War at St. Helena Island, one of the Sea Islands of South Carolina. It was sung by former slaves whose owners had abandoned the island before the Union navy arrived to enforce a blockade. Abolitionist Charles Pickard Ware wrote down the song as he heard the freed slaves sing it.


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