On August 30, 2012, at 7 p.m., at the Fort Trumbull Conference Center, The Friends of Fort Trumbull will welcome Rick Spencer, presenter of historic and entertaining music programs in the American folk tradition.



Today, when we want to listen to music, we turn on the radio, slide in a CD, or click on a MP3 player. During the Civil War period, if you wanted music, you pretty much had to make it yourself or rely on those who played and sang. This period can probably be called the beginning of American Pop Culture since for the first time, America had people who were making a living purely as songwriters. Who hasn’t heard “Beautiful Dreamer”, “Battle Cry of  Freedom”, “The Blue-Tail Fly”, or “Marching through Georgia”! On the 150th commemoration of the beginning of The Civil War, it is appropriate that we re-examine some of this  music that has become part of our collective consciousness.


Mr. Spencer, who was a long-time member of the staff of Mystic Seaport working as a chantey man , now serves as the executive director of the Dr. Ashbell Woodward House museum of the Franklin Historical Society. Rick has done extensive research on popular music of the 19th Century. He will focus on the work of four composers during the Civil War- Stephen Foster, Daniel Decatur Emmett, George Root, and Middletown native, Henry Clay Work. Rick, with his guitar and banjo, will introduce the audience to these beloved songs in American

history, giving remarkable insight into the character of the American people during our country’s most divisive conflict. His presentation, which encourages audience participation, is always interactive and entertaining. The public is invited to attend “The Greatest Hits of the Civil War: America’s Earliest Professional Songwriters”.


New members are always welcome.


Seating is limited.