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Mary Walsh and Black Hawk

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  • jazzpianist
    I m trying to work something out, and in spite of all that I get there are some things I know I don t get. I ll never have all the answers - just, maybe,
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 27, 2012
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      I'm trying to work something out, and in spite of all that I "get" there are some things I know I don't "get." I'll never have all the answers - just, maybe, 53.4% of them. Oh well.

      What is it with that Black Hawk Waltz? It seems to have been perpetually in print throughout the ragtime era. There are many trickier and lovely waltzes (Mistletoe Waltzes is one of my faves), and yet Black Hawk is pervasive and difficult to avoid.

      Quick background. It was first published in Philadelphia in 1874, and picked up by Ditson in Boston who started publishing it the same year, with a big push in 1877 with a second edition. An 1897 edition made the rounds as well, and one in 1903, and 1906, and so on into the 1950s. It was likely written to commemorate a conflict with Chief Black Hawk, the only combat situation in which Abraham Lincoln was ever directly involved.

      However - consider this: It was popular before the Indian-themed pieces of 1902 forward. The composer died in 1884 (yes, in spite of the odds I did find her) long before the ragtime era. It actually was distributed by Eclipse in Philadelphia starting in the 1910s, which was often bargain basement material. And, it's a nineteenth century waltz.

      So please give me some perspective, or some kind of clue. Is it how it plays? Sounds? Resonates? The cover? The sheer volume of copies? There has to be some reason.

      BTW, Walsh wrote many other fine pieces going back to 1864 near the end of the Civil War when she was 17. I am including her on the CD-ROM addendum of the book because of the popularity of Black Hawk. Just want to provide some context. For newbies to this piece, you can find several recordings on youtube.

      Bill E.
    • Bryan Cather
      Its almost as pervasive on piano rolls as The Rosary and The Prisoners Song .  I think I ve seen it on roll labels as Black Hawk Waltzes (plural)
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 27, 2012
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        Its almost as pervasive on piano rolls as "The Rosary" and "The Prisoners Song".  I think I've seen it on roll labels as "Black Hawk Waltzes" (plural) also...though I'm not sure of this.

        BryanC

        --- On Thu, 12/27/12, jazzpianist <perfbill@...> wrote:

        From: jazzpianist <perfbill@...>
        Subject: [EliteSyncopations] Mary Walsh and Black Hawk
        To: EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 11:02 AM

         

        I'm trying to work something out, and in spite of all that I "get" there are some things I know I don't "get." I'll never have all the answers - just, maybe, 53.4% of them. Oh well.

        What is it with that Black Hawk Waltz? It seems to have been perpetually in print throughout the ragtime era. There are many trickier and lovely waltzes (Mistletoe Waltzes is one of my faves), and yet Black Hawk is pervasive and difficult to avoid.

        Quick background. It was first published in Philadelphia in 1874, and picked up by Ditson in Boston who started publishing it the same year, with a big push in 1877 with a second edition. An 1897 edition made the rounds as well, and one in 1903, and 1906, and so on into the 1950s. It was likely written to commemorate a conflict with Chief Black Hawk, the only combat situation in which Abraham Lincoln was ever directly involved.

        However - consider this: It was popular before the Indian-themed pieces of 1902 forward. The composer died in 1884 (yes, in spite of the odds I did find her) long before the ragtime era. It actually was distributed by Eclipse in Philadelphia starting in the 1910s, which was often bargain basement material. And, it's a nineteenth century waltz.

        So please give me some perspective, or some kind of clue. Is it how it plays? Sounds? Resonates? The cover? The sheer volume of copies? There has to be some reason.

        BTW, Walsh wrote many other fine pieces going back to 1864 near the end of the Civil War when she was 17. I am including her on the CD-ROM addendum of the book because of the popularity of Black Hawk. Just want to provide some context. For newbies to this piece, you can find several recordings on youtube.

        Bill E.

      • jazzpianist
        The first limited edition Philadelphia printing was as Waltz. However, given that it had five themes, Ditson, when they took it on in 1874, printed it as
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 27, 2012
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          The first limited edition Philadelphia printing was as Waltz. However, given that it had five themes, Ditson, when they took it on in 1874, printed it as Waltzes. I have seen both since.

          Bill E.

          --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, Bryan Cather <catt967@...> wrote:
          >
          > Its almost as pervasive on piano rolls as "The Rosary" and "The Prisoners Song".  I think I've seen it on roll labels as "Black Hawk Waltzes" (plural) also...though I'm not sure of this.
          > BryanC
          > --- On Thu, 12/27/12, jazzpianist <perfbill@...> wrote:
          >
          > From: jazzpianist <perfbill@...>
          > Subject: [EliteSyncopations] Mary Walsh and Black Hawk
          > To: EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 11:02 AM
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          > I'm trying to work something out, and in spite of all that I "get" there are some things I know I don't "get." I'll never have all the answers - just, maybe, 53.4% of them. Oh well.
          >
          >
          >
          > What is it with that Black Hawk Waltz? It seems to have been perpetually in print throughout the ragtime era. There are many trickier and lovely waltzes (Mistletoe Waltzes is one of my faves), and yet Black Hawk is pervasive and difficult to avoid.
          >
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          > Quick background. It was first published in Philadelphia in 1874, and picked up by Ditson in Boston who started publishing it the same year, with a big push in 1877 with a second edition. An 1897 edition made the rounds as well, and one in 1903, and 1906, and so on into the 1950s. It was likely written to commemorate a conflict with Chief Black Hawk, the only combat situation in which Abraham Lincoln was ever directly involved.
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          > However - consider this: It was popular before the Indian-themed pieces of 1902 forward. The composer died in 1884 (yes, in spite of the odds I did find her) long before the ragtime era. It actually was distributed by Eclipse in Philadelphia starting in the 1910s, which was often bargain basement material. And, it's a nineteenth century waltz.
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          > So please give me some perspective, or some kind of clue. Is it how it plays? Sounds? Resonates? The cover? The sheer volume of copies? There has to be some reason.
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          > BTW, Walsh wrote many other fine pieces going back to 1864 near the end of the Civil War when she was 17. I am including her on the CD-ROM addendum of the book because of the popularity of Black Hawk. Just want to provide some context. For newbies to this piece, you can find several recordings on youtube.
          >
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          > Bill E.
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