September 20, 2005 at noon
Dale Jett and the Carter Singers perform a Carter Family Tribute — Old Time Music from Virginia
NEA National Heritage Fellow Concert
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The Original Carter Family was the most influential group in early country music, recording dozens of hit songs between 1927 and 1941. Made up of A. P. Carter, his wife Sara Carter, and her cousin Maybelle Carter (who got the Carter surname by marrying A. P.’s brother Ezra), the group established many of the conventions of the genre, including styles of guitar playing and vocal harmony that remained standard for years. The Carters also collected and arranged many folk songs from both white and black traditions, bringing folk ballads, lyric songs and blues firmly into popular Country music.
The Seeger family has been at the forefront of American creativity for nearly a century. Ancestors of the Seegers sailed to America on the Mayflower, and fought in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. In recent times, the Seeger family has been known primarily for its contributions to music. As scholars, composers, performers, and musicians, Seegers have enriched American life, music, and scholarship. They have also been fiercely principled, following in the footsteps of their abolitionist forebears.
Battalion of Marine Corps. Washington Navy Yard. April, 1864. This detail showing the Marine Band may provide the best available record of the instrumentation of the band at the time. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC-B8171-7698.
Call Number: LOT 4190F.
Set of over-the-shoulder saxhorns from the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, Division of Musical Instruments. From left to right: E-flat soprano saxhorn, B-flat contralto saxhorn, E-flat tenor horn, B-flat bass (baritone), and E-flat bass (tuba).
The cornets and saxhorns made up the all-brass bands of the 1850s and remained a popular, though decreasingly prominent, feature of American wind bands hrough the nineteenth century. The leading E-flat soprano part usually demanded extraordinary virtuosity, and the prominent role played by the E-flat cornet or soprano saxhorn-Flügelhorn-type instruments is characteristic of early American brass band music. At the same time, the uniquely homogeneous and mellow sound created by the whole family of horns ranging from soprano to bass is the outstanding quality of these instruments. All the instruments illustrated here bear the name “J. Howard Foote” but may have been manufactured by John Stratton. Foote and Stratton were partners for two years (1864-65), and Foote appears to have been a dealer rather than a maker. Stratton was an entrepreneur of first rank. He himself claimed to have developed the first plant for the mass production of brass instruments, and at a most propitious time. Just before the Civil War, he recognized the market for band instruments that could be delivered immediately and were not made to order. The war and the great number of instruments required by the Union Army made him and his New York factory a great success.
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