13th February 1787
28th October 1854
James P. Carrell was a minister, singing teacher, composer and songbook compiler. He compiled two songbooks in the four-shape shape note tradition.
Carrell's Songs of Zion was a small book of 64 pages, printed by Ananias Davisson in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1820. In 1831, Carrell released Virginia Harmony with David L. Clayton (1801-1854). This book was printed in Winchester, Virginia by Samuel H. Davis, containing 191 tunes on 167 pages. A second edition of Virginia Harmony was printed in 1836 with 33 additional pages of music. Seventeen songs in this edition are attributed to Carrell.
One of the songs in Virginia Harmony was the Isaac Watts hymn "There Is a Land of Pure Delight", set to the anonymous folk tune "Harmony Grove". "Harmony Grove" is now the tune most associated with the John Newton hymn "Amazing Grace", and for many years Carrell and Clayton were credited as the composers.