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Historic Jacksonville Inc
presents Season Two of

Pioneer History in Story and Song - with David Gordon

Naversen Room, Jacksonville Library
340 West "C" Street (free parking!)
Jacksonville, Oregon 97530 MAPLink

Each 1-hour show includes 8 or 9 songs originally popular during the pioneer era (c. 1840-1880). The narration is designed to get inside the songs, place them into their historical context, and help us to connect with them in the flow of history.

These events are intimate, casual, fun, and filled with memorable music and fascinating historical background. The combination of colorful music and true stories ignites the imagination, and brings life to history.

Tickets are $5, and all proceeds go to Historic Jacksonville Inc, the tireless non-profit that produces this series and many other living history events in Jacksonville throughout the year.

Our intimate venue seats about 65, and although a few tickets are often available at the door, advance reservations are very strongly recommended. It's easy. Please click here to reserve your tickets by email,or phone 541-245-3650. Many people are reserving multiple concerts in advance through June.


(Each program is performed twice: at 2:00pm and again at 3:30pm)

Sunday, January 8
  Stephen Foster - Making Music American

The first American freelance composer, and the most famous songwriter of the 19th Century, Stephen Foster died penniless in 1864 at the age of 37. David tells the story of Foster's brief life, and how he sought to create a new kind of American song. During the narration, David will sing a dozen Foster songs, including Open Thy Lattice, Love; Oh, Susanna; Camptown Races; Swanee River (Old Folks at Home); My Old Kentucky Home; Hard Times Come Again No More; Some Folks; Beautiful Dreamer; and excerpts from several others.

Sunday, February 5
  Music on the Oregon Trail

On the Oregon Trail, you couldn't bring much with you, but you could bring songs. During the six-month trek, music was a source of strength, hope, entertainment, and consolation. For this program, history and stories of the great western migration are interwoven with music specifically mentioned in emigrants' own diaries. These are songs the pioneers actually recalled singing and hearing as they made their way west in the 1840s and '50s, including: Wait for the Wagon; Home, Sweet Home; The Girl I left Behind Me; What was Your Name in the States; Begone, Dull Care; My Old Kentucky Home; O, California; and more.

** Sunday, March 5
  Newfangled Inventions

One hour of 19th-Century songs extolling the latest inventions! 150 years ago, before radio or phonograph, songwriters published some odd but strangely uplifting songs about the velocipede (bicycle), hot air balloons, electric lights, the telegraph, the telephone, the sewing machine, baseball, and more. The playlist will include songs like: The Base Ball Song; The New Electric Light; Song of the Sewing Machine; Take Me Up with You Dearie; The Wondrous Telephone; The Telegraph Boy; and The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze. (He was a real person, and he invented something!)

Sunday, April 9
  The Women Ballad Composers

In 1844, Marion Sullivan became the first American woman to write a hit song. Despite living in a time when "proper" ladies were actively discouraged from any form of public musical activity, Sullivan and other bold 19th-Century women created and published beautiful, memorable songs. This hour focusses on those female musical pioneers and their ballads, including The Blue Juniata; In the Gloaming; All Quiet Along the Potomac, Tonight; Do They Miss Me at Home; The Old Log Hut ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat"); I'll Twine 'Mid the Ringlets ("Wildwood Flower"); and other gems.

Sunday, June 4
  Pioneer Laughter

Songs can be created purely to lighten the burdens of life, and composers and poets sometimes go to great comic lengths to do so. This concert is an hour of truly goofy mid-19th-Century creations like: People Will Talk; If You Only Have a Moustache; The Overland Stage; The Wonderful Musician; The Spider and the Fly (yes, that song really does exist); plus Mark Twain's description of travelling in a stage coach, and a brief but earnest sermon on the parable of "Old Mother Hubbard."

 
(The songlists for this series are always subject to changes here and there, right up to the last minute, but only to make things better.)


David in Concert
Wallace Stegner Quote