Posted by: Kath Usitalo | February 18, 2011

Friday Trivia: A Bond To The U.P.

The Upper Peninsula home of the first successful woman songwriter in the U.S.

It’s Valentine’s Week and there’s a full moon tonight, so this bit of trivia has to do with a Great Laker whose most popular tune epitomized romance and has been a wedding standby for 110 years.

Probably fewer weddings than in 1901 when it was the first song by a woman to sell one million copies, but there are reportedly traditionalists who fill the church with “I Love You Truly” while taking their vows.

This singer, pianist and songwriter was born in Wisconsin in 1862 and died in Hollywood in 1946.

She lived in Iron River for a short time in the late 19th century while her second husband served as a doctor in the Upper Peninsula mines. Their home is open to visitors at the indoor/outdoor Iron County Museum in Caspian.

The musician's home near Iron River

After the doctor’s death by snowball (actually, he died of injuries sustained when he slipped on ice and fell after being hit by a snowball) she and her son moved to Chicago.

It was in the Windy City in 1896 that she started her own sheet music publishing company—the first woman to do so.

Her 1910 hit “The End Of A Perfect Day” was the best selling of her 175 published songs.

She was the most successful woman composer of her era, the first to earn one million dollars for her sheet music, recording rights, and royalties.

She was a painter and many of her pieces of sheet music bear her artwork.

She performed concerts in New York, England, the White House, and for U.S. troops in Europe during World War I.

President Herbert Hoover called her “America’s gallant lady of song.”

She suffered from rheumatism, which prompted her move to better weather in California.

Her son Fred committed suicide in 1932 while “A Perfect Day” played on the phonograph.

Today’s trivia personality: Carrie Jacobs-Bond, who in 1970 was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Check out “A Perfect Day” as performed in the 1940 movie “Remember the Night.”

Visitor Info Clicks:

Iron County Museum (open June-September)

Iron County

Upper Peninsula

Pure Michigan

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