In 2016 David Gordon established an unusual and popular winter concert series in historic Jacksonville, Oregon. He has presented several dozen concerts based on fascinating historical and cultural themes from the 19th Century.
David has featured nearly 100 vintage songs in this series, each with its own memorable and carefully researched story. The complete 4-year songlist is shown below, arranged here chronologically by the year the song was first published. A few historic events have been added for a bit of context.
David's arrangements are based on original sheet music from the 19th and early 20th Century. The earliest words and tunes are occasionally a bit different from the versions we have come to know today—the details add vintage color and flavor to the songs. To listen to audio samples, click here.

Songs Popular in 19th Century America

1805

The Last Rose of Summer(Thomas Moore/traditional tune)

 

1823

Home! Sweet Home! (John Howard Payne & Henry Bishop)

David

1825

Erie Canal completed between Hudson River and Lake Erie

1840

U.S. population reaches 17 million

1841

A few dozen wagons travel west on the Oregon Trail

1843

Western emigration begins in earnest; 1000s head west

The Boatmen Dance (Daniel Decatur Emmett)

Long, Long Ago (Thomas Haynes Bayly)

Oh We Won't Go Home Until Morning (William Clifton)

1844

Samuel F.B. Morse sends the first telegraph message

The Blue Juniata (Marion Dixon Sullivan)

Open Thy Lattice, Love (Stephen Foster)

1847

O Susanna (Stephen Foster)

 

The Spider and the Fly (Jesse Hutchinson)

 
  1841—1848, c.17,000 emigrants traveled overland to Oregon, California, & Utah

1848

The US wins the war with Mexico and acquires the western territories

Gold is discovered in California. In 1848 most miners were already living in California

1849

California Gold Rush begins. This year, 80,000 travel to California, overland or by ship

O California (Jonathan Nichols. To the tune of O Susanna)

Nelly was a Lady (Stephen Foster)

1850

U.S. population: 23 million   •   California becomes the 31st state

Levi Strauss “bibless overalls” (blue jeans) introduced in San Francisco

New York Times begins publication   •   First Singer Sewing Machine is patented

Seeing the Elephant (John A. Stone. To the tune of The Boatmen Dance)

What was your name in the States? (anon.)

Kentucky Home

Ah! may the Red Rose Live Alway (Stephen Foster)

Twenty Years Ago (Smith & Willing)

1851

Gold rush in Northern California in Siskiyou County

 

Wait for the Wagon (R. B. Buckley)

 

Old Folks at Home (Swanee River) (Stephen Foster)

1852

Gold rush in Southern Oregon around Jacksonville

Wells, Fargo Co. and Otis Elevator are founded

Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)

The Miner’s Farewell (James L. Pierpont)

My Old Kentucky Home (Stephen Foster)

Do They Miss Me at Home?(Caroline Mason & S.M. Grannis)

The Old Log Hut (R.M. Sinclair) ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat")

Lilly Dale (H S. Thompson)

1853

The first U.S. World's Fair takes place in New York

Commodore Perry and U.S. Naval fleet arrive in Japan to establish diplomatic contact

1854

Hard Times (Charles Dickens)

 

Hard Times, Come Again No More (Stephen Foster)

1855

West Coast Gold Rush fades. Gold is harder to find and more expensive to extract

Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)

Listen to the Mockingbird (Milburn & Winner)

Over the Summer Sea (anon. arrangement of "La donna e mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto)

Miner’s Lament (John A. Stone. Tune: Lilly Dale)

Love's Old Sweet Song

The Ship That Never Returned (Henry C. Work)

Some Folks (Stephen Foster)

1856

Western Union Company founded

Sweet Betsy from Pike (John A. Stone)

Gentle Annie (Stephen Foster)

1857

The Miner’s Song (Swett & Kemp)

1858

The California Stage Company (John A. Stone)

Champagne Charlie (Alfred Lee)

Billy’s Back Room (Rob Roy)

1859

On the Origin of Species (Charles Darwin)

The Rose-Bush (Faustina Hasse Hodges)

Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)

1860

U.S. population reaches 31 million.

In the Days of 49 (Charles Bensell)

I’ll Twine ’Mid the Ringlets ("Wildwood Flower") (Joseph Philbrick Webster & Maud Irving)

1861

Civil War hostilities begin at Ft. Sumter.

