See also:song and ballad writer, was
See also:born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, on the 4th of
See also:July 1826 . He was the youngest
See also:child of a
See also:merchant of Irish descent who became a member of the state legislature and was related by
See also:marriage to
See also:Buchanan .
See also:Stephen early showed
See also:talent for
See also:music, and played upon the
See also:flageolet, the guitar and the
See also:banjo; he also acquired a
See also:fair knowledge of French and German . He was sent to school in
See also:Towanda, Pennsylvania, and later to Athens, Pennsylvania, and when thirteen years old he wrote the song " Sadly to Mine Heart Appealing." At sixteen he wrote " Open thy Lattice, Love "; at seventeen he entered his
See also:brother's business
See also:Ohio, where he remained about three years, composing meanwhile such popular pieces as " Old
See also:Uncle Ned," " O Susannah!" and others . He then adopted song-writing as a profession . His chief successes were songs written for the
See also:negro melodists or
See also:Christy minstrels . Besides those mentioned the following attained
See also:great popularity: " Nelly was a
See also:Lady," " Old
See also:Kentucky Home," " Old Folks at Home," "
See also:Massa's in de
See also:Cold, Cold Ground," &c . For these and other songs the composer received considerable sums, " Old Folks at Home " bringing him, it is said, 15,000 dollars . For most of his songs
See also:Foster wrote both songs and music . In 1850 he married and moved to New
See also:York, but soon returned to Pittsburg . His reputation rests chiefly on his negro melodies, many of which have been popular on both sides of the
See also:Atlantic and sung in many tongues . " Old Black Joe," the last of these negro melodies, appeared in 1861 .
His later songs were sentimental
See also:ballads . Among these are " Old
See also:Tray," " Gentle Annie," " Willie, we have missed you," &c . His " Come where my Love lies Dreaming " is a well known vocal quartet . Al-though as a musician and composer Foster has little claim to high
See also:rank, his song-writing gives him a prominent place in the
See also:modern developments of popular music . He died at New York on the 13th of
See also:January 1864 .
SIR MICHAEL FOSTER (1836-r9o7)
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