Olde Towne Brass  



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A Southron Serenade CD

Olde Towne Brass: Live CD

Blue & Grey Olio CD

A Southron Serenade Tape

Band Music of the Blue & Grey Tape

Historic Notes  - A Southron Serenade

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.

The two most popular songs of the Confederacy, Dixie & Bonnie Blue Flag, are combined in this powerful arrangement. True to the original minstrel version of Dixie, written in 1859 by Daniel Decatur Emmett (1815-1904), the medley features a fast “walk-around” section after the tune. Harry Macarthy (1834-1888), the “Arkansas Comedian,” wrote the words to Bonnie Blue Flag in 1861 to celebrate the parade of secession, later adding additional verses to encourage Missouri and Kentucky to join the Confederacy. The tune is The Irish Jaunting Car, by Valentine Vousden. In Union occupied New Orleans, 1862, anyone caught singing, playing or whistling the song was fined $25. Publisher, A.E. Blackmar, was arrested, fined $500 and all his copies destroyed.

In the Finale of Gaetano Donizetti's (1797-1848) tragic opera Lucia di Lammermoor, Edgar, tormented by his beloved Lucy's forced marriage to Arthur, considers suicide and sings the aria: Tu che a Dio (You, beloved, who have winged to God…look upon me). Upon hearing of her death, after murdering Arthur, Edgar realizes his fate and stabs himself. Ironically, this deeply tragic selection was performed at Gettysburg by the combined 11th & 26th NC Bands during the cannonade preceding the Confederate advance on July 2nd 1863 where such terrible losses were incurred at The Peach Orchard, The Wheatfield, Devil’s Den and finally, Little Round Top.

Celebrated songwriter, John Rogers Thomas (1829-1896) wrote of a yearning for the simple life resting in Mother's arms “in the Cottage By The Sea.” Among his other works, found in the part books of the 26th , are Annie of the Vale and Bonnie Eloise. The latter, heard here, is also known as The Belle of the Mohawk Vale, and was arranged as a quickstep by Charles Siegel, bass player for the 14th South Carolina Band.

Screech Owl Gallop , is one of several selections written by William H. Hartwell, leader of the 16th Mississippi Band. On September 11, 1863, an impressive, formal review was held in which the 26th was a participant. 17 bands were presented as Gen. A.P. Hill's entire Third Corps passed in review of 25 to 30 thousand men. Later, while troops were positioning for a projected offensive against Meade, the bands sat down together and copied each other's books. “Professor” Hartwell also agreed to instruct the Moravians at a later date. Other selections included on this release are Dearest, I Think of Thee  Grand March, and Rappahannock Polka

Refusing to allow the soldier’s lifestyle to relegate their religious habits to a position of secondary importance, the band took every opportunity to perform chorales at camp services. These hymns, taken from The Moravian Church Band, include Nearer my God to Thee, Fairest Lord Jesus, A Mighty Fortress, Abide With Me, Eternal Father, Strong To Save and Holy, Holy, Holy.

                As a composer of hymns, Isaac Baker Woodbury (1819-1858) could proudly say more of his hymns were being sung than any by his contemporaries during his lifetime. Be Kind To the Loved Ones At Home , from 1847, was his most popular secular works.

Quickstep: Old Joe Hooker , is based on J. Warner’s Down in Alabam. In the popular song Jine the Cavalry there is a line “Ol’ Joe Hooker, won’t you come out The Wilderness.” The song became associated with General JEB Stuart and was probably sung quite often in his camp, if not by Stuart,  by his personal musician, Sam Sweeny. Sam’s older brother, Joe, is credited with inventing the American banjo.

James Ryder Randall, a Maryland native anxious to see his home state secede from the Union, wrote a poem exulting the solidarity demonstrated by Baltimore's citizens during the riots of 1861. His poem, Maryland, My Maryland, appeared in several newspapers and was set to the German O Tannenbaum by the  Cary sisters of Baltimore. Oliver Wendell Holmes praised Randall's poem as the best produced by the war. The Old North State, with words by William Gaston and music by Mrs. E.E. Randolph, is the official state song of North Carolina

Easter Galop was written by Edward Leinbach, brother of band member Julius Leinbach, who composed or arranged most of the music in the 26th NC Band Books. On Easter morning, Moravian musicians spread out across the region and begin playing their instruments and singing in the early hours before dawn. They “march” towards the center of town gathering believers along the way until they converge at the church where they celebrate The Day of Resurrection.

Richard “Whistlin' Dick” Milburn, a Negro street musician in Philadelphia was the inspiration to Septimus Winner that resulted in his Listen to the Mockingbird, though later editions removed the credit to Milburn. 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. Mockingbird Q.S. combines the melody with John P. Ordway’s Twinkling Stars are Laughing, Love.

Little is known about Silver Moon Q.S. References to similar titles can be found by James Hook and J.P. Ordway; however, no music has been found. Orleans Cadets Q.S. is by E.O. Eaton, whose other tunes include March of the Minute Men and Pelican Waltz.

