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'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?

Joybell 21 Sep 08 - 07:47 PM
Charley Noble 21 Sep 08 - 08:36 PM
Charley Noble 21 Sep 08 - 08:47 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 08 - 08:50 PM
Joybell 21 Sep 08 - 09:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 08 - 09:39 PM
Joybell 21 Sep 08 - 10:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 08 - 10:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 08 - 10:14 PM
Joybell 21 Sep 08 - 10:43 PM
Joybell 21 Sep 08 - 10:51 PM
Charley Noble 22 Sep 08 - 08:49 AM
Steve Gardham 22 Sep 08 - 03:49 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Sep 08 - 04:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 08 - 05:53 PM
Joybell 22 Sep 08 - 06:50 PM
Joybell 22 Sep 08 - 07:49 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Sep 08 - 03:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Sep 08 - 08:57 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Sep 08 - 03:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Sep 08 - 06:10 PM
Joybell 24 Sep 08 - 08:31 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Sep 08 - 02:31 PM
Joybell 25 Sep 08 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,Uncle Jaque 25 Sep 08 - 11:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Sep 08 - 01:55 PM
Joybell 27 Sep 08 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,Uncle Jaque 27 Sep 08 - 09:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Sep 08 - 09:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Sep 08 - 09:52 PM
Joybell 31 Aug 10 - 07:54 PM
Joybell 17 Jul 11 - 09:22 PM
Charley Noble 18 Jul 11 - 11:27 AM
Joybell 18 Jul 11 - 08:33 PM
GUEST 21 Sep 16 - 07:42 PM
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Subject: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 07:47 PM

Has anyone got a reference that names the "Original Four Ethiopian Serenaders"? Gil Pell and his brother Dick went to England in 1843 using this title (or possibly a similar one) Anyway I do believe there were four of them. I can't find anything naming the other two.
By 1847 the group's line-up was: Gil Pell (as leader),Harrington, White, Stanford, and Germon. There is plenty of information about them from here on -- including a picture but I'm interested in the earlier period.

I have a program, from England, dated 1857 that names G. W. Pell, Ledger, and The American Barlow, as "The Original Ethiopian Serenaders".
Richard (Dick) Pellam was dead by then. Barlow was touring in England (and possibly in America). Could this be a brief line-up formed in 1857 using three of the "Original Four..." ?
I know nothing about Ledger. Barlow is the subject of an on-going study.
Could the "Original Four ..." have been the Pell brothers, Barlow and Ledger?
Proof either way would be very welcome.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 08:36 PM

refresh!


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 08:47 PM

Joy-

This book reference may be helpful:

ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS.: Lucy Neal.
London J. Williams. 1846. With an unsigned monochrome lithograph by D. Williams of Cheapside, of the legendary minstrel performers, the Ethiopian Serenaders who gave their first concert in Britain in early 1846 at the prestigious Hanover Square Concert Halls. This group discarded the plantation costumes of previous early minstrel groups and dressed for concert performance. They mixed Ethiopian melodies and grand opera to an increasingly large and wealthy audience. In so doing they set the pattern of future minstrel shows for decades.They were George Harrington, Francis Germon, Moody Stanswood, William White and G.W.Pell and it is that quintet who were only formed in 1846 (Kilgarriff) that features on the cover. They swept all before them with Lucy Neal being the hit of the season followed closely by Buffalo Girls. Folio size with music Condition VG. Rare early portraits including Harrington & White playing banjo.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 08:50 PM

A later group of "Ethiopian Serenaders" were composed of four singer-musicians, but they toured in the 1910-1915 era. See their brochure at American Memory.
Not what you are looking for, but interesting.

I haven't found anything pre-dating the 1847 lineup with the five members that you name. At American Memory, in a folio of sheet music pub. by Hall, 1848, they are pictured and named- Pell, Harrington, White, Stanwood (not Stanford) and Germon (Under Buffalo gals and other titles).


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 09:13 PM

Thanks, Charley and Q. It's an earlier line-up I'm chasing. 1846 brings me a bit closer, though. I know Gilbert Pell's brother Richard went to England with him and as part of the group. He stayed in England. Gil went back and forth between America and England.
My friend Barlow is driving me crazy. I've been following him all over the world for ten years. The link between him and Pell exists but how and when that's the question.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 09:39 PM

Looks like there were six in 1843. See cover of sheet music at Wikipedia. Apparently they also used the name Boston Minstrels.

