OLD FOLKS AT HOME, THE (WAY DOWN UPON THE SWANEE RIVER)

Latest update on 05/09/2011

Artist: Len Spencer
Author: Stephen Foster
Label: New Jersey
Year: 1892

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'.

Covers:

1895:

Manhansett Quartet

1898:

Mina Hickman [the first as Swanee River]

1900:

Vess Ossman

1904:

Haydn Quartet

1905:

Adelina Patti

1915:

Alma Gluck

1930:

Paul Robeson

1936:

Jimmie Lunceford

1937:

Bunny Berigan

1937:

Mills Brothers [with Louis Armstrong]

1938:

King Cole Trio

1940:

[as Swanee River]

1940:

Tommy Dorsey [as Swanee River]

1941:

Deanna Durbin

1957:

Ray Charles [as Swanee River Rock]

1958:

Billy Riley [idem]

1963:

Ace Cannon [idem]

2004:

David Ball

2006:

Meryl Streep & Lily Tomlin [as My Minnesota Home in Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion]

2011:

Ollabelle

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.

Contact


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