Kitty Dear & Do They Miss Me At Home was one of the favorites of the Stonewall Brigade Band. Fare Thee Well, Kitty Dear was written by George F. Root for Henry Wood’s Minstrels and published under the penname G.Friedrich Wurzel.

Wurzel is German for Root. It is similar to Winner’s Mocking Bird, as the singer says his good-byes over his beloved Kitty’s grave. For Do They Miss Me at Home, Mrs. S.M. Grannis collaborated with lyricist Charles W. Glover. It is uncertain, from the lyrics, if the singer is separated from family or is calling from the “great beyond.” A typically morbid bit of Victorian sentiment set to a lively tune.

                 The first Regiment to be formed from the Salem, North Carolina area was the 11th NCV under Col. W.W. Kirkland. Six months later, the unit was re-designated the 21st  Regt. North Carolina Troops, C.S.A. The 21st Regiment  Q.S. was probably written by Edward Leinbach.

                The alternative title of George Linley’s  (1798-1865) ballad Thou Art Gone From My Gaze is The Spirit of Love Keeps A Watch Over Me. These suggest this may have been used at memorial services but would be welcome at a twilight serenade.

                Composer Marshall S. Pike was best known to the stage as a minstrel “wench.” His specialty was the comedic portrayal of Negro women. Home Again was his most popular ballad.

                Identifying themselves with all revolutionary movements, the Confederates adopted France’s La Marseillaise, written by Claude Roget de Lisle (1760-1836). Many states contributed their own words and added their name to the title. It was played at the inauguration of Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, AL. The tune 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.

                Charles T. White's minstrel song Oh, Carry [Take] Me Back to Ole Virginia's Shore should not be confused with James Bland's Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, written in 1878. The song also went by its first line: De Floatin' Scow ob Ole Virginia. It was sung by Confederates as they re-crossed the Potomac after the Battle of Antietam/Sharpsburg — the bloodiest day in American history.

                Both Charles Stein and C.D. Benson wrote versions of Mister, Here’s Your Mule, based on one of those soldier expressions, such as “Kilroy Was Here” in WW2. Infantrymen used the phrase to taunt cavalrymen. The phrase was associated with the disappearance of livestock and goods whenever John Hunt Morgan's raiders were in the area. Here's Your Mule Galop was arranged by W.H. Neave (1820-1902), whose brother, Edward, served as Chief Musician of the 4th NC Band.

                Henry Russell (1812-1900) 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. Cheer Boys Cheer originally appeared in a production entitled Far West or the Emigrant's Progress.

                Despite their names, Rev. Henry DeLafayette Webster and Joseph Philbrick Webster were not related, (some sources indicate brothers). Henry wrote the poem in tribute to Martha Ellen Blocksom, who later left him to marry a lawyer as she refused to live on a preacher's meager salary. Joseph suggested changing the name and using a variation on Edgar Allen Poe's Lenore. Lorena was the most popular ballad in the South, rivaled by Aura Lea in the North. Coupled with “Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still,” by William T. Wrighton, these two melancholy selections are transformed into a lively quickstep.

Tired and hungry, the “Battle of Five Forks” raging nearby, and being separated from the rest of their unit, the musicians sought refuge from a benevolent farm woman who gave them bread and meat. They repaid her kindness with a serenade of Lorena. This was the last time the 26th would play, as they surrendered 3 days later. Ironically, had they persevered for another 4 days, they would have received immediate pardons as part of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender terms. Instead, they were stripped of their instruments and sent to prison at Point Lookout, Maryland and held for 3 months.

The 26th Regimental Band

                “The immigration of the Moravians to America in the mid 1700’s was perhaps the single most important event in the development of North American music.” In what is now North Carolina, they established Wachovia with Salem as its principal township. 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 26th Regimental Band, North Carolina Troops, CSA was the third to be culled from the musically enriched community after the 11th Regt. NCV (later 21st  Regt. NCT, CSA ) and the 33rd Regt. NCV.  In late April of 1862, Samuel T. Mickey approached Col. Zebulon Vance about assigning his band to the 26th Regiment. By March 1, the band was engaged. During the course of the war, band members numbered as few as 6 and as many as 12. Though small, the band received accolades for its musicianship from all that heard them, including Gen. Robert E. Lee. Though most of their instruments were confiscated when they surrendered in 1865, the bandsmen kept their music books and were able to reorganize after their paroles in June and play, once again, for their home town, by July that same year.

— Terry Cornett


Ferguson, Benny P. The Bands of the Confederacy: An Examination of the Musical and Military Contributions of the Bands and Musicians of the Confederate States of America. unpublished doctoral dissertation, School of Music, North Texas State University, 1987.

Hall, Harry H. A Johnny Reb Band from Salem: The Pride of Tarheelia. Raleigh, NC: Confederate Centennial Commission.

Harwell, Richard B. Confederate Music. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1956


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