Stephen Foster

The Rise and Fall of an American Songwriter

“Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,” “Beautiful Dreamer”—Stephen Foster virtually invented popular music as we know it today. Set to a lively score of 19th century popular music, “Stephen Foster” tells the tragic story of the man many consider America’s first great songwriter. It charts his meteoric rise and his sad lonely decline, dying a penniless drunk at age 37 on New York’s Bowery, and celebrates the impact his music had on American popular culture. The New York Daily News hailed the program as “brilliant…an utterly fascinating hour.”

The Film Posse’s Randy MacLowry co-produced, co-wrote and directed this installment of American Experience through WITF, Harrisburg, PA’s PBS station.

Writers Ken Emerson and Randall MacLowry nominated for a 2001 Writers Guild of America

Air Date: April 23, 2001

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