stephen foster music at alverno college

By Robbie on January 30, 2013

This Saturday I'll be presenting my takes on a couple Foster songs along with some distinguished peers (and one good friend, his Eminence, Jon Langford). You can get details on the tour sidebar if you're interested. I want to say a few things about Foster -- the lyricist, the composer, the historical figure, the racist -- that have been brewing since I first dived into his work, but I need more than the 3 minutes I have now. My estimation of him has zigzagged around a bit these last few weeks; I think he's a hard case to account for. Not that every antebellum figure needs accounting for by us high-minded moderns. Just the particular figure of national esteem who came up with "Massa's In De Cold, Cold Ground."

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2 comments

  1. avatar Jeremy Posted 10 days later

    I for one would love to hear ALL of your thoughts on Stephen Foster. I bought a biography on him but haven't cracked it. He definitely seems to have led an interesting life, in addition to being one of America's earliest famous songwriters. Oh yeah, and there's the whole racism thing.

  2. avatar zeke Posted 12 days later

    Foster was NOT a racist. Read the Emerson book - or something - about him before making such ignorant comments. Would you like history to judge you solely on the basis of Fuck This Town?