The Black and White Minstrel Show was a (very cheesy) British variety series that ran Saturday nights on the BBC for twenty years. Hard to believe that it was still on the air as late as 1978. A live show, "Memories of the Minstrels ," toured the UK to packed houses in 2004 and 2005. The show was performed white-faced and featured the stars, medley's and costumes from the original TV series. Previously. [more inside]
In the pantheon of American popular music, Pennsylvanian Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864) is a muse to all followers. He penned: "Oh, Susanna"; "My Old Kentucky Home"; "Old Folks at Home" ('Way Down Upon the Swanee River') and "Camptown Races" among a legacy of over 200 songs. Foster contributed greatly to the rise in popularity of the minstrel shows, displaying a humanitarian attitude towards blacks in his 'plantation songs', despite only visiting the south once briefly on his honeymoon. Copyright being what it was in those days, he made not much more than $9000 in his lifetime from publishing royalties. He died a pauper in New York following a head injury and was found with just 38c and a scrap of paper in his pocket book that read: "Dear friends and gentle hearts". His sketch book of songs was recently digitized and is hosted by the University of Pittsburgh. via
'The Cantigas de Santa Maria medieval-era manuscripts were written during the reign of Alfonso X "El Sabio" (1221-1284) and are one of the largest collections of monophonic (solo) songs from the middle ages ... ' Images.