The Illustrated London News. 1843-1844, contained a picture of the Ethiopian Serenaders, "five minstrel players..." A statement in the book "Tap Roots" by Mark Knowles.
Pelham is mentioned in an 1846 English pamphlet as a bones and tambourine player (book, Inside the Minstrel Mask, Bean et al.). Henry Mayhew, in London Labour and the London Poor, mentions Pell as as example taken by a street performer.

The early E. S. included Tony Winnemore and -. Quinn. In "Burnt Cork and Tambourines" a J. Dumbolton is mentioned as their agent (the five mentioned previously) when they went to England in 1846, (Palmo Opera House and St. James, and Arundel for the Queen).
www.circushistory.org/Cork/BurntCork5.htm

Sorry, nothing about four originals going to England in 1843.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 10:08 PM

Q, I knew you'd be good at this.
"Burnt Cork and Tambourines" mentions the "four Original Ethiopian Serenaders" under Richard Pell's name. Also gives a year of 1843 for an arrival in England. No mention of the two who joined the brothers Pell.

Haven't looked into Winnemore or Quinn -- thank you.

I've got the Mayhhew reference.

Haven't seen the "Tap Roots" book.
Thanks, Q. You never know what will turn up.
Do I dare hope for a picture of Barlow somewhere, perhaps.
(Just be the way he's not one of the Barlow Bros).
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 10:09 PM

Some information about the Ethiopian Serenaders, and a black performer, William Henry Lane, who used the name 'Juba' in performances in U. S. and England; The name Pell's E. S. was used in 1848.
Juba
---------------------------------

Sanford and Rainer "traveled with the Ethiopian Serenaders,' appearing in England and for the queen...
I think there is some confusion in this note:
Rainer
I think another troupe is meant.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 10:14 PM

I wonder if one of the E. S. performers used the name 'Barlow' when doing a parody of the well-known Barlow routines?

A 'Barlow' should have shown up if he was connected to the "Boston" and "Ethiopian Serenaders."


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 10:43 PM

No his name was actually Barlow, Q. I agree his name should have been there. Can't think why it wasn't. He did settle in Australia early -- 1852. From here he continued to tour around the world. I know he toured in England in 1857.
He was a bit of a maverick usually performing alone or with his wife's help. He did, however, sometimes team up briefly with various troupes including at least two circuses. He rarely did "Billy Barlow" routines -- (although that's how I first became interested in him.) He did use the name Billy Barlow -- his name was Robert Barlow -- but was more often called "American Barlow", "Australian Barlow", "The Inimitable Barlow", "The Blue Tail'd Fly" or simply "Barlow".
He did team up with a Rainer for a while. I'll take a look there.
Thanks for your continued interest, Q.
Joy


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 10:51 PM

Ah, yes that's the same Rainer. It's a trail I've followed before. Rainer and Barlow teamed up in Central Victoria, Aus. for a while -- 1860s. Met up in NZ at least once. They may have known each other from way back in England and America. They didn't arrive here together, however. Maybe there's a connection with Pell. Hmmm.
It all adds up to something. Hope I live long enough to sort it all out.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 08:49 AM

Great search!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 03:49 PM

There is a picture of the 'Original Ethiopian Serenaders, aka Boston Minstrels', presumably the same one mentioned above on Wikipedia, in Nathan's Dna Emmett and the Rise of Early Negro Minstrelsy. it is from the cover of a song sheet of the troupe (New York, C.G. Christmas, 1843) It states 'as sung by the six original Ethiopian Serenaders' and in 2 separate illustrations there are 6 performers. The top picture they are wearing tail coats. Second grotesque charaterisation in striped tops and jodhpurs.

Line-up in first pic is triangle, banjo, flute, flutina, tambo & bones.
second pic, tongs, banjo, drum, flutina, tambo & bones.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 04:09 PM

Nathan also mentions 'An English pamphlet on the ES 1846, Harvard Theatre Collection)


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 05:53 PM

I referred to the song sheet cover in Wikipedia earlier; the names of the six are given under the second row of images, but are difficult to read- the names include Winnemore and Baker, Stanwood and Germon, but I can't read the other two- I don't think a 'Barlow' is there. One should be Pelham (Pell).

