Keffer Collection of Sheet Music,
Edwin Pearce Christy, minstrel manager and performer, was born in Philadelphia. He began his career as a minstrel in Buffalo and toured upstate New York from 1843 to 1845. The group took the name of its founder and became known as the Christy's Minstrels. In April 1846 Christy and his band of six performers began performing in New York City at Palmo's Opera House. The group performed at Mechanics Hall from February 15, 1847 to July 15, 1854. After performing at a benefit performance for Stephen Foster in Cincinnati on August 25, 1847 the group specialized in performances of Foster's works. Foster sold his song, Old Folks at Home, to Christy for his exclusive use.
Christy retired as a performer in 1855 but continued as a manager. He operated a chain of theaters called Christy's Opera Houses in several cities. The name of the original group, Christy's Minstrels, was licensed for use by a new organization and became synonymous with the performance tradition of blackface minstrelsy. Fearful of financial reverses due to the upheaval of the Civil War, Christy committed suicide in New York on May 21, 1862.
|Item No.||Title||Imprint||Plate No.||Illustration|
|Christy's Katy Dean : a celebrated Ethiopian melody : as sung by the Christy Minstrels / words by T. Vaughn ; arranged by E. P. Christy||New York : Wm. Hall & Son, 1850||655||Decorative title page / H. F. Greene, Sc.|
|Cynthia Sue : as sung by Christy's Minstrels
Collection title: Music of the original Christy Minstrels, the oldest established band in the United States, as arranged & sung by them with distinguished success at all their concerts
|New York : C. Holt, Jr., 1848||None||None|
|Nancy Tease / sung by Geo. N. Christy ; written & composed by Edwin P. Christy|
Collection title: The Gems of the Christy's
|New York : Wm. Van Derbeek, 1848||None||Collection titles set within an ornamental frame that houses seven figures from the Christy Minstrel shows / L. Delnoce|
|Old Folks at Home : Ethiopian melody as sung by Christy's Minstrels / written and composed by E. P. Christy [actually composed by Stephen Collins Foster]||New York : Firth, Pond & Co., 1851||1332||Decorative title page / Weller & Greene|