Doo-Dah : Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture
Last updated: 06.08.17
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Printed: 1998 Author: Ken Emerson
Publisher: Da Capo Press ISBN: 0306808528
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Paperback - 416 pages (September 1998), usually ships within 2-3 days.
Amazon Review
Ken Emerson's thickly textured narrative features an affectionate examination of American music's diverse strands as well as a perceptive portrait of the nation's first great songwriter. Stephen Foster (1826-64) was born in Pittsburgh and visited the South only briefly, yet songs like "My Old Kentucky Home" and "Oh! Susanna" drew on black Southern culture to create a uniquely American form of popular music. The author is clear-sighted about the complex blend of racism and genuine compassion that infused Foster's "blackface" compositions. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

The Atlantic Monthly, Phoebe-Lou Adams
As everyone surely knows, Stephen Foster (1826-1864) was a prolific composer of American popular songs that spread around the world. Bayard Taylor (1825-1878) heard "Oh! Susanna" sung in Hindi in Delhi. Foster's songs were irresistible. Foster himself was a feckless drunk who managed to be paid very poorly for his music at a time when other popular composers prospered. Mr. Emerson covers the rise of American popular culture as well as Foster's sad career, and does it well.