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date: 14 April 2021

Willig, George locked

  • R. Allen Lott


(b Germany, 1764; d Philadelphia, Dec 30, 1851). American publisher . He took over John Christopher Moller’s business in Philadelphia in 1794 and established one of the most active and enduring music publishing firms of the early 19th century. He built up a large and varied catalogue of instrumental and vocal music and popular songs, including Stephen Foster’s first published song, Open thy lattice, love (1844). In 1856 the firm was taken over by Lee & Walker, which was in turn acquired by Oliver Ditson in 1875. In 1822 Willig acquired the business of Thomas Carr in Baltimore, and his son George Willig jr took control of that firm (which was renamed after him) in 1829. The Baltimore firm also published popular songs, especially minstrel music such as Clare de Kitchen, Jim Crow and Zip Coon. At the death of George Willig jr in 1874, his sons Joseph E. Willig and Henry Willig, who had joined him in ...

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R.J. Wolfe: Early American Music Engraving and Printing (Urbana, IL, 1980)
H. Dichter and E. Shapiro: Early American Sheet Music