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American Experience

Stephen Foster (#1312)

Stephen Foster was the first great American songwriter. His melodies are so much a part of American history and culture that most people think they're folk tunes. All in all he composed some 200 songs, including "Oh! Susanna," "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" and "Camptown Races." Though he virtually invented popular music as we recognize it today, Foster's personal life was tragic and contradiction-riddled. His marriage was largely unhappy, he never made much money from his work and he died at the age of 37 a nearly penniless alcoholic on the Bowery in New York. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation.

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