Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Have we discussed this book?

http://books.google.com/books?id=1-0PAAAAYAAJ&ots=P5XyyaaAVW&am...!&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

It looks interesting.

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Okay it's not the most ground-breaking of biographies.  Rather short, actually.  I did like Emmett statement, about the original Virginia Minstrels, "We were all end men and interlocutors."  I would like to find more information on the evolution of the early minstrel show in the 1840's.  We know that the Virginia Minstrels went to the British Isles shortly after their debut, which was largely unsuccessful for various reasons, and by the time Emmett returned the minstrel show had become widely popular.  Had it already evolved into the regular format of the ante-bellum show?

I didn't mean to say their debut was unsuccessful, rather their British Isles tour was.  Actually, this book gives an interesting account of their debut; I'm not sure I've read of it this way elsewhere.  The puzzlement over their unconventional presentation, and gradually winning the audience over.  Could be a fictional account, but clearly something happened that night in Dec. 1843.



Carl Anderton said:

Okay it's not the most ground-breaking of biographies.  Rather short, actually.  I did like Emmett statement, about the original Virginia Minstrels, "We were all end men and interlocutors."  I would like to find more information on the evolution of the early minstrel show in the 1840's.  We know that the Virginia Minstrels went to the British Isles shortly after their debut, which was largely unsuccessful for various reasons, and by the time Emmett returned the minstrel show had become widely popular.  Had it already evolved into the regular format of the ante-bellum show?

Carl:

Sorry in advance if you all have already talked about these books, but if you have not read them:

There is a book titled Dan Emmett and the Rise of Early Negro Minstrelsy by Hans Nathan (published in 1962 by University of Oklahoma Press) that I think you might find interesting too. It has a few chapters in it on the Virginia Minstrels in NY and Boston and then in Great Britain, and I think talks about Emmett with Bryant's Minstrels from 1858 to late 60s, and his subsequent walk arounds.

Aside from Emmett in particular, the first couple of chapters are dedicated into the start and development of the minstrels from the music of Charles Dibdin in England in the late 18th century through to the 1850s, then the book transitions in to Emmett in particular. 

I found also in our school's library a copy of a book titled The Birth of the Banjo, Joel Walker Sweeney and Early Minstrelsy by Bob Carlin published in 2007, going to check it out in the next week or so. The chapters look promising - amongst them 'The Virginia Minstrels and the Dawn of the Minstrel Show' and 'P.T. Barnums Black Face Adventures'.

 

 

Yes, and it does a great job of tying in the source material (European melodies) to the early Minstrel tunes. See "Bow Wow Wow" for Gumbo Chaff.

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