Stephen Foster (1826-1864)

Posted by Administrator on 2/16/2013 to Homeschooling
The name Stephen Foster may not “ring a bell”, but you certainly know some of this great American composer’s folk songs:
  • Oh! Susanna (sung by many a child)
  • Camptown Races (immortalized in Bugs Bunny cartoons)
  • My Old Kentucky Home (sung yearly at the Kentucky Derby)

Born in Pennsylvania, he began to write music at an early age. His music was influenced by the sentimental songs his sisters enjoyed, the music from black church services his family attended with their servant, popular minstrel show songs, and songs sung by the black laborers he worked with at a Pittsburgh warehouse. He sold “Oh! Susanna” for $100 in 1848 and together with the song “Old Uncle Ned” the publisher made about $10,000!

To learn more about this dreaming, home-loving composer, check out the Zeezok Publishing’s appealing biography, Stephen Foster and His Little Dog Tray. It covers Foster’s years growing up.