The first true American Idol-ish "Pop" superstar was not a recording artist (recordings had not been invented at the time), he was not an entertainer - though he could play and sing well, most Americans never heard him do either. He was a songwriter. He burst onto the scene in 1847 with his first hit song called "Oh Suzannah". His name was Stephen Foster. He sold the rights to the song for the $100.00 to a publisher who supposedly made $10,000.00 through sales of sheet music. In a matter of months this song was being sung by people from coast to coast! His popularity grew throughout the 1850's and began to wane in the 1860's. His career ended with his death in January of 1864 - but his songs are still sung today.
I was first exposed to Mr. Foster's tunes in music class in elementary school and have loved them ever since. I have wanted to do an album of his tunes for a long time and actually began recording about a year and a half ago. I would record a tune or two in between film projects and as of today have completed thirteen tunes. I hope to complete the process of recording, mixing, mastering, and doing the cover and liner notes by the end of the year. The toughest challenge I am have now is not determining which tunes to include but which of his great songs to exclude!
My goal is to present these tunes as they may have been played back in the middle 19th century — both by playing antique instruments and doing simple “period” arrangements. The beauty of Mr. Foster's songs is the sincerity of the lyrics and the simplicity of the melodies.
The CD is now available in the online store, or at one of my dealers. If you have any questions, please contact me.