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From 1898, a rare and historic recording by Ira D. Sankey singing his first and favorite hymn, The Ninety and Nine.

The Ninety and Nine
Company The Biglow & Main Company
Cylinder # S-1
Category Baritone
Title The Ninety and Nine
Performed by Ira D. Sankey
Circa 1898
Announcement "The Ninety and Nine, sung by Ira D. Sankey, for the Biglow & Main Company, New York and Chicago."
Ira D. Sankey, ca. 1902 (courtesy of The Cyber Hymnal)

Ira Sankey (1840-1908) was one-half of the pioneering evangelistic team (1871-1899) of Dwight L. Moody and Sankey.   He was primarily known as a fine baritone hymn singer.   His approach of "singing the Gospel" caused quite a stir at the time.   Another of Sankey's innovations was to play an organ placed on the podium (instead of out of sight) so that the songs might connect more directly with the audience.  

Then in 1874, his ministry expanded as he faithfully – and on the spot – composed the music to The Ninety and Nine.   Over the years, he composed more than 1,000 hymns.

This is the only known copy of Sankey singing this his favorite hymn.   It was recorded later in his life at a time his voice was showing signs of age.   The recording is announced by Sankey, and he plays the piano accompaniment.

To hear The Ninety and Nine  —

For help playing these sounds, click here.

Original record slip to The Ninety and Nine.

The Ninety and Nine brown wax cylinder record.

— This cylinder is from the collection of  Ed Gabrilese —

To learn more about Ira Sankey, see:


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the

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