Cover image for On the banks of the Wabash : the life and music of Paul Dresser
On the banks of the Wabash : the life and music of Paul Dresser
Henderson, Clayton W., 1936-
Publication Information:
Indianapolis : Indiana Historical Society Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxix, 481 pages : illustrations, music ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.D8133 H46 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Henderson (music, St. Mary's Coll.; The Charles Ives Tune Book) has written the first full-length biography of Dresser, one of the most famous vaudevillians and songwriters of the Gay Nineties and brother to novelist Theodore Dreiser. In his Twelve Men, Dreiser wrote a perceptive and enlivening sketch of Paul, but he is inaccurate in several factual details (but not as inaccurate as the 1942 film biography, My Gal Sal). Henderson sheds light on many facets of Dresser's life, including the dubious story of his marriage to May Howard (still reported as fact in The New Grove Dictionary of Music Online). Besides examining Dresser's life, the author also elucidates the several genres of popular song in which Dresser wrote, including his specialty, "mother and home" songs (such as "Far Away" and "On the Banks of the Wabash," the Indiana state song). An excellent source study on the creation of celebrity and mass popular culture in pre-Hollywood, 19th-century America, this is recommended for all libraries, especially those with an interest in American music, American popular culture, or the history of entertainment in America.-Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.