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The Father of American Music, Stephen Foster created melodies for all the world to sing, most memorably his folk songs about the joys and sorrows of the people of the South. His achievements seem miraculous in that he had no musical training, and except for one short visit had never been to the South.
Born on Independence Day 1826, Foster had a natural gift for music that was barely tolerated by his father. Under the father's influence he began his professional life unhappily, as a Cincinnati bookkeeper. Melodies were forever welling up within him, and once he started putting them on paper he became a successful professional songwriter. From minstrel songs to sentimental ballads, America's Troubadour penned such unforgettable tunes as "Old Folks at Home" (aka "Swanee River"), "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair," "Oh! Susanna," "Camptown Racetrack" and more. Foster lived to see just 37 Independence Days before dying alone and in poverty - and on his deathbed he bequeathed to mankind yet another beloved melody, "Beautiful Dreamer."
With musical direction by multiple Oscar winner Ken Darby, Nelly Was A Lady touchingly celebrates Foster's life and work.