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" is a minstrel song by Stephen Foster
Stephen Collins Foster , known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States of the 19th century...
(1826-1864). It was published by W. C. Peters & Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio. Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located to north of the Ohio River at the Ohio-Kentucky border, near Indiana. The population within city limits is 296,943 according to the 2010 census, making it Ohio's...
in 1848. The song was introduced by a local quintette at a concert in Andrews' Eagle Ice Cream Saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...
on September 11, 1847. Foster was said to have written the song for his men's social club. The name Susannah may refer to Foster's deceased sister Charlotte, whose middle name was Susannah..
Glenn Weiser suggests the song was influenced by an existing work, "Rose of Alabama" (1846), with which it shares some similarities in lyrical theme and musical structure.
"The Banjo Song" and "Venus"
In 1963, the Big 3 recorded a new arrangement of the song as "The Banjo Song". The Dutch band, Shocking Blue
Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band from The Hague, the Netherlands, formed in 1967. Their biggest hit, "Venus", went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1970, and the band had sold 13.5 million discs by 1973, but the group disbanded in 1974.-Members:...
, in turn, adopted the new arrangement with completely different lyrics for their 1969 hit "Venus".