The choral group is The Choral Scholars. They have a website http://www.thechoralscholars.com
Yes, I understand WOJ recorded it in 1948 but Hairston did not submit a copyright claim until 1957. This does not negate his authorship, it just means he was late getting it registered. In another very famous example, "Precious Lord, take my hand" was written in 1932 but not copyrighted until 1938—and yet no one has ever questioned Thomas Dorsey's claim to authorship. The Hogan/Davis copyright was renewed in 1963 by Rodeheaver then sold to Word Music in 1969.
[According to the old law, the first term was 28 years, then the renewal was 47 years (1963 + 47 = 2010). I suppose the question is whether Word resubmitted the work under the new law, which would make the copyright term 95 years, through 2030]
I also want to say for the record, I have been in communication with Hogan's granddaughter, who had always been told the refrain was written by her grandfather, and she says, "His grandson, Carl Hogan, did his best to get 'Amen' credited to our grandfather but was not successful." We are taking a big step by giving credit where credit has been long overdue. Thank you.
I have credtied Hogan and Davis as composers of the refrain and Hairston for author and composer of the verses. However, I am not convinced about the copyright. The song was recorded in 1948 but Hairston first copyrighted an SATB arrangement in 1957. It does not look like the words or music were copyrighted before 1948, They would need a copyright statement/registration. The copyright on the refrain by Hogan and Davis would also need to be renewed around 1991, and I was not able to find a renewal.
From Jester Hairston's own lips, he wrote "Amen." He readily acknowledged other songs to be spirituals, but not this one.
https://youtu.be/c3pa3EBAoTI?t=547 (start around 9:07).
Dianne, you didn't read my article. Many people also erroneously think "Jesus, oh what a wonderful child" is an anonymous spiritual in the public domain, when in fact it is by Margaret Allison. CCLI is hardly an authority on matters relating to spirituals. According to ASCAP, "Amen (see the baby)" is by Jester Hairston. According to the Library of Congress, "Amen (see the baby)" is by Jester Hairston. According to publisher Bourne Music, "Amen (see the baby)" is by Jester Hairston and they own the copyright.
Here are three more reasons why "Amen" is NOT a spritual.
1. If you consult Eileen Southern & Josephine Wright, African-American Traditions in Song, Sermon, Tale, and Dance, 1600s–1920: An Annotated Bibliography, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Black Music (NY: Greenwood Press, 1990), which is a detailed index of spirituals published up to 1920, there are ZERO examples of spirituals with an Amen refrain. If you check other collections of spirituals in the 1920s and 1930s, you will likewise come up empty handed.
2. If you consult Robert M.W. Dixon, et al., Blues & Gospel Records 1890–1943, 4th ed. (Oxford: University Press, 1997), which is a detailed discography of black music up to 1943, you will see only one song called "Amen, Amen, Amen," recorded in 1935 in Georgia. This has been digitized by the Library of Congress, and it is definitely not the same song.
3. Wings Over Jordan, as you mention, recorded the song several times, starting in 1948. They built careers out of singing spirituals. On their 1953 album Amen, they said it was NOT a spiritual.