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Article

Alan Lewis

Mixed troupe of popular vocalists and bell ringers. Organized at New York City in 1846 and billed early as the “Alleghanians, or American Singers,” the group, usually a quartet, toured widely from 1847. Members at that time included James M. Boulard (bass), Richard Dunning (tenor), Carrie Hiffert (contralto), and William H. Oakley (alto). From the start, comparisons to the Rainer and Hutchinson family troupes were common. Miriam G. Goodenow, a young soprano, replaced Hiffert, evidently in 1849. This lineup, managed and promoted expansively by Jesse Hutchinson, Jr., toured Gold Rush California in 1852. Frank Stoepel, renowned for dazzling performances on a novel “wood and straw instrument,” is said to have introduced handbell ringing to the company in 1857. This ensemble, renamed the Alleghanians Vocalists and Swiss Bell Ringers, embarked on a world tour in 1858, presenting American popular music to audiences in many lands.

Guided by agent Daniel G. Waldron, the Alleghanians traveled with evident success from San Francisco to Honolulu, through the South Seas, and back via South America. The group, at times, included pioneers of their instruments, such as concertina player Alfred B. Sedgwick in the early 1860s and harmonica soloist L. Percy Williams a decade later. In ...

Article

Charles Garrett

Article

The beginnings of Argentine popular music can be dated to about 1890, when the tango emerged in Buenos Aires. Until the 1970s, three main areas of popular music were recognized: tango; ‘folk’ music (urban versions of rural genres of Creole origin, also categorized as nativist music); and rock nacional. Since then, the boundaries between these distinctions have become more complex as these musics have interacted and musicians have crossed over, playing more than one genre. Two other popular phenomena, cuarteto and bailanta, also deserve mention.

This dance has become the musical identity of Argentina for the world at large. The Tango emerged in the port and slums of Buenos Aires and the La Plata river area during a period when the population swelled, with 6 million immigrants (Italians, Spaniards, East Europeans) entering the country between 1870 and 1930. Whether instrumental or sung, the tango remained a dance until the end of the 1950s, when, due to social change, it was displaced among the younger generation in favour of foreign music, leaving tango largely as the music of older generations. Tango has enjoyed recurrent revivals, none of them major, the last and most important of which is the present one, which has given rise to countless dance classes, including an extra-curricular course at the University of Buenos Aires. At first there were many different types of tango that were played and danced in different social environments. Later on, the genre consolidated, acquiring a definite character. The only genres that can be considered true predecessors of the tango are the habanera and the ...

Article

Baker  

Dale Cockrell

Family of singers who between 1844 and the 1880s formed various differently constituted groups under the family name. A vocal quartet named the Baker Family was first formed around 1844 and consisted of by siblings John C. Baker, George E. Baker, Sophia M. Baker, and Henry F. Baker in Salisbury, New Hampshire. They followed the example of the Hutchinson Family in style, repertory, and presentation, and became one of the most popular ensembles of this type. The group, sometimes with the addition of other family members including Jaspar and Emilie, toured widely in the mid- and late 1840s, especially to smaller cities and towns. In 1851 some of the family moved to Waukegan, Illinois, from where the newly named Baker Vocalists made periodic tours to the West until the 1880s. Although the bass George had the most impressive voice, it was John who was the leading member of the group. A Baker Family concert often consisted only of his glees, choruses, and ballads; among his 35 published pieces, “Where can the soul find rest?” (...

Article

Dale Cockrell

(b Cleveland, OH, July 21, 1878; d Santa Ana, CA, May 3, 1927). American composer and singer. After studying music at the Cleveland Conservatory he went to New York, where he became a pianist in vaudeville theaters and a founding member of ASCAP. From 1907 to 1927 he was a staff pianist and composer at M. Witmark and Sons. His first success came with the ballad “Will you love me in December as you do in May?,” written in 1905 to lyrics by Jimmy Walker. Many of his most popular songs thereafter were composed for the Irish tenors John McCormack and Chauncey Olcott, with whom he also collaborated. Ball composed some 400 songs, including such standards as “Mother Machree” (1910), “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” (1913), and “A Little Bit of Heaven” (1914). Much of the last decade of his life was spent performing in vaudeville. His film biography, ...

Article

John L. Clark

(b New Orleans, LA, March 25, 1897; d New Orleans, Jan 28, 1983). American pianist, singer, and bandleader. The daughter of the Civil War veteran and Louisiana state senator W.B. Barrett, she learned piano by ear as a child and was playing professionally by her early teens. She never learned to read music and worked almost exclusively in New Orleans. During the 1920s Barrett played with many of the uptown New Orleans groups, including those led by Papa Celestin, Armand Piron, and John Robichaux. In the following decade she worked most often with Bebe Ridgley, with whom she developed a local following that subsequently brought her success at the Happy Landing from 1949 and the Paddock Lounge during the late 1950s. It was at this time that she became known as Sweet Emma the Bell Gal because of her habit of wearing garters with bells attached that created a tambourine-like effect as she played. In ...

