Stephen Foster was born July 4, 1826, on his family’s estate, high on the hillside above the Allegheny River. This estate was located in Lawrenceville, which later became one of the largest, most historic communities in Pittsburgh. He developed a love for music at the age of three or four, and from that point forward there was no stopping him. Foster is considered by many to be the world’s foremost composer, and is the only person to have written two state songs – “My Old Kentucky Home” (Kentucky) and “Swannee River” (Florida).
Today he is considered the founder of “Pop Music”, and his works are played throughout the world. There are many books written on Stephen Foster, and the University of Pittsburgh maintains the Stephen Foster Memorial Center in his honor.
Among his most popular songs are: Oh! Susanna (1848), De Campton Races (1850), Old Folks at Home [aka Swanee River] (1851), My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night! (1853), Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair (1854), Gentle Annie (1856), Beautiful Dreamer (1862), and The Voices That Are Gone (1865).