Played on my SS Stewart Imperial Banjeaurine

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Comment by carrie horgan on June 19, 2015 at 15:11

Warts and all! 

Comment by F. Chris Ware on June 19, 2015 at 18:40

Dear Carrie,

A spirited performance of a rarely-heard piece; and especially appropriate given the date in the US of “Juneteenth,” or the day (June 19th, 1865) that Texas slaves were officially freed, even though Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years earlier. (Though Weston was freeborn, there’s of course no denying the corrosive effects of slavery on every African-American citizen of the US, then and now, most pointedly in the recent extraordinarily horrific events in Charleston, South Carolina.)

I looked on the site and couldn’t find Weston’s obituary, which makes for interesting reading, so I’m posting it here (I have the June 1890 issue, which I guess isn’t part of the University of Rochester’s holdings. I guess I should also scan the whole thing — another day.) I think Weston is one of the most interesting figures in banjo history. Note the bizarre and ill-thought-out paragraph where Stewart publicly declares that he’d just paid Weston his overdue back royalties.

My very best wishes, 

C.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2204607/DeathofHoraceWeston.pdf

Comment by carrie horgan on June 20, 2015 at 8:07

Thank you so much for posting Horace Weston's obituary.  I could only find basic biographical information about him on the internet. His life is worthy of a novel - the line 'a few persons who through ignorance...may object to one of  the colored race being classed among the lights of musical art' gives a flavour of the rampant racism of the age he lived and what he must have had to contend with in being taking seriously as an artist.

I've made a list of known tunes composed by Horace Weston but would be interested to hear if others exist:

Horace Weston's Celebrated Polka

Horace Weston's Celebrated Minor Jig

Horace Weston's Old Time Jig

Alice Weston's Waltz

Egyption Fandango

Many thanks

Carrie

 

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