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I Wonder as I WanderThe Life of John Jacob Niles$
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Ron Pen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125978

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125978.001.0001

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Kerby and Niles Present Folk Music on the Concert Stage

Kerby and Niles Present Folk Music on the Concert Stage

(p.110) (p.111) 7 Kerby and Niles Present Folk Music on the Concert Stage
I Wonder as I Wander


University Press of Kentucky

In December 1928, Niles met a veteran actress, Marion Kerby, at the Priceton Club of New York. He and Kerby decided to perform folk and traditional music in a concert hall. Upon hearing Kerby and Niles at the Library of Congress Festival of Chamber Music, the noted American composer Amy Beach praised their interpretation of African American song. The Niles–Kerby performances of African American culture were far more concerned with showmanship than with simulation of authentic performance practice. After 13 years, Niles and Kerby took to the stage in a program format that was strongly reminiscent of Wyman and Brockway's performance. They contributed five additional ingredients to their predecessors' recipe that enhanced their own popular success.

Keywords:   Marion Kerby, folk music, traditional music, African American, culture

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