• July 2010
    M T W T F S S
    « Jun   Aug »
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • Top Posts

  • Categories

  • feedburner

  • Follow me on Twitter

Composer born on the 4th of July. Stephen Collins Foster. The Father of American Music.


What could be more appropriate on the 4th than the “Father of American Music?” Talk about born on the 4th of July.

From Wikipedia:

Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864), known as the “father of American music”, was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century. His songs – such as “Oh! Susanna”, “Camptown Races”, “Old Folks at Home” (“Swanee River”), “Hard Times Come Again No More”, “My Old Kentucky Home”, “Old Black Joe”, and “Beautiful Dreamer” – remain popular over 150 years after their composition.

Although many of his songs had Southern themes, Foster never lived in the South and visited it only once, by river-boat voyage (on his brother Dunning’s steam boat, the James Millinger) down the Mississippi to New Orleans, during his honeymoon in 1852.

He had become impoverished while living at the North American Hotel at 30 Bowery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. His brother Henry described the accident that led to his death: Confined to bed for days by a persistent fever, Foster tried to call a chambermaid, but collapsed, falling against the washbasin next to his bed and shattering it, which gouged his head. It took three hours to get him to Bellevue Hospital, and in an era before transfusions and antibiotics, he succumbed three days after his admittance at the age of thirty-seven.

In his worn leather wallet, there was found a scrap of paper that simply said “Dear friends and gentle hearts” along with 35 cents in Civil War scrip and three pennies.

Foster was buried in the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh. One of his best loved works, “Beautiful Dreamer”, was published shortly after his death.

Advertisements

2 Responses

  1. How interesting; I would never have thought he was not a Southerner!

  2. I didn’t know that either. Lots of surprising things about him.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: