Eugene M. Bartlett, Sr. meet and married Joan Tatum in 1917. They were parents to two sons, Gene Bartlett, Jr., a nationally known writer of contemporary church music and Charles Bartlett Minister of Music in a large Texas church.
Eugene M. Bartlett, Sr. was a very successful business man, and decided to invest his money in which he founded the Hartford Music Company in Hartford, Arkansas sometime in 1918. Within the first year of business he sold more than 15, 000 copies of his hymnbook. Many writers, singers and musicians received their first opportunity in gospel music at Hartford Music Company including Albert E. Brumley who wrote "I'll Fly Away" and "Turn Your Radio On." Bartlett's mission was to publish hymns and teach singers to sight read. He hired instructors to teach voice, piano, piano tuning, rudiments, harmony and stringed instruments. He also was editor of the music magazine, Herald of Song. His son Eugene, Jr. was also a hymnist and composer. When he was not instructing, Bartlett was an avid composer of hymns and gospel songs.
Though almost all of his songs have sunk into oblivion among the Christian body today, "Victory In Jesus" remains one of the most popular and widely known songs of the church. In 1939, a stroke rendered Bartlett partially paralyzed and unable to perform or travel. He spent the last two years of his life bedridden. Amid such bleak circumstances, he wrote his final and most beloved song, “Victory in Jesus,” an optimistic number that has been sung by millions in worship services and recorded by gospel’s biggest names. The three verses and refrain enthusiastically tell of one's own personal salvation experience from beginning to end. It's said that Bartlett missed traveling and teaching, but he could still study the Bible, a study from which he gave us this wonderful song during a time when much of the earth sat on the brink of World War II. The song first appeared that year in "Gospel Choruses," a paperback songbook published by James Vaughan in Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
Only two years after his stroke, Bartlett died January 25, 1941. He is buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Siloam Springs in Benton County. Throughout his 56 years of his life, Bartlett composed more than 800 songs. Since the early 1960s, "Victory in Jesus" has become popular among evangelical congregations, Quartets, and many hymnals have included it within their published pages. Bartlett was inducted into the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1973.
Praise Hymn Fashions thanks guest blogger Sylvia M. Clemons for today's post and encourages you to follow her blog.