Odds and ends-
Sanford and Rainer had another early group- By 1849 they were with the New Orleans Opera Troupe (managed by Sanford) with Lynch and others. I don't know if these small groups interacted- probably did.

Baker and Rainer both toured with family groups (Same ones ?).

John Cragin Rainer, b. c. 1820 in NY, died in Melbourne 1889. "Allegedly toured to Britain in 1846" with blackface minstrels. (Genealogy site) He used the name Ethiopian Minstrels in Australia in the 1850s-1860s. His arrangement of Old Folks at Home at State Library of Tasmania website.


I don't have access, but the article "The Minstrel Show and Australian Culture, Richard Waterhouse, The Jour. of Popular Culture, vol. 24, issue 3, pp147-166, has information about Rainer.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 06:50 PM

Thanks again everyone.
Q, I have that article somewhere and it doesn't add anything to my information about Barlow. Rainer is a side-track -- for me. I agree about that picture with the indistinct names. I don't think Barlow is there either.
If Barlow fits with Pell before 1846 -- (reprise -- he was with Pell and Ledger (whoever he is) in 1957, in England) he'd be there as a banjo player I believe.
He did, however, play piano, guitar, fiddle, flute (of some kind), rock harmonicon, accordion, bones and more. He was also a fine singer.
When it comes to information about Barlow in Australia I'm beginning to find my own words looking back at me. I've been putting it together for over 10 years. Doesn't mean I don't welcome ideas for new leads, though. It's information about him from America I lack - mainly.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 07:49 PM

Charley, The end result will be made available soon. When I say end -- I use the term loosely. This quest will never be over. I'll never be free -- ahhhhh


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 03:44 PM

Okay, Q. Thanks for that. Their names are quite clear in this version of the song sheet.(Nathan)p152
C J Quinn, A F Winnemore, J Baker, M G Stanwood, F C Germon, G Wilson

Names repeated under the second lot of illustrations but Germon seems to be there F G Germon.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 08:57 PM

Thanks, Steve.

Looking for the elusive Barlow, there is a later one who was a minstrel. These occupations often ran in families; I'll check some more genealogical records. The one Joybell is looking for doesn't show in the minstrel show lists or music anywhere, though. Odd!

Winnemore wrote "Stop Dat Knocking;" the 1847 sheet music shows the four performers of the Virginia Minstrels, but doesn't name them (at American Memory).


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 03:34 PM

In 1847 wouldn't The Virginia Minstrels still have been Emmett, Whitlock, Brower and Pelham, even though they were separately involved in other things?


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 06:10 PM

Probably. But the song by Winnemore made me wonder if they could be other- 'separately involved in other things' is a good way of phrasing it.

Still no help for Joybell, unfortunately.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 08:31 PM

No but you never know. Things turn up in all sorts of ways. I've never found a connection, with Robert Barlow, to the other Barlows in the entertainment world of the 19th century. I have a good timeline for him from 1850 on -- and quite a bit even before this. It's little loose threads I'm working on. One interesting thread is Barlow's hint at rivalry/friendly banter using the Virginia Minstrels. On an ad. for his song books he says of his songs,
"...most of which are so spicy the Virginny Minstrels can't sing 'em without sneezing..."
He was connected with the best at one time or another.
Thanks Q and Steve.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 02:31 PM

Regarding the VM singing the Winnemore song, I don't think they were too concerned about copyright in the 1840s. Some of the early minstrel stuff spread around like wildfire, Buffalo Gals for example. It must have been something like the folk revival in the 50s, 60s, someone wrote a song and within months everybody covered it.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 06:57 PM

Yes that's exactly what happened. You can read about the taking up of songs by everyone when you read the diaries and news reports written at the time. Henry Mayhew's interviews and Emilie Cowell's diary are especially helpful this way. Mayhew's informant, by the way, lists the "Original Ethiopian Seneraders" at the St James Theatre -- however he says he might be wrong. His line up is the one on the picture (Germon's name as Germain -- but that's neither here nor there).
Funny thing is that we know Gil Pell's brother was there and he's not listed.
Back where I started. Fun discussion though.


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Subject: RE: Variation on a Theme; Anyone Heard Of....???
From: GUEST,Uncle Jaque
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 11:56 PM

I guess my question is sort of related so rather than start a new topic I'll slide it in here, if ye don't mind...