Nearer My God to Thee (Sarah Flower Adams)

Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line

James Lingenfelter of Jacksonville is the first Oregonian killed in combat in the Civil War

Roughing It by Mark Twain, describing his journey from the midwest to San Francisco

1862

People Will Talk (S. M Grannis)

Bonnie Blue Flag (Harry McCarthy) plus several Union versions.

If You've Only Got a Moustache (Stephen Foster)

1863

All Quiet Along the Potomac To-night (Fontaine & Hewitt)

We're Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground (Walter Kittredge)

When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Patrick Gilmore, as Louis Lambert)

1864

The Salvation Army is founded

Battle Cry of Freedom (George F. Root) Both the Union and the Confederate versions.

Beautiful Dreamer (Stephen Foster)


   
 
 
 

Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (The Prisoner's Hope) (G.F. Root)

1865

Civil War Armistice

Song of the Overland Stage Driver (Nat Stein)

Marching Through Georgia (Henry Clay Work)

Love on the Brain (Mrs. E. A. Parkhurst)

1866

Eating Goober Peas (anon)

1867

Don’t Marry a Man if He Drinks (Kidder & Parkhurst)

1868

The Cincinnati Red Stockings are the first pro Baseball Club

The Man on the Flying Trapeze (Lee & Leybourne)

The French Velocipede (Harry Miller)

1869

First transcontinental railroad is completed

 

Hurrah For Our National Game (Walter Neville)

1870

U.S. population reaches 38 million.

1869

First intercollegiate football game: Rutgers–Princeton

Campbell Soup Co. and H. J. Heinz Co. are established

Song of the Sewing Machine (Will Hays)

Up in a Balloon (Harry Birch)

The Flying Velocipede (Brio)

1871

The Wonderful Musician (Greenaway and Davies)

1872

Second Wave of the anti-alchohol Temperance Movement

The Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America is founded

Courting in the Rain (Vincent Davies)

1874

The Women's Christian Temperance Union is founded

The Base Ball Song (W. J. Bullock)

Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Never Touch Mine (Booth & Evans)

1875

Ulysses Grant becomes president

Banjo
 

Oh Papa, Don’t Drink Any More (French & Blake)

Oh Barney, Take Me Home Again (George W. Brown)

1876

I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen(Thos. P. Westendorf)

My Grandfather’s Clock (Henry Clay Work)

Have Courage, My Boy, to Say No(Penrose & Keens)

1877

The Wondrous Telephone (Thomas Paine Westendorf)

Charlie the Telegraph Clerk (T. Brigham Bishop)

In the Gloaming (Annie Fortescue Harrison)

1878

The Electric Light Waltz (Hazelton & Spencer)

1879

WCTU membership reaches 12,000

I’m a Western Union Telegraph Boy (Herbert Spencer)

Rock-A-Bye Baby (Effie Crocket)

1882

The Great Rock Island Route (J. A. Roff)

1884

Love's Old Sweet Song (James Molloy)

1891

After the Ball (Charles K. Harris)

1899

A Bird in a Gilded Cage (Harry Von Tilzer & Albert Lamb)

 

 

Keep On the Sunny Side of Life (Ada Blenkhorn & J. Howard Entwisle)

 

My Wild Irish Rose (Chauncey Olcott)

20th Century - Tin Pan Alley and Beyond

1901

The Olds Company builds the first assembly line-produced car.

Take me up with you

1903

First flight by the Wright Brothers

1905

In My Merry Oldsmobile (Gus Edwards & Vincent Bryan)

1906

Shine On, Harvest Moon (Dave Stamper)

 

Low Bridge, Everybody Down (Thomas Allen)

1909

Take Me Up With You, Dearie (A. Von Tilzer & Junie McCree)

1910

Let me Call you Sweetheart (Leo Friedman & Beth Whitson)

1913

When Irish Eyes are Smiling (Chauncey Olcott & Ernest Ball)

1914

TooRaLooRaLooRal (James Royce)

1930

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime (Hal Gorney & Yip Harburg)

1951

Two Brothers (Albert Gordon)

1994

What You Do With What You've Got (Si Kahn)

2017

Oregon Place Names Song (David Gordon, written for this series)

Folk Songs  (18th to mid-19th Century)

 

The Water is Wide

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Poor Wayfarin' Stranger

Oh Shenandoah

One More River to Cross

I Am a Rovin' Gambler

Jack o' Diamonds / Rye Whiskey

The Girl I Left Behind Me

Begone, Dull Care

   and probably more...

 


To listen to audio samples, click here

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