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The Benny Goodman Quartet: Lionel Hampton, vibraphone; Teddy Wilson, piano; Benny Goodman, clarinet; and Gene Krupa, drums; in Busby Berkeley’s 1937 film, Hollywood Hotel.

(MaxJazz/Lebrecht Music & Arts)

Article

Sandra Jean Graham

[Brower, Francis Marion ]

(b Baltimore, MD, 20/Nov 30, 1820/1823; d Philadelphia, PA, June 4, 1874). American minstrel. His stage debut was in Philadelphia c1837. By spring 1840 he had teamed with dan Emmett , singing and dancing in blackface for the Cincinnati Circus Company. In July 1841 Brower began accompanying Emmett’s banjo songs on bones, pioneering the use of this folk instrument in professional entertainment. After a stint with Raymond and Waring’s Circus around 1841–2, the duo moved to New York. In early 1843 Brower, Emmett, billy Whitlock , and dick Pelham formed the Virginia minstrels , the first blackface minstrel troupe. Brower’s boisterous performances in “Southern Negro character” encompassed playing bones on the right end (which led to the formal role of endman), songs, stump speeches, conundrums (a circus genre), and breakdowns. Patterned on black practice, Brower’s dancing was distinctive for its jumps and leaps. He often danced while playing, his bones and feet creating a dense rhythmic texture, and he typically interrupted his dancing for brief comic dialogue. Brower and Pelham were considered premier dancers and were widely imitated by other minstrels, ...

Article

Donna A. Buchanan

The hilly and mountainous topography of Bulgaria made contact between villages difficult and at certain times of year impossible. Thus, communities evolved in relative seclusion. This, coupled with the country’s long rule by the Ottoman Empire, aided both the preservation and development of great cultural diversity. The country is divided into six ethnographic regions: the Shop, or Sofia district; Pirin-Makedoniya in the southwest; Rodopa, comprising the Rhodope Mountain region along the southern border; Trakiya, the central Thracian plain; Dobrudzha, in the northeast; and the area known simply as ‘Northern Bulgaria’ in the northwest.

Bulgarian musical ethnography originated in the Vazrazhdane, the 19th-century cultural renaissance which helped form a unified Bulgarian nationalist ideology. This period witnessed the institutionalization of education, the standardization of literary Bulgarian, and the establishment of the periodical press, local library clubs, and reading rooms whose activities facilitated later developments in music and theatre. Major literary figures of the time collected and used folkloric materials in their writings. Several, like the brothers Dimitar Miladinov (...

Article

Erich Schwandt, Fredric Woodbridge Wilson, and Deane L. Root

(Fr.; It. burlesca; Ger. Burleske)

A humorous piece involving parody and grotesque exaggeration; the term may be traced to folk poetry and theatre and apparently derived from the late Latin burra (‘trifle’). As a literary term in the 17th century it referred to a grotesque imitation of the dignified or pathetic, and in the early 18th century it was used as a title for musical works in which serious and comic elements were juxtaposed or combined to achieve a grotesque effect. In England the word denotes a dramatic production which ridicules stage conventions, while in 19th- and 20th-century American usage its principal meaning is a variety show in which striptease is the chief attraction.

Burlesque: Instrumental music

Burlesque: English theatrical burlesque

Burlesque: American burlesque

ESMGG2 (‘Burleske’; M. Struck) [incl. list of instrumental works]NicollHT.F. Dillon Croker and S. Tucker, eds.: The Extravaganzas of J.R. Planché, Esq. (Somerset Herald, 1827–1871) (London, 1879)W. Davenport Adams...

Article

John Lilly

Country music recording artists, singers, musicians, and songwriters. Its original members were A.P. Carter (Alvin Pleasant Carter; b Maces Spring, VA, Dec 15, 1891; d Maces Spring, VA, Nov 7, 1960), his wife Sara Dougherty Carter [Bays] (née Sara Dougherty; later Sara Bays; b Flat Woods, VA, July 21, 1898; d Lodi, CA, Jan 8, 1979), and his sister-in-law Maybelle Addington Carter (b nr Nickelsville, Scott Co., VA, May 10, 1909; d Madison, TN, Oct 23, 1978). Considered the “first family” of country music, the Carters remain the most recognized family group in the genre, unmatched in terms of longevity, influence and popularity.

Born in southwest Virginia in the aptly named Poor Valley, A.P. Carter worked odd jobs for his first 35 years. Afflicted with a chronic tremor and a restless nature, A.P. was constantly on the move. His travels eventually led him to the home of Sara Dougherty, a talented young woman with a distinctive singing voice. The two wed on ...

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Jazz Ex.2 characteristic rhythmic motive of the charleston

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Corp author Jazzsign

In 

Charlie Parker, 1949.

(JazzSign/Lebrecht Music & Arts)

Article

Choro  

Thomas Garcia

Developed in Rio de Janeiro in the 1870s, it is the most important Brazilian popular instrumental music genre. The term “choro” originally referred to an improvisatory style of playing popular European dances favored by amateurs, as well as the gatherings at which it was played. Musicians of the day, moving towards a national popular music, adapted the polka, waltz, schottische, and other European dances to their tastes. This adaptation included influences from African-derived music, notably rhythm. The polka, for example, assimilated African rhythms to a large degree; this dance was adapted to the point that it became distinct from the European polka and was known as simply as choro. The typical ensemble for choro performance included a wind instrument, guitars of various sizes, and percussion. The heart and soul of the tradition was the roda de choro, or choro circle, a social and musical gathering in which amateur musicians would play for sheer pleasure. ...

