Okay, folks, today we're definitely going old school.  Basically what I'm doing today is I'm going to recommend a songwriter, and not a band or singer.  Why?  Because the guy was dead before the end of the Civil War.  So he doesn't really have a record you can buy. 

Who is this person you might ask?  Stephen Foster.  Now I know what you're thinking, "Who the heck is Stephen Foster? Why do you think I should care?  Why am I cold? My hip hurts, why?"  First of all, calm down.  Second of all, you may not know the name, but you definitely know his work.  He was a songwriter back in the 1800s, when sheet music was the way to go.  He wrote songs, they printed, and people would buy them for their home to play themselves on piano.   It was part of the whole "entertainment" thing back then.

In fact, all of his songs are so old, they've reverted back into what is called "public domain," meaning they can't be copyrighted anymore.   After so many years, the family and or descendants of a certain person can't claim copyright anymore; the law considers the songs to be as much the property of the people as the artist's descendants.  Well, that's a loose way of interpreting it.  You catch my drift.

So who is Stephen Foster? He wrote a few songs you know:  "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races," "Old Folks at Home," "Beautiful Dreamer,"  "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" and some others.  Now you know what I mean, huh? These songs are true hits, in that they were written more than a hundred years ago, yet you could probably hum all of those songs, if you don't know the words to most of them.

So a few years back, some modern day artists did a compilation album of some of his most famous songs and recorded them on one disk.  Today, I'd like to share one of my favorites of his that I used to play on the piano in high school.  Now it's been recorded on that disk by a lovely lady named Beth Nielsen Chapman.

Sheet Music Rules,


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