While out and about this morning (Thurs. Sept. 25, 2008) I popped into a nearby little "Mom & Pop" country store and gas station where a friend had told me they served a pretty decent breakfast.

While posting a couple of fliers for upcoming events at our Fish & Game club, I noticed a small lithograph on the wall of a group of Black people apparently back in the days of slavery having a dance. In one corner one musician was whanging away on a banjo while another played an accordion.

Since I study and collect 19th Century music, including that of the Minstrel era, my curiosity was piqued. It was even more aroused when I spotted an old framed broadside advertising a Minstrel Troupe - I forget the name now, but it was quite a bit like "Ethiopian Serenaders", and the illustration showed what appeared to be a pretty big group of performers on stage.    At the top in big font it read "KEMP's".

Somehow I associate the name "Kemp" with Minstrel music - but can't recall exactly what that connection is. I know there is a "Kemp's Jig", but that is associated with Will Kempe, who was Comedian and Morris Dancer with Shakespeare for a while back in the 1600s.

Then while I was munching my fried bacon & egg sandwich, I looked back up at the little lithograph of the happy plantation scene, and noticed what I'd sort of overlooked the first time; a bit over it hung a black and white portrait of an elderly Black gentleman with a serene, gentle smile.

Now this was getting to me; I went up front and woke up the Cashier to ask him who that old fellow in the picture was.

All he knows is that his family bought the store from a KEMP Family, and those pictures were on the walls when they took it over.
Since they seemed sort of quaint, they put some of them back up after refurbishing the interior.   He had no idea of who the Black gent was, or what, if any, connection he might have had with minstrel shows.
He did remember, though, that there was a very old lady who as far as he knows still lives in a trailer not far away in Leeds, Maine.
She might be the last surviving member of the Kemp Family, so far as he knew.

Now I've run all sorts of searches on the internet, and can't come up with any "Kemp" associated with any particular Minstrel Troupe.
Do any of you know of any?

By the cut of his coat lapels in the photo, I would guess that it was taken in the late 19th Century - 1875-90 perhaps.

The next time I venture down to that store, I'll try to remember to bring my digital camera and get closeups of those pictures and the broadside and put them up on photoshop.   And I might try to look that old lady up, too.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 01:55 PM

Interesting. If possible, ask to examine the pictures (backs as well) and ask about any others that they may still have. Names may be on them. The name Kemp has been associated with various theatres since about 1900, in various google links I ran across, and there may be an earlier one.

The name "Kemp's" thus may refer to a venue rather than a minstrel or theatre troupe.

Not perhaps pertinent, but an Australian arts magazine has 'Kemp's as part of the title; I think it is a fairly recent journal, though.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 27 Sep 08 - 07:09 PM

That's an interesting experience Uncle Jaque. Thank you for sharing it. Please tell us about your ongoing investigations. Answers and connections come from the most unlikely sources. I've been making a study of a 19th century character for a long time now and it's the side-trails that I've enjoyed even more than my main story.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: 'KEMP Family Minstrels'
From: GUEST,Uncle Jaque
Date: 27 Sep 08 - 09:02 PM

*************** Sept. 27, 2008 ************************

        The deeper we investigate the local phenomenon of the KEMP Family Minstrels, the more fascinating it becomes!

        Earlier this Summer I had been asked by the local Museum / Historical Society to provide "Civil War era" music for our annual "Apple Festival".

         Monmouth used to be a major apple growing community, and we still have a few pretty good sized orchards in town despite many of them having been put out of business by competition from China (juice concentrate) under pricing them.
Apparently some Americans are having second thoughts about what might be IN that Chinese juice, and our apple industry seems to be experiencing somewhat of a revival.

         There is a big orchard (big by Maine standards anyway) ritght accross the road from us, where I walk our dogs on occasion. It's a beautiful place, especially when the trees are in blossom and the bees are buzzing harmoniously around doing their essential work of pollination. The sweet perfume of the blossoms is nearly intoxicating.... but I digress.

