First singer to enjoy national US celebrity in recorded history's pioneer days. Used in musical Uncle Tom's Cabin, along with My Old Kentucky Home. Florida's official state song since 1935. There's a monument marking the source of said stream near Fargo, GA. Foster never saw this real 'Suwanee River' and why should he? His original lyrics mentioned a 'Pedee River'.
Mina Hickman [the first as Swanee River]
Mills Brothers [with Louis Armstrong]
Tommy Dorsey [as Swanee River]
Ray Charles [as Swanee River Rock]
Billy Riley [idem]
Ace Cannon [idem]
Meryl Streep & Lily Tomlin [as My Minnesota Home in Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion]
Stephen Foster was America's first professional songwriter. Sold to E.P. Christy (of the Christy Minstrels) who shared in the credits. Performed by Jules Levy in 1878. Stephen Foster soon regretted this move, while at first he was a bit ashamed being associated with such 'Ethiopian melodies' as he called them. Stephen also wrote standards as My Old Kentucky Home, Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair, Hard Times and Oh! Susanna. See also: Alexander's Ragtime Band.