We are going for a three day trip to Kentucky to see a production of Stephen Foster Music. It is performed outside if the weather permits. It should be a fun time with our friends and George's brother is going also.
Stephen Collins Foster
Natives of Kentucky as well as visitors to the Bluegrass State share a common twinge of pride when they hear those first notes signaling the playing of "My Old Kentucky Home." Stephen Collins Foster wrote the song that has become Kentucky's anthem more than 100 years ago, capturing the spirit of hospitality that is the trademark of the South.
Born July 4, 1826 in Pittsburgh, Foster wrote more than 200 songs, from spirited minstrel show numbers to beautiful ballads. The ninth child of William Barcley and Eliza Tomlinson Foster, he began writing songs at an early age. He attended Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pa., briefly, but left because of home sickness. Because the career of a songwriter was not all together acceptable in Foster's day, his parents encouraged him to enter business. Foster worked as a bookkeeper for his brother, Dunning, in Cincinnati for a time, and possibly gained inspiration at the Cincinnati waterfront.
"Oh Susanna," which became the theme song of the Forty-Niners bound for the California gold fields, was published in 1848. Foster returned to Pittsburgh in 1850, and embarked on a prolific, but stormy, career as a songwriter. A cousin of the Rowan family of Bardstown, it is said that Foster was inspired to write "My Old Kentucky Home" when visiting Federal Hill, the Rowan plantation, in 1852.
Although he lived most of his life in Pittsburgh, Foster wrote lovingly and knowingly about the South. It is documented that Foster visited New Orleans in 1852. He is the only songwriter to have two of his works chosen as state songs. In addition to "My Old Kentucky Home," Foster's "Old Folks At Home" is the state song of Florida. Incidentally, he wrote the song about life on the Suwannee River without ever having seen that river.
The years from 1850 to 1855 marked the most successful period in Foster's life. During this time, he produced some of his most famous works and enjoyed worldwide recognition. Foster is buried in the Allegheny Cemetery at Pittsburgh, where his grave is frequently visited by lovers of his songs. There is also a Stephen Foster Memorial at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Stephen Foster Story 52nd Season P.O. Box 546, Bardstown, KY 40004,(502) 348-5971 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (502) 348-5971end_of_the_skype_highlighting or 1-800-626-1563 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-626-1563end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Go back in time to the 1850's with The Stephen Foster Story. Nestled in My Old Kentucky Home State Park, where music fills the air and lights shimmer from the trees, you will enjoy songs like Oh! Susanna, Camptown Races, Beautiful Dreamer, and My Old Kentucky Home. The Stephen Foster Story will delight the whole family with spectacular period costumes, lively choreography, and more than 50 heartwarming melodies of Stephen Collins Foster, America's first great composer. Come and experience an evening under a blanket of starlight in our new State-of-the-Art amphitheatre with The Stephen Foster Story! www.stephenfoster.com .