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IHS Press

On the Banks of the Wabash: The Life and Music of Paul Dresser

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During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many Americans, besieged by changes wrought through such forces as industrialization and urbanization, longed to return to a simpler time. For comfort, they turned to popular songs glorifying small-town values of home and hearth. Perhaps no songwriter of the time reached more people through his music than did Paul Dresser of Terre Haute, Indiana, who produced such sentimental hits as "My Gal Sal" and "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away." In On the Banks of the Wabash, author Clayton W. Henderson showcases the rags-to-riches-to-rags story of Dresser's life as a medicine-wagon showman, minstrel, comic actor and singer, composer, publisher, and playwrite.

Hardcover, 512 pages. 2003, Indiana Historical Society, 2003. by Clayton W. Henderson.