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The Stream I Go A-Fishing In by Chester…
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The Stream I Go A-Fishing In

by Chester Brigham

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0974077801, Paperback)

This is the book of "The Fiddling Fisherman" - John Jay Watson. As a young schooner fisherman in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Watson became a popular fiddler to the fleet. He survived the shipwreck of the schooner Rival on Prince Edward Island in the "Yankee Gale" of 1851, then worked his way back to American soil playing concerts in towns along the way. With his highly anticipated return to Gloucester he played a concert to an audience so enthusiastic a local newspaper called the performance a "bumper.".

With the encouragement of Norwegian violin virtuoso Ole Bull, Watson went on to a career as a solo violinist on New York concert stages. He produced musical variety shows that filled Cooper Union’s Great Hall again and again. He composed melodies for piano and violin that were parlor music favorites. At least one was reissued a quarter of a century later. Always, though, Watson kept his values straight, playing to audiences of ordinary people for modest admission charges, and counting his old fishing shipmates among his most steadfast friends.

In following Watson’s colorful career from ship’s deck to concert stage, "The Stream I Go A-Fishing In" explores his three musical worlds: improvised music of the waterfront, the American musical variety stage after the Civil War, and the parlor music revolution stimulated by the introduction of Chickering’s improved pianos. Nineteenth century America teemed with music, and John Watson – at various times fiddling deckhand, featured solo violinist, concert impresario and tunesmith – was in the middle of it all.

The book contains eighteen illustrations and a bibliography.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:21 -0400)

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