Music: Weep No More

Boston Brahmins and New York classicists dismissed Old Black Joe and Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair as melodious trash, and urged Stephen Collins Foster to write symphonies. But the forty-niners sang Oh! Susanna all the way to California, and Union soldiers harmonized My Old Kentucky Home around their campfires while Confederates sang Old Folks at Home. The songs became America's folk music. Yet the Pittsburgh tunesmith who wrote them is often remembered, in confused popular legends, as a penniless drunk who died in a Bowery flophouse.

Now, in Chronicles of Stephen Foster's Family...

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