Born in 1883, Jackson took a keen interest in fa-sol-la singing as a teenager. Such singing derives originally from colonial New England singing schools designed to teach musical note-reading in order to improve congregational singing. It took root in the South, as its popularity declined elsewhere and was well-established in the Wiregrass region of southeast Alabama in both black and white communities when Jackson discovered it. Around 1930, Jackson determined to compile a book for the benefit of African American singers. A selection of songs from the ""Colored Sacred Harp"" appears on a CD enclosed with the book. In addition to 25 recordings made or collected by Boyd, the CD features a recording made at a Sacred Harp singing by folklorist John Work in 1938, and one made by Jackson and family at a coin-operated recording booth in Dothan, Alabama, in 1950.