Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Mid 1800s NYC music venue...and on up to today....


the first "Occupy Wall St" ? :

The Academy of Music was no stranger to the crazed party atmosphere. From Edwin G. Burrows’ and Mike Wallace’sGotham:

[The musical ensemble] Cercle Francais de l’Harmonie started hosting wild parties at the Academy of Music, New York’s sanctum sanctorum of high culture. Nouveau riche Wall Street brokers in fancy dress rubbed elbows and much else with the city’s assembled demimondaines, attired in costumes that exposed much, if not all, of their persons. As the champagne flowed, modesty was abandoned and the parties escalated to Mardi Gras levels....
.....In 1849, tens of thousands of incensed working-class New Yorkers stormed the elegant Astor Place Opera House, hurling bricks and stones through the windows onto the city’s elites sitting in the audience. City police and the state militia responded by firing their rifles into the crowd, killing at least 25 rioters and innocent bystanders.....
.....The theater began offering vaudeville shows in 1888, a more working-class form of entertainment that brought together a bafflingly wide variety of acts on one stage: minstrel musicians, dancers, comedians, magicians, circus entertainers, animals. Everything. Theater posters from the period show blackface comedians, half-naked women, musicians and celebrities.

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