        So I set up in a little nook in the barn next to an old black "Moriah" horse drawn hearse and parked my banjo in an open coffin.
The place used to be owned by a local Mortician, and he left many of the tools of his trade to the museum, including a couple of cast iron child's coffins with little port-holes over the face so the greiving Parents might have one last look at their too-soon taken little one before they were surrendered to the cold, enfolding earth.   When we had a few women examining them, I sometimes broke out the guitar for a rendition of "Mother's Lament":

"Yon spot in the churchyard
How sad is the bloom;
That Summer flings 'round it,
in flowers and perfume;
It is thy dust, my Darling,
Gives life to each rose;
'Tis because thou hast withered,
The violet blows."

        There are several verses to it, all heart wrenching as a lot of these old songs tend to be.   The score I found it with in an 1840s era book is pretty nondescript (as a lot of music of the period tends to be) but it is a perfect metrical match (6s & 5s) to "Flow Gently Sweet Afton", which is what I use for it to excellent effect.
Metrical mix-and-match was pretty common practice back then, as scores and lyrics were not particularly "married" to one another until late in the 19th Century. So I'll bet that They (The Old Ones) did it.

        But again, I digress....

        While mixing it up with the Museum staff, I dropped KEMP's name several times, and indeed they are familiar with it.
It seems that they know several descendants who still live in the community.   As I went over to the Museum Store accross the street to pick up my home-made apple pie as a reward for my musical contributions (not a bad gig considering my level of competence) one of the Museum Elders pulled out a book about prominent Blacks in Maine History.   There on the cover were several photographs of it's subjects, including the gently smiling one that I had seen at the diner.   The next thing I know, she comes out with a framed broadside for the KEMP Family Colored Minstrel Troupe, exactly as I had seen on the wall of the diner!
This time I read the fine print at the bottom.

        George Washington Kemp was a slave in the deep South. As the Union Army advanced on his area, he "surrupticiously abandoned" his Master and managed to connect with the Yankee forces, where he made the acquaintence of one Oliver Otis HOWARD of Leeds, Maine.

General Oliver Otis HOWARD

He was a West Point graduate who was the first Commanding Officer of the Third Regiment of Maine Volunteer Infantry... which is the unit that I have been a Member of, in it's Living History Reenactment tribute / educational nonprofit organizational form, since 1991. Although currently inactive, the last role I played with the Third Maine was as a Fifer in the Field Music (Fife & Drum Corps).

"Uncle Jaque" with the 3rd Maine Regimental Field Music

        Through Col. Howard (who later became a General), Kemp joined the Union Army where he served with distinction in the fight to emancipate his Brothers and Sisters who were still bound in slavery's chains, until the end of the war in 1865.

        At that time, General Howard, who had developed a close personal friendship with Mr. Kemp, invited him to return to Maine with him to help him on his farm in Leeds - apparently more as a member of his family than as a "servant" per se.

        Although Kemp enjoyed his new life and freedom in the scenic fields, orchards, and rolling hills of Maine, he missed his family whom he had to abandon when he escaped bondage at the beginning of the Civil War. When he requested a leave of absence in order to return and try to find them from Howard, he probably never expected the kindly General's response.

        Howard probably knew that a lone black man with limited resources and connections would have little chance of success, and would more than likely be at considerable personal risk in a still very hostile and racist environment .
So he told his friend to stay in Leeds to mind the farm and look after his family, while the General himself mounted up and returned to the scene of the recent bloodletting in the deep South to search for the Kemp Family himself.
Surely an Army General had access to a lot of resources that a former slave would not - I would not be surprised if Army Intelligence (and they did have plenty of spies back then) was working on the case at Howard's behest. He was very well liked and respected in the Union Army and had earned the trust and affection of many of the Southern Black community for his sincere advocacy and generosity on their behalf.

        It seems that after George's escape, his "Master" had sold his entire Family "down the river" - which usually meant hard labor in the sugar cane plantations under severe conditions and particularly cruel management. To a slave, it was often a death sentence.

        Howard relentlessly pursued all leads until at last, miraculously, he found Kemp's Family - still alive. As soon as possible, they were all on board a train, or possibly a coastal steamer bound for Maine and a surely joyous reunion with their beloved Patriarch.

        Upon settling here in Maine, the Kemp Family formed a Minstrel Troupe consisting (as best I remember from the broadside) 12 members. Pretty big family, I guess!    Just how extensively they performed or for how long I have yet to discover.
None of the numbers listed on the playbill are known to me; "How to spell CHICKEN"; "Baby Don't you Lub Me No Mo?"... "The Broom Dance" etc..   

        Is any of their material still available for research?

