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Popular Music of the Gaslight Era (1890-1920) with John Root

on 11/1/2010

Friday, November 5th, 7:30 PM 

Holliston Historical Society is proud to invite the public to enjoy a presentation by John Root on Popular Music of the Gaslight Era (1890–1920) on Friday, November 5 at 7:30 PM at the Holliston Historical Society’s Asa Whiting House at 547 Washington Street.

This program features a delightful repertoire of instrumental and vocal musical styles and the songs’ lyrics offer insights into the customs and values of these bygone days. Everyone is invited to sing along and experience the range of feelings evoked by songs such as “I Love You Truly,” “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” “Bicycle Built For Two” and “The Sidewalks of New York.” Audiences will also learn how America’s ethnic and racial diversity created unique musical traditions that continue to delight and inspire today’s listeners.

“I will give a picture of what life was like at that time,” Root said. “Society was stratified by race and class. There were difficult times, including a Depression in the 1890s and World War I toward the end of the era. The songs reflected all that and the melody makes what would otherwise be a poem more memorable. The melody is appealing because of its pattern of repetition and variation on a theme.”

Bonnie Hurd Smith, Executive Director of Ipswich Historical Society had this to say after experiencing Root’s performance: “Not only is John a wonderful singer and musician, his voice fitting perfectly with songs from the Gaslight Era, but his vast knowledge of music history is an unexpected treat. He is a charismatic and interesting teacher, along with his considerable musical talent.”

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Holliston Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. A special invitation is being extended to new members of the Holliston Historical Society who will be recognized at a reception following the program.

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