Henry Clay Work

Henry Clay Work (October 1, 1832 – June 8, 1884) It is fitting that one of America’s greatest composers of the Civil War era was born into a heroic (although humble) family. The young boy was to follow in his father’s footsteps as a dedicated abolitionist, pouring his efforts into the cause of ending slavery

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Henry Tucker

Henry Tucker (December 13, 1826 – February 10, 1882) Like so many composers before and since, Henry Tucker is unfortunately remembered today for just a few great songs. But they were indeed great! From a jolly jingle which tells a cross-dressing story of a Confederate President, to a musical hit which would come to symbolize

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John Rogers Thomas

John Rogers Thomas (March 26, 1829 – April 5, 1896) The popularity and magnetism of 19th-Century American music were becoming well established when John Rogers Thomas first arrived in New York as a member of the Sequin English Opera Company. His fine baritone voice had afforded him this touring opportunity, but it was his talent

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Joseph Philbrick Webster

Joseph Philbrick Webster (February 18, 1819 – January 18, 1875) Often known more simply as J. P. Webster, American composer Joseph Philbreck Webster was born on the outskirts of Manchester, New Hampshire. He showed promising musical talent from an early age, learning to play the violin and flute. He was, however, drawn to singing and,

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Septimus Winner

Septimus Winner (May 11, 1827 – November 22, 1902) Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Septimus was the seventh child of violin maker Eastburn Winner. Although he largely taught himself to play musical instruments during his youth, he did receive some formal tuition from violinist Leopold Meignen. At the age of just twenty he opened a musical

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Thomas Martin Towne

Thomas Martin Towne (May 30, 1835 – April 4, 1912) Thomas Martin Towne was not only the composer of many sacred and secular, patriotic songs. He was also a doctor, musical professor, husband to one of America’s first leading women in the literary and publishing fields, and served in the Civil War. Born and raised

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William Downing Evans

William Downing Evans (1811 – 1897) Whilst Civil War raged in America, the small mining towns of South Wales also faced conflicts of their own. Although these were battles without guns, armies and mass bloodshed, they were, nonetheless, struggles which pierced the hearts of men and women. Amidst all of this, William Downing Evans, the

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William Vincent Wallace

William Vincent Wallace (March 11, 1812 – October 12, 1865) Transport developments during the Nineteenth Century allowed musicians to bring their talents and compositions to many corners of the globe. Nevertheless, not even the greatest of cultural superstars enjoyed the almost swashbuckling adventures of William Vincent Wallace. Although a number of his tales may have

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John Hill Hewitt

John Hill Hewitt (July 11, 1801 – October 7, 1890) John Hill Hewitt was an American songwriter born in July 1801 in New York City. Along with music he is also known for his plays and poetry. Hewitt was born into an extremely musical family and was exposed to music from a very young age.

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John Hewitt Comments on Henry Russell

This is excerpt from John Hewitt’s book Shadows on the Wall or, Glimpses of the Past, where he talks about Henry Russell, their relationship, and their music. Henry Russell. The descriptive songs and ballads of this composer and vocalist are still much in vogue. He spent much of his time in Baltimore, though New York

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