James Bland's songwriting career began when this white minstrel star adopted this ballad of his. Publication followed that same year. Meanwhile the official state song of Virginia.
Len Spencer [first American who became notorious through his recordings (1890s); see: Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-Der-E]
Alma Gluck [first millionseller]
James Bland was the first important Afro American songwriter (the black Stephen Foster; see: The Old Folks At Home and My Old Kentucky Home). Paid his dues in Minstrel Shows (1854-1911). Wrote this in 1878 as a member of Callender's Georgia Minstrels.