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In 

Jazz Ex.1c cinquillo

Article

Whitney B. Holley

(b New York, NY, Aug 15, 1892; d Los Angeles, CA, Aug 29, 1972). American lyricist, dancer, and comedian. He began his career as a dancer and comedian on the vaudeville circuit and became a Tin Pan Alley lyricist. From Shirley Temple’s innocent banter to Billie Holiday’s sensual musings, Clare had a knack for fitting lyrics perfectly to a performer’s character. “Ma, he’s makin’ eyes at me” (1921, a collaboration with the composer Con Conrad), became a signature tune for the singer Eddie Cantor. Clare’s song “I’d climb the highest mountain (if I knew I’d find you)” (1926, with Lew Brown) was a hit for both Sophie Tucker and Al Jolson. “Please don’t talk about me when I’m gone” (1930, with Sam Stept) was popularized by the singers Bee Palmer and Kate Smith and later used in the Warner Bros. animated short One Froggy Evening...

Article

Phyllis Bruce

revised by Joanna R. Smolko

Male quartet. It was formed in 1853 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, by four singers from Connecticut: William Dwight Franklin, John Wesleyan Smith, William Frisbie, and Charles Huntington. Three of them had met at the Boston Teachers Institute, where they studied with Lowell Mason, George J. Webb, and George F. Root. John A. Sterry began as the group’s conductor and manager, although at some time Franklin became its leader. In September 1853, they toured across the United States. Frisbie’s death in 1855 cut short their second tour; he was replaced by Truman Watson. The group developed an American repertory, much of it patriotic, and many of their songs were written by Franklin, including “The Power of the Mighty Dollar,” “The Old Man’s Soliloquy,” and “The Mountain Bugle’s Echo.” The Continental Vocalists Glee Book (1855) also included works by many other contemporary composers. Their performance of “The Ballad of Johnny Sands” was important in the widespread dissemination and popularity of the song. The group concentrated on excellent singing and exploited their gift for entertaining, avoiding controversial programming. They performed in costumes of the Federal era, displayed flags, and accompanied themselves on flute, violin, cello, and melodeon. They made extensive annual tours from fall to spring during the 1850s and early 1860s, averaging four concerts weekly and playing to packed halls; in the 12 years of their existence they earned more than $70,000. Newspaper reviews were numerous and favorable; an undated review in the Buffalo ...

Article

Dale Cockrell

(b New York, NY, May 14, 1840; d New York, NY, Sept 26, 1927). American lyricist. He studied law, but abandoned his career on account of the Civil War, in which he served briefly. His love of popular music led him to work with stephen c. Foster; the two eventually collaborated on more than 20 songs, mainly of a comic or war-related nature. Cooper came to be one of the composer’s closest friends. The text he wrote for Henry Tucker’s song, “Sweet Genevieve” (1869), has proved his most popular; other well-known songs for which he composed the lyrics are “Mother, kiss me in my dreams,” and “God bless the little church around the corner.” Cooper also worked with Tony Pastor and Lillian Russell. He published more than 200 song texts, and was one of the first Americans to make his living from this occupation alone.

National Cyclopedia of American Biography...

Article

Robert B. Winans

(b Pawtucket, RI, July 27, 1829; d New York, NY, Feb 14, 1908). American minstrel performer. He ran away from home to join a circus in 1845, and first gained prominence with Matt Peel’s Minstrels in the mid-1850s, when he was a great success in the blackface role of “Old Bob Ridley,” performing the song of the same name. He became particularly noted for his impersonations of older black men. He achieved great fame as a minstrel performer in the 1860s and 1870s, sometimes in companies bearing his own name, and worked primarily in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. Toward the end of his career, he played character parts in popular plays, including Faithful Bob (later known as True Devotion), which he produced with his wife and daughter.

“Interview with Ben Cotton,” New York Mirror (3 July 1897) E.L. Rice: Monarchs of Minstrelsy (New York, 1911)...

Article

William Brooks

[Charlotte Mignon ]

(b New York, NY, Nov 7, 1847; d Boston, MA, Sept 25, 1924). American entertainer. She was guided by her mother throughout her career, which began in California, where from 1853 she learned singing and dancing from local entertainers. She toured mining towns in Mart Taylor’s company from 1855, and appeared in variety halls in San Francisco in fall 1856. In 1861 she toured with Jake Wallace and his troupe, from whom she learned minstrelsy and to play the banjo. From 1859 to 1864 she made regular appearances in San Francisco theaters, where she was a great favorite. Her New York debut at Niblo’s Saloon on 1 June 1864 was coolly received, but she gained increasing fame from tours of the Midwest (1864–6). In Chicago in 1867 she played both title roles in John Brougham’s Little Nell and the Marchioness, which was written especially for her; other notable successes included ...