Richinbar Mine

Richinbar Mine
Richinbar Mine - Photo from 1940 - Courtesy of Arizona Geologic Survey files

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

California As It Is And Was - Lyrics by John A. Stone ("Old Put") Musical Setting and Performance by Robert T. Gibney This song relates many of the experience of the placer miners during the last years of California's Gold Rush. The narrator reminisces about the simpler days of 1849-50. He laments the coming of the railroad, competition from Chinese laborers, the high price of food, the imposition of taxes, and the political corruption of the time. The song was published in "Put's Original California Songster" - D.E. Appleton & Co. 1855

Friday, June 14, 2013

PUT'S ORIGINAL CALIFORNIA SONGSTER 1855 5TH EDITION 25TH THOUSAND This is a rare copy of the leading songbook of the California Gold Rush as written by John A. Stone, using the pseudonym "Old Put". I am posting the publishing information and Preface so that the author speaks for himself. This volume demonstrates how the leading professional song writer of the era marketed his songsters to a growing audience. He set his lyrics to melodies of popular songs and priced his songsters at a low price to appeal to a popular audience. Many of his songs have achieved "folk song" status. It is important to recognize the importance of John A. Stone ("Old Put") as the source of many of the West's most enduring songs.
"Giving in a few words what would occupy volumes, detailing the hopes, trials and joys of a miner's life" Published by D.E. Appleton & Co, 508-510 Montgomery St., San Francisco Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854 by John A. Stone Preface "In dedicating this little Book of Songs to the Miners of California, those hardy builders of California's prosperity and greatness, the author deems it his duty to offer a prefatory remark in regard to the origin of the work and the motive of its publication. Having been a miner himself for a number of years, he has had ample opportunities of observing, as he has equally shared, the many trials and hardships to which his brethren of the pick and shovel have been exposed, and to which in general they have so patiently, so cheerfully, and even heroically submitted. Hence, ever since the time of his crossing the Plains, in the memorable year of '50, he has been in the habit of noting down a few of the leading items of his experience, and clothing them in the garb of humorous, though not irreverent verse. Many of his songs may show some hard edges, and he is free to confess, that they may fail to please the more aristocratic portion of the community, who hav but little sympathy with the details, hopes, trials, or joys of the toiling miner's life; but he is confident that the class he addresses will not find them exaggerated, nothing extenuated, nor aught set down "in malice". In conclusing, he would state, that after having sung them himself at various times and places, and latterly with the assistance of a few gentlemen, known by the name of Sierra Nevada Rangers, the songs have been published at the request of a number of friends; and if the author should thereby succeed in contributing to the amusement of those he is anxious to please, enlivening the long tedious hours of a miner's winter fireside, his pains will not be unrewarded." - San Francisco, Sept., 1855