Doo-dah!: Stephen Foster And The Rise Of American Popular Culture
- Author:Ken Emerson
- Publisher:Da Capo Press
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- Sales Rank:852,808
- Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
- Number Of Items:1
- Edition:1st Da Capo Press ed
- Shipping Weight (lbs):1.3
- Dimensions (in):9.2 x 6.2 x 1.2
- Publication Date:August 22, 1998
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days
- ISBN13: 9780306808524
- Condition: New
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Stephen Foster (18261864) was America's first great songwriter and the first to earn his living solely through his music. He composed some 200 songs, including such classics as "Oh! Susanna,” Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair," "Old Folks at Home (Way down upon the Swanee River),” and "Camptown Races (Doo-dah! Doo-dah!).” He virtually invented popular music as we recognize it to this day, yet he died at age thirty-seven, a forgotten and nearly penniless alcoholic on the Bowery. The author reveals Foster's contradictory life while disclosing how the dynamics of nineteenth-century industrialization, westward expansion, the Gold Rush, slavery, and the Civil War infused his music, and how that music influenced popular culture.
Ken Emerson's thickly textured narrative features an affectionate examination of American music's diverse strands as well as a perceptive portrait of the nation's first great songwriter. Stephen Foster (1826-64) was born in Pittsburgh and visited the South only briefly, yet songs like "My Old Kentucky Home" and "Oh! Susanna" drew on black Southern culture to create a uniquely American form of popular music. The author is clear-sighted about the complex blend of racism and genuine compassion that infused Foster's "blackface" compositions.
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