Old songs, new artists


(The Washington Post)

A 32-song, double CD of Civil War music is scheduled for release next week that includes some pieces probably not heard since the war ended. The recording is titled “Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War,” and offers new versions of well-known songs such as “Dixie” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again.” It also offers an interesting assortment of songs written about specific battles such as “The Fall of Charleston” and “The Battle of Antietam” that may have been popular for only a short period of time.

A Wall Street Journal article by Steve Doughtery has a great deal of information about the various songs and the artists who sang them. According to the article, album producer Randall Poster spent two years searching for original sheet music and old recordings. “There is such a wealth of musical material from that time,” Poster told the reporter. “And it all springs from such a tumultuous variety of emotions. You have families torn apart, mothers loosing their children, brother versus brother conflicts, people rallying behind one side or the other. All that is expressed in music.”

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