Saturday, September 7, 2013

Not My Victrola: Way Down Upon The....

Swanee River was a popular subject in songs for a very long time. There are many renditions on YouTube, by a multitude of singers and orchestras, but the one thing they have in common is... they are "Sad and Dreary."
 You can only stand so much of that, although sad and dreadful ballads sold well for decade after decade...but folks want to smile, to laugh, and to dance. Collins and Harlan performed this humorous Swanee River number for the Zonophone label in September 1912, while the Ragtime and Minstrel era was still going strong. Uploaded by Paul Harrison. Then came the Jazz Age, and George Gershwin... You can sing like Al if you just follow the words on this 1919 piano roll. It remains to be seen if someone will make a 21st century hit about the Swanee River.

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