Jim Crow Polka: Christy's Melodies, as Composed and Sung by Them at Their Concerts with Distinguished Success

By: Christy, Edwin P. (arrangement)

Price: $400.00

Quantity: 1 available


Having performed as a minstrel in various shows for a number of years, Edwin Pearce Christy formed his own group the Christy Minstrels in 1845. Among his performers were his sons, E. Byron and William, his stepson George Harrington -- also known as George N. Christy -- and Thomas Vaughn.They became famous, particularly for performing the songs of Stephen Foster and probably were responsible for the initial success of Foster and his music. The Jim Crow Polka, not by Foster, was one of the Christy Minstrel's popular numbers. It was often danced to by George N. Christy and Thomas Vaughn. George Christy is depicted as an African-American woman on the cover of this music and with Vaughn identified as the male partner. This particular sheet music was published in 1847 and is quite uncommon. WorldCat lists seven copies in libraries though at least three of those list Anthony F. Winnemore as the composer though his name is not on this sheet music. The Lester Levy collection has an earlier Jim Crow Polka attributed to Winnemore and Comer which is probably the source for Winnemore as the composer of Christy's version. This cover seems to have been a generic one used for a list of twelve songs that people could buy individually. This copy of The Jim Crow Polka was originally in a customer's bound volume as evidenced by the tattered spine edge. This cover is of some interest. It has an image of Edwin Pearce Christy at the top in a circle and two smaller images depicting George Christy and Thomas Vaughn in blackface and costumes along with a central image of a minstrel band in blackface. The band members have a leader and each person plays an instrument -- fiddle, two banjos, a triangle and a tambourine. These images, while stereotypical, are not overly-exaggerated and may indicate something of the nature of the Christy's performance style. There are also four rather disconcerting images of blackfaced cherubs at the four corners of the image. They have cherubic bodies but rather adult faces. Each cherub plays a traditional African-American-related instrument -- the banjo, the fiddle, the tambourine and the castanets. The interior musical score and lyrics are identical to the example in the Library of Congress. This is an historic piece of 19th century sheet music showing three of the most important minstrel performers of the time and offering some ideas about how those minstrels approached performance. This copy is in very good condition except for the tattered spine which is still together, though barely. Otherwise there is only light, general wear, a light bluish stain in the upper part of the interior gutter and some age-toning. ; B&W Lithography; 8vo 8" - 9" tall

Title: Jim Crow Polka: Christy's Melodies, as Composed and Sung by Them at Their Concerts with Distinguished Success

Author Name: Christy, Edwin P. (arrangement)

Illustrator: Illustrated by Sarony and Major

Categories: Music,

Publisher: New York, Jaques and Brother: 1847

Binding: Softcover

Seller ID: 16754

Keywords: Music Minstrelsy Minstrel African - American Black Negro Christy's Minstrels Sheet Music Ephemera