Civil War Events Feature Minstrel Song Revival

Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 12:00 PM

Visitors to some Civil War anniversary events are hearing another long-silenced sound amid the cannon fire.

It's music from 19th-century minstrel shows, performed not in blackface but in uniform.

Some re-enactors have formed camp bands to play music that soldiers enjoyed hearing around battlefield campfires. The most popular tunes included songs from the minstrel stage.

Groups such as the 2nd South Carolina String Band pride themselves on their accurate impressions - right down to the exaggerated black dialect of songs with inescapably racist overtones.

The musicians say they don't mean to offend. Critics say they should help listeners understand how the demeaning songs also helped popularize the banjo, an instrument with African roots. -- By DAVID DISHNEAU



More in:

Comments [1]

Louie Crew from East Orange

Lawzy mercy! Some people have no shame. Will Confederate money be required? — Louie, an Alabama native, who fled to NJ to escape life behind the Cotton Curtain.

Sep. 04 2012 12:50 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Follow WQXR 







About WQXR Blog

Ignite your love of classical music every day with the articles published in the WQXR blog. Here you can find blogs about classical music, playlist selections, curated videos, and other features highlighting the joy of great music.