Olde Towne Brass
Historic Notes - Band Music of the Blue & Grey
These notes are free for you to use for verbal introductions, however, the material may not be reproduced without consent and recognition of the researcher and compiler, Terry Cornett.
Dixie's Land , 1859, Daniel Decatur Emmett (1815-1904) [Squire's Cornet Band Olio]
One of the most familiar and popular tunes of all time, Dixie's Land (or Dixie) was subjected to many lyrical parodies, including one by Gen. Albert Pike, C.S.A. Emmett's "walk-around" was being performed in Chicago where Abraham Lincoln, then attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad in the "Sand-Bar" litigation, stood, applauded violently, and shouted "Let's have it again! Let's have it again!" Lincoln requested the tune frequently after he was elected and had it performed immediately upon hearing of Lee's surrender proclaiming it, once again, the whole Nation's property. Mrs. John Wood, a New Orleans actress, has been credited with the South's introduction to the tune where it was later used in a musical production of John Brougham's Pocahontas. There the tune accompanied a march and drill routine of 40 women dressed as Zouaves. It was so successful it had to be repeated 7 times. This "martial" use of the tune carried over to the soldiers when a quickstep version was arranged for Louisiana regiments. Mr. Herman Arnold arranged the tune for the inaugural parade of Jefferson Davis, February 22, 1862.
Lorena & Bright Smiles Quickstep , Webster & Webster and William T. Wrighton [26th NC, C.S.A. Band Books]
This arrangement is taken from the Bandbooks of the 26th North Carolina Regiment Band. This band was the third band culled from the musically enriched Moravian community of Salem. The Salem Band, dating from 1772, is second only to the Moravian Trombone Choir of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania as being the oldest band in the U.S. The 11th Regt. and the 33rd Regt. NCV also came from the Salem / Bethania area. Julius Leinbach, the band's principle arranger, Eb Bass and later 2nd Cornet, probably arranged this medley. SEE LORENA The second tune Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still was another sentimental ballad loved by soldiers but despised by officers for their effect on troop morale. The quickstep was the perfect vehicle to present the tunes for the troops without aggravating the command. This was the last piece played by the 26th before Lee's surrender.
Cheer Boys Cheer , Henry Russell (1812-1900) [26th NC, C.S.A. Band Books]
Henry Russell, the famous English showman, lived in America from 1833 through 1841 and wrote several of his most enduring songs during his stay. A Life On the Ocean Wave, Woodman, Spare That Tree, and The Old Arm Chair were others composed during his tenure as organist of the First Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York. He studied with Rossini in Naples. "Cheer", which was later adopted by the British Army as the official troop departure song, originally appeared in a production entitled "The Emigrant's Progress or Life in the Far West." The words were written by Dr. Charles Mackay.
Prima Donna Waltz , Louis Antoine Jullien [Brass Band Journal, 1854]
Slumber Polka , ?, ?, [26th NC, C.S.A. Band Books]
This tune also appears in Squire's Cornet Band Olio as Sleepy Polka.
Come Dearest The Daylight is Gone , ?, Brinley Richards (1817 - 1885) [26th North Carolina C.S.A. Band Books]
Richards was a Welsh pianist, teacher and composer. He was a pupil at the Royal Academy of Music in London and wrote the popular song "God Bless the Prince of Wales." It was said this was Robert E. Lee's favorite song.
Bonnie Blue Flag , 1861, Harry Macarthy (1834-1888) tune: by Valentine Vousden [Squire's Cornet Band Olio]
The original tune by Vousden was called "The Irish Jaunting Car" and should not be confused with another of a similar name, " The Low-Backed Jaunting Car."The words of the song represent a "parade of secession" as they tell how each State became part of the Confederacy. After publication, Macarthy, the English born "Arkansas Comedian," added new words to encourage Missouri and Kentucky to join. When Gen. Benjamin Butler, U.S.A. occupied New Orleans in 1862, he levied a fine of $25 for anyone caught singing, playing or whistling the song. He then ordered the song's publisher, A.E. Blackmar, arrested, fined $500 and all copies destroyed.
God Save The South , 1863, Charles Wolfgang Amadeus Ellerbrock [piano]
With a name like his, Charles Ellerbrock was destined to become a composer. His composition, loosely based on God Save the King, became the un-official National Anthem of the Confederacy— a position it held with several others.
The Vacant Chair , 1862, Henry S. Washburn & George F. Root [piano: Root & Cady]
Sub-titled "We Shall Meet but We Shall Miss Him" the subject of the song is 18 year old Lt. John William Grout of the 15th Mass. Vol. Inf. who was killed Oct. 21, 1861 at Balls Bluff. He was to receive his first furlough in a few weeks. Washburn, a guest in the Grout home for Thanksgiving, noted the unoccupied place at the dinner table and was moved to write the poem in honor of "Willie." His friend G.F. Root set the poem to music and published it in 1862. The universality of the lyrics was evident as it was published in the South three times.
Listen to the Mockingbird Q.S. , 1854, Septimus Winner and Richard Milburn [3rd NH "Port Royal" Band Books]
Winner was from a musical family in that his father was a violin maker and his brother, Joseph, was also a composer (The Little Brown Jug). Septimus was a storekeeper and music teacher in Philadelphia where in the street he would hear "Whistlin' Dick" Milburn, a Negro boy, serenading people in the street with his guitar and bird-like warbling. Winner used one of Dick's melodies for Mockingbird and gave him prominent credit on the published music. He published it under his mother's name, Alice Hawthorne. He also gave Dick a job in the store. Lacking foresight, Winner sold the rights to the song for $5.00 after slow initial sales. The song sold millions of copies over the next 50 years. Later editions removed the credit to Milburn.
