While we enjoy researching, sifting through the dusty tomes, and finding that obscure piece of really fascinating information, we love hearing from HH&H readers and fellow bloggers the most.
Last month, in response to my blog post What's Your State Song?, Staphanie Grace Whitson mentioned that the Nebraska state song, Beautiful Nebraska, was co-written by Jim Fras, a Russian immigrant. He moved to Nebraska in 1952. He wrote the music and co-authored the lyrics with Guy G. Miller. Fras said he got the idea for the song's melody during a drive in the countryside. He wanted to pay tribute to his adopted state. Go to http://nebraska150.org/jim-fras/ to hear this delightful song played and sung.
courtesy of Nebraska Sesquicentennial
Would you have identified You are My Sunshine (Louisiana-Jimmie Davie & Charles Mitchell) or Home on the Range (Kansas-Daniel E. Kelley & Brewster M. Higley) as state songs?
What about Hoagy Carmichael's music Georgia on My Mind (lyrics by Stuart Gorrell, sung by Ray Charles) or Rocky Top (Tennessee-Felice & Boudleaux Bryant)? The romantic in me was charmed with the Bryant's love story. Felice was an elevator operator at the Sherwood Hotel and when she saw Boudleaux she recognized him immediately - she had seen his face in a dream she had when she was eight years old, and had looked for him forever. She was nineteen when she saw him at a water fountain in the hotel, ran up and accidentally drenched him with water and offered to buy him a drink.
The music was inspired by Elinor Dusenbury's "...pure unadulterated homesickness for Alaska. I shed more tears on the boat going out than I ever have before or since."
|Marie Drake and Eleanor Dusenbury, writers of the words and music of Alaska's Flag song
|Rex Allen - The Arizona Cowboy - 1952
|King David Kalakaua
If you love musicals, you've sung, or maybe even acted in the stage play, Oklahoma, by Rodgers and Hammerstein. It is the only official state song from a Broadway musical.
Did you know that the former District of Columbia had its own song? James Wesley Dodd wrote Washington in 1951. Dodd is best known as Jimmie the MC of the popular 1950's Walt Disney Television series, The Mickey Mouse Club. He also wrote the Mickey Mouse Club March. At one time or another we've all sang the Club song. There's more to the DC song story and it's fascinating.
|James Wesley, Jimmie, Dodd
God Bless America,
|Linda Farmer Harris
Lin's current research centers around 1890 Christmas in New Mexico. She and her husband, Jerry, live in Chimney Rock, Colorado.