Featured Covers: Back to School

 In Features

Education is one of the most important gifts that a person can be given. With most students returning to school by the end of August, why not take a look back at music celebrating education over a hundred years ago?

School Days by Will Cobb and Gus Edwards was a famous tune published in 1907. The song was a sentimental piece about a couple reminiscing about their childhood days at school. Edwards then teamed up with Ed Gardenier to release at least two more related songs, See Saw in 1907 and School Mates in 1909.

As with any popular subject at the time, the school theme manifested into many different songs. 1908 saw the release of Tittle, Tattle, Tattle Tale (Shame on You) by Herbert Ingraham.  Charles K. Harris of After the Ball fame wrote the 1909 song Scuse Me To-Day and 1915’s School Bells. Of course, primary schools were not the only source of song inspiration.

Many colleges and high schools either commissioned songs and marches or had pieces dedicated to them by alumni on-campus societies. Those pieces, though, will covered in another article. Instead, the 1911 popular song That College Rag is presented. Despite being published in New York, its colorful cover depicts a diverse group of schools including one as far south as Texas!

The last featured cover is that of a ragtime instruction book. Axel W. Christensen ran a large number of musical “schools” throughout the United States. This edition from 1919 gives a brief look into the teaching of popular music at the beginning of last century.

All of this, of course, barely scratches the surface of the tip of the iceberg that is musical and educational history. Regardless of whether or not you find the history as fascinating as we do, please enjoy the featured artwork below! Our collection includes hundreds of original prints, many of which are now available for viewing online! Simply navigate over to our Collection page to see more!

 

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Old Swanee RagCar-Barlick-Acid, 1904, Courtesy the USC Music Library's Sheet Music Collection