Home! Sweet Home! , 1823, Henry Bishop (1786-1855) [Dodworth's Brass Band School, 1853]
This most popular song is from the opera "Clari" or "The Maid of Milan" and is based on a Sicilian Air. The words were by an American, John H. Payne. There are several accounts of the song being sung and played by opposing troops in close proximity. Since this song is not sung loudly, one can only imagine how close these camps were to one another. The night before the Battle of Murfreesboro, rival army bands, camped within earshot of one another, began playing patriotic tunes. After alternating this way for some time, the bands played "Home! Sweet Home!" together. The next morning the armies slaughtered one another by the thousands.
Star - Spangled Banner , John Stafford Smith (1750-1836) tune: To Anacreon In Heaven [3rd NH Band Books]
With words written by Francis Scott Key (The Defense of Fort Henry) this tune was one of several patriotic airs that were popular during the war. The South had its own version with new words, called 'The Cross of the South." This arrangement is by Claudio S. Grafulla and is found in the 3rd NH "Port Royal" bandbooks. It was played during the raising of the U.S. flag over Fort Sumter on April 14, 1865 at the conclusion of the war. The song became the U.S. National Anthem in 1931. The original tune was popular in England (pre Anacreon) as early as the 1770's with the publication of "The Anacreontic Song" in 1778.
Skyrockets! or "Drum Corps" or "Grafulla's Q.S.", 1860, Claudio S. Grafulla (1810-1880) [3rd NH "Port Royal Band Books]
Originally written for the band of the 7th Regt. New York State Militia, the chart found its way into the books of the 3rd New Hampshire. SEE COLLEGE GALOP. It was later published as a piano solo (1860) and again for brass band under the title Skyrockets! This arrangement uses the 3rd NH version with embellishment from the published sources.
Indiana Polka , Edmund Jaeger [Peters' Saxhorn Journal, 1859]
Peter's Saxhorn Journal was published for use by bands of as few as six players. The charts used doubling to ensure a complete sound with the minimum of horns. These were popular arrangements, demonstrated by the fact they were still being offered for sale in the 1870's.
Hail to the Chief , 1812, James Sanderson (1760-1841) [25th Mass. Band Books]
The "March & Chorus from the Dramatic Romance of the Lady of the Lake" is the inscription on the 1812 American publication of this tune. It was played at Martin Van Buren's inauguration in 1837 and later became the Official March of the President of the United States.
St. Patrick's Day In The Morning & Garry Owen , traditional Irish / Welsh [3rd NH "Port Royal" Band Books]
"St. Patrick's Day" was reportedly played by the pipers of an Irish brigade at the battle of Fontenoy on May 11, 1745, and published as early as 1748. The tune has been popular with American fifers since the latter part of the 18th century. "Garry Owen" is said to have been played in 1800 in a pantomime entitled "Harlequin Amulet." George Armstrong Custer liked the tune so much he had his mounted 7th Cavalry Band play it wherever they went including into battle during the Indian Wars.
Kathleen Mavourneen , 1837, Frederick Crouch (1808-1896) [music found in the archives of the U.S. Marine Corps]
Before moving to America in 1849, Crouch was a well-known English songwriter who often chose Irish themes. The poem, written by Mrs. Marion Crawford, appeared in Metropolitan Magazine, and was immediately set to music by Crouch. The two subsequently met and collaborated further. Crouch played in the Royal Coburg Theatre at age 9. Later, he played cello at Drury Lane and sang in the choirs of Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's. He came to America with an Italian opera company and settled in Virginia. He served the Confederacy by performing on trumpet and working at Richmond Hospital.
When Johnny Comes Marching Home , 1863, Louis Lambert (Patrick S. Gilmore) [3rd NH "Port Royal" Band Books]
Gilmore, born in Ireland, came to the U.S. in 1840 and quickly made a name for himself. By 1850 he was conductor of the Boston Brigade Band and at the outset of war was Bandmaster of the 24th Mass. Band. While stationed in New Orleans (1863) he was made Bandmaster for the U.S.Army. There has been controversy over the tune's origin, some saying it was an old Irish tune or written by minstrels, supported by the fact the tune, with different words, had been in print prior to the publication of Johnny; but to-date no proof of publication has been produced. Gilmore later admitted the tune was a "musical waif" that he rescued. The song, despite its tremendous popularity, reached its pinnacle 35 years later during the Spanish-American War.
La Marseillaise , (also "The Virginia Marseillaise" et al) , 1792, Claude Roget de Lisle [26th NC, C.S.A. Band Books]
Identifying themselves with all revolutionary movements, the Confederates adopted the French Marseillaise. Many States contributed their own words and added their name to the title. It was played at the inauguration of Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, Alabama. As the rally-song of the South, it so infuriated Northerners that when visiting French actors opened their show with it at a New York theater, they were promptly arrested for being secessionists.
Hurrah-Storm Galop , Kéler-Béla (Adalbert von Keller) (1820-1882) arr: C.S. Grafulla [3rd NH "Port Royal" Books]
The raging tempest in the introduction is reminiscent of Von Suppe's "Poet and Peasant Overture." Kéler-Béla was a popular, Hungarian waltz conductor (like Gung'l) and composer. He conducted Gung'l's orchestra during 1854-55. He served as Bandmaster in the 10th Austrian Infantry Regt. from 1856-1863 and wrote many works for military band. His most famous composition is Lustspiel Overture. It is fun to have the audience sing along after the layered fanfares. The tune also appears in the books of the 26th NC, C.S.A. The words are easy enough: "Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!"
Red White & Blue , ?, Thomas E. Williams [Stratton Military Band Journal]