Beautiful Dreamer: Remembering Stephen Foster

Stephen Collins Foster, one of the most significant songwriters in American history, died 150 years ago today. With over 200 songs to his credit, Foster penned tunes and lyrics that have stood the test of time: “Oh! Susanna,” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,” “Camptown Races,” and “My Old Kentucky Home” are just a handful of those titles. One of his most beloved songs is the sentimental ballad “Beautiful Dreamer,” written shortly before Foster’s death (see the sheet music cover that indicates: “One of the latest songs of Stephen C. Foster composed a short time befor[e] his death”).

The Performing Arts Encyclopedia holds a substantial amount of digitized Foster sheet music, and the Library’s National Jukebox features countless early 20th-century recordings of Foster’s songs. There is a bounty of information to search on the Library of Congress’ websites; for now, however, take just a moment out of your day to listen to a 1919 recording of operatic contralto Louise Homer performing Foster’s touching “Hard Times Come Again No More” with the Criterion Quartet and enjoy images of Foster available in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.

 

Woodcut print of Stephen C. Foster by Howard Simon. Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Woodcut print of Stephen C. Foster by Howard Simon. Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Portrait of Stephen C. Foster, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Portrait of Stephen C. Foster, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Audra McDonald Confirmed for Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 8pm

Audra McDonald’s concert at the Library of Congress has been confirmed for Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 8:00pm in the Coolidge Auditorium. This concert was originally scheduled for October 10, 2013, and was affected by the partial shutdown of the federal government. All tickets for the original date will be honored on February 1. We […]

Winter/Spring 2014 Concert Tickets Available January 8* at 10am EST

Happy New Year! The 2013-2014 Concerts from the Library of Congress season of “Extraordinary Artists—Extraordinary Audiences” resumes this January. Our Winter/Spring season features a wide array of artists and genres, from hip new music (JACK Quartet, Koussevitzky Legacy Celebration, Oliver Knussen Residency) to bluegrass played by Steep Canyon Rangers and Dailey & Vincent. WINTER/SPRING 2014 […]

Jazz Film Fridays at the Mary Pickford Theater

This Friday, the Music Division’s popular jazz film series returns to the Mary Pickford Theater.  Senior Reference Specialist Larry Appelbaum curated the series and provided program notes. Friday evenings at 7:00 pm – Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building. No tickets or reservations needed. Limited seating begins at 6:30pm. Programs subject to change without […]