American Experience: Stephen Foster
Release Year: 2001
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Tunesmith Stephen Foster scored a musical hit with "Oh! Susanna" in 1847, and over the next decade, Foster's work established him as America's first great songwriter. But the mind behind "Camptown Races" and "Beautiful Dreamer" was a troubled one. Struggles with a bitter divorce and alcoholism took a toll on his prodigious talent, and he died penniless at 37 in New York's Bowery. Fans of 19th-century pop music will relish the hearty period score.