Stephen Foster youth's golden gleam - online book

His Life And Background In Cincinnati 1846 - 1850 by Raymond Walters

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122             Youth's Golden Gleam
and also F. D. Benteen of Baltimore as his publishers. In the year 1850 they published fourteen of his songs and an instrumental composition.2 By February 23, 1850, Stephen was back in his native city of Pittsburgh^3 there to begin his career as a professional composer of music.
There is no use in scolding America of this pioneer age because it meted out to Stephen Foster meager paymentf for his music; the older European countries did not do better for Schubert and Mozart.
It is ungracious and quite futile to indulge in laments about the later years of Stephen's life. Simply for his own happiness we may wish that it had been otherwise. We may wish that he had held to his bookkeeper's quill in the steamship office and have composed during
f John Tasker Howard has shown that Stephen's earnings in his most productive years were reasonably good; and the comment of Fletcher Hodges, Jr., director of the Foster Hall staff, is as follows: "Stephen Foster did receive meagre payment if we com­pare his earnings with those of a merchant prince, the president of a railroad, or an executive in a Pittsburgh mill of his own day, or if we compare his earnings with those of a successful composer of the present, for example, Irving Berlin or George Gershwin. But if we judge Stephen Foster's income as that of an American com­poser of popular music in the years before the Civil War, we find that it was no doubt greater than that of any of his contempo­raries. At any rate Stephen was earning enough to maintain his family and himself in comfort if not in luxury; and a large share of blame for the fact that he died in poverty should be placed on his shoulders as well as on the America of his time—which was not, of course, entirely free of responsibility towards the composer of its songs."

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III