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Robert Wooten, Sr.

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Information about Robert Wooten, Sr.

Profile image of Robert Wooten, Sr.

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
High School Administrator
Choral Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Salmon Croquettes, Chicken, Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.

Birthplace

Born:
2/17/1930
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
High School Administrator
Choral Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Salmon Croquettes, Chicken, Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.

Birthplace

Born:
2/17/1930
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Robert Wooten, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Gospel conductor and lifelong resident of Chicago, Robert E. "Gene" Wooten, Sr., was the fourth of five sons born to Flora and John Henry Wooten on February 17, 1930.

While a student at Morgan Park High School, Wooten organized a gospel choral group, the Morgan Park Crusaders, in 1945. After graduation, Wooten was stricken by a serious illness and hospitalized for a year. After recovering from his illness, Wooten devoted his life and musical talent to serving his faith; in July 1949 he founded the Wooten Choral Ensemble, based at Beth Eden Baptist Church. Wooten received his B.S. degree in music education from the Chicago Musical Conservatory in 1956, and earned his M.S. degree in the same field from Roosevelt University in 1968.

The Wooten Choral Ensemble boasted more than sixty members, and traveled extensively to perform and preach the gospel. Its hallmark through the years was expressing a spiritual message through anthems, hymns, black spirituals, and gospel sounds. Wooten's group recorded several albums and appeared on many local radio and television programs.

Outside of the church, Wooten enjoyed a distinguished career as an educator. At Parker High School, Wooten led the school's choir to citywide fame and rose to the rank of assistant principal before becoming a district administrator. Wooten worked with the Chicago Board of Education until his retirement in 1994.

For his contributions to gospel music, Wooten received many awards and recognitions. Wooten accepted an honorary doctorate from Virginia Seminary College in 1983, and was recognized at the Chicago Gospel Festival in 1994 for his contributions to religious music. Wooten and his wife, Frances, were married in 1956; the couple raised three children.

Robert E. "Gene" Wooten, Sr., passed away on March 27, 2008.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Wooten interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Wooten's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Wooten discusses his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Wooten remembers his stepmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Wooten discusses his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Wooten shares his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Wooten describes his childhood home, Morgan Park, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Wooten recalls his childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Wooten remembers his school days
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Wooten recalls the role of music in his childhood home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Wooten discusses his pull towards music performance
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Wooten describes influences from his school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Wooten recalls his tenure at the Chicago Conservatory of Music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Wooten remembers his struggles to pay for the Chicago Conservatory of Music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Wooten shares life lessons from the Chicago Conservatory of Music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Wooten discusses his decision to pursue music education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Wooten discusses the creation of the Wooten Choral Ensemble, part 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Wooten describes the origins of the Wooten Choral Ensemble
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Wooten discusses his career in the Chicago Public Schools system
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Wooten details the highlights of his musical career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Wooten describes his family's musical pursuits
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Wooten considers his favorite compositions and arrangements
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Wooten discusses black musical legacies
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Wooten describes the Wooten Choral Ensemble's musical choices
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Wooten discusses the Wooten Choral Ensemble's collaborations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Wooten considers his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Wooten considers how he'd like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Photo - Robert Wooten in his teenage years, 1940s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - Robert Wooten's second oldest brother, Dr. John C. Wooten
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Robert Wooten's two sons and two nephews, Morgan Park, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Robert Wooten and wife, Frances, on their wedding day, Chicago, Illinois, August 1956
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Robert Wooten makes an address at the 20th anniversary of the Wooten Choral Ensemble, Chicago, Illinois, July 1969
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Robert Wooten with his assistant director and Donald Bexley
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Robert Wooten with Mrs. Sid Ordower, producer of the 'Jubilee Showcase'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Robert Wooten with his son, daughter-in-law and a pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, ca. 1998
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Robert Wooten with leaders from the Wooten Choral Ensemble, ca. 1998
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Robert Wooten with his wife and son, ca. 1958
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Robert Wooten makes a church service address, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Robert Wooten receives an honorary doctorate at West Virginia Seminary and College, West Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Robert Wooten before a concert, not dated
  • Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Robert Wooten at his high school graduation, Chicago, Illinois, 1948
  • Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Robert Wooten and his wife on a cruise to the Bahamas, ca. 1980s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Robert Wooten during his tenure at the Chicago Board of Education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Robert Wooten prepares the Englewood High School choir for competition, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Robert Wooten at the Area A Student Recognition Luncheon, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Robert Wooten and his wife serve as Parker High School senior prom chaperones, Chicago, Illinois, 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Photo - Robert Wooten, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Photo - Robert Wooten with his eldest brother, ca. 2000
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Photo - Robert Wooten with his last living brother
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Photo - Robert Wooten with friends from his Tuesday morning breakfast club, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Robert Wooten with family members
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Reverend Henry Bracken of the Greater Harvest Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Robert Wooten's father
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Robert Wooten with boss James Moore at an event at the Harambee House, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Robert Wooten with his daughter
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Robert Wooten and his two grandsons
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Robert Wooten with his brother, sister-in-law and wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Robert Wooten's youngest brother in his policeman's uniform
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Robert Wooten and his wife in the early 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Robert Wooten with family members at the renaming of a Chicago, Illinois street
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Robert Wooten, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Robert Wooten with the Wooten Choral Ensemble, Chicago, Illinois, 1991