        Alas; it seems that one family member descendant who cared not a whit for history or heritage threw away all of the troupe's "stuff" years ago (I hate to imagine what that might have included!) and nothing other than a couple of the broadsides that we have seen remain.

        Hopefully I'll get to interview some of the local Descendants and see if they can shed any more light on this fascinating tale.
There is already enough passion and intrigue involved here to base a novel - or even a feature length movie on, in my opinion.

        General Howard, who lost his left arm in the War, was a devoted advocate for the rights and advancement of the American "Negro" for the duration of his life. He served for years as the Director of the "Freedmen's Bureau", and was very concerned for the educational opportunities of the American Black, who under slavery was forbidden by law to be educated - or even taught how to read.

        While you're on "Google", look up "Howard University" just for hoots. See who founded it.

        I can't help but wonder if General Howard's early association and friendship with a runaway Black Minstrel Slave had anything to do with his consuming compassion and activism for that Minstrel's oppressed Race?   How much influence did that old white bearded Black gentleman whose picture smiles down with gentle, beautiful serenety from the wall of a little Maine Country store have on the eventual acceptance and integration of his People into American culture?

        What songs did he and his Family sing to the folks of rural 19th Century Maine? What stories did they tell? What legacy did they leave us?

        Has it all been lost - or do illuminating fragments of it still lie hidden in old, forgotten scrap books in dusty Yankee attics, or in cardboard boxes stashed in the back of an unused closet somewhere, or hidden in the loft of some barn?

Lawdy, Lawdy; I shore would like to find out! This is a story that has only begun to be told!

        I may be spending some time in the Maine State Archives in Augusta - a place that I am familiar with from many hours of research on the Third Maine.   I wonder if there is a Third Maine connection - was Howard still in command of the 3rd when he met Kemp?

        That's almost a little too weird to be coincidence, don't you think?

        Digging in; Stay tuned!


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Sep 08 - 09:29 PM

Very interesting!

"Chicken," probably a much shortened and revised version, or a different song, is found at www.kididdles.com, including a spelling verse:

"C" is for the little chick,
"H" for the momma hen
"I" cause I love that bird
"C" for the cluck, cluck
"K" for the kackle, kackle
"E" and the little "n"
C-H-I-C-K-E-N
That's the way to spell chicken
That's my friend, the chicken.

I think there are others, but I don't have time to look for them at the moment.


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Sep 08 - 09:52 PM

Take a look at the Mudcat thread 50037:

Lyr Req C-H-I-C-K-E-N


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 07:54 PM

Up-date.
Well I'm still at it. Still collecting information about the 19th century performer who has me in thrall.
Just to tie up a few loose ends on this thread:
1. I now believe my man was named -- "William Robert Barlow". Sometimes, early on, he used W. R. Barlow. Later he dropped the "William" although he was still known as "Billy Barlow".

(Oh! happy days! and there's only about a couple of hundred of them -- most of whom I've come across.

2. I've tracked down Ledger -- mentioned above.

Still have not found my Barlow with Pell's "Original Ethiopian Serenaders" except for that one reference given above in 1857.
I still have no reference to him from America. AND I still have no picture of him.
Onward and upward,
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders' Update
From: Joybell
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 09:22 PM

Another update for anyone interested.
Found Barlow on one of his song-book covers. The title reads:

"BARLOW
and the Original Ethiopian Serenaders"

Barlow is in big letters at the top. Suggests that he was with but not of the troupe.

The London Library has several of Barlow's songbooks but they want a small fortune for copies of even the covers *sigh*.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 11:27 AM

Good work!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: Joybell
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 08:33 PM

Thanks, Charley. Good to have your interest.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: 'Original FOUR Ethiopian Serenaders'?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 16 - 07:42 PM

For what it's worth, the Ethiopian Serenaders played in Alexandria, VA (at The Lyceum Hall) for four nights in 1843, ending on November 1 (Alexandria Gazette). They were on a tour - NY,Philly, Baltimore, DC, Alexandria, Richmond, Augusta Ga at the least. The Alexandria Gazette lists Messrs. German, Stanwood, Harrington, and Pelham. Tickets 25 cents, children under 10 years half price. Doors open at 7 o'clock, Concert to commence at quarter to 8 o'clock.An efficient Police will be in attendance to preserve order.


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