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Hutchinson Family, "The Old Granite State," 1843

MS 241
“The Old Granite State,” The Hutchinson Family, 1843.
1 item, 10pp.

The Hutchinson Family Singers were an American family singing group from Milford, New Hampshire, who became the most popular American entertainers of the 1840s. The group sang in four-part harmony a repertoire of political, social, comic, sentimental and dramatic works, and are considered by many to be the first uniquely American popular music performers. John Hutchinson orchestrated the group’s formation with his brothers Asa, Jesse, and Judson Hutchinson in 1840; the Hutchinsons gave their first performance on November 6 of that same year. Jesse Hutchinson quit the main group to write songs and manage their affairs; he was replaced by sister Abby Hutchinson. When a member of the group wrote a new song, each of the four singers individually decided his or her own part to create the harmony. The Hutchinsons performed across New England in 1842, taking in as much as $130 per performance. In 1843, Jesse wrote “The Old Granite State”, a song about the Hutchinson family, their origins in New Hampshire, and their itinerant lifestyle. The song became their signature number.

The sheet music is dated 1843 and was published by Firth & Hall in New York with a cover showing the four singers Judson, Abby, John and Asa.