“It is Cold Outside…Warmup with Music”










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Stephen Foster Memorial Day on January 13th commemorates the music of the man who composed hundreds of America’s first popular songs.

Born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1826, Stephen Foster became known as America’s First Composer. His catchy tunes based on minstrel songs are still known today.

Despite Foster’s exclusive music contract with Firth, Pond, and Company, when he died at the age of 37, he was penniless. While his songs were wildly popular, the lack of copyright protection and alcoholism left him with nothing of value to show for his work.

During his short life, Foster wrote over 200 songs. His best-known compositions include “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” “Old Folks at Home,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair,” “Old Black Joe,” and “Beautiful Dreamer”  and are still very popular today.  

Foster died on January 13, 1864, at the age of 37.

HOW TO OBSERVE #StephenFosterMemorialDay

Read about the life of Stephen Foster or watch a documentary. Listen to some of his music. You might be surprised to learn how familiar some of it is. How many of them do you already know? Check out our suggestions below:

  • Doo-dah! by Ken Emerson
  • Beautiful Dreamer: The Life of Stephen Collins Foster by Ellen Hunter Ulken
  • Read about the African American influence on Stephen Foster’s music.

Use #StephenFosterMemorialDay to post on social media.


Stephen Foster Memorial Day is a United States Federal Observance Day according to Title 36 of the United States Code. It was made law in November of 1966 and was first celebrated in 1967.

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“BABY Photos” “One Generation to Another Generation”

“Now… Start Counting Your Blessings… instead of sheep…”

…and this the latest  addition to our family … little Miss Ruby, herself”


and… in this next Photo is little Miss Alyssa when she was a small child… looking after her brand new little baby sister, our little  Miss Jaime…


and…. in this PHOTO… which I took of our brand new baby, Al… as he looks as if he  is talking to big brother, Lee… 

These Photos of big Sister and big Brother looking after the newest person added to the family is really something for them to try to comprehend… something so new and different… wondering as to just exactly… how can,  “I” take real good and loving care for this new member of my family”

Lee & Al 001

and… This next PHOTO is our baby Al in the arms of his Daddy, Sr. and baby Al is getting his first taste of Flying and seeing that Flying in the “Air” is so much FUN… just as soon as Al could… he received his Flying license and continues to Fly… in the beautiful Blue Sky above.


and…  In the beginning … such a long time ago… this little  girl that you see on the foot steps … just getting ready to go walking with her Mommy…. is “Me Ellen” herself and my favorite words at that time were, “I’m doing!”

Looking at this old photo…I sure look as if … I am ready to do some real tough and ruff work for a living…I sure have the strength and muscles to work all day and night… if I have too… to get it done!

ME on steps 001

and…. This next PHOTO  is of my MOTHER when she was just a very young baby.

As you can see when the family had Photos taken over a hundred years ago … the person had to be dressed properly in the studio and it  did have to look nice. This Photo of MOM was evidently taken care of  and of good quality, since MOM was the thirteenth child  in the “BRADY” family.

“Isn’t wonderful how so many things of real importance in a FAMILY are preserved  and taken care of… just so that these important items in and of the family may be handed down from  one member in the family to the next member that will take of all of  those things of  special value… in this family and pass on down to the next generation!”

Baby Marie 001

“Little Marie Brady”   1900

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“Some Old Time Memories, Can Not Forget”

“Christmas Memories”

While – remembering   my childhood in the early 1940’s and during the WWII years  –  also have a photo taken of me and my Father sitting by the lamp in the living room – and we are looking at the very large  size “Hail Stones”  …  in a large bowl,  that my Dad had just collected from in front of our house, during a very bad storm!

In all of my years…those “HAIL STONES”   are the largest that I have ever seen – why  such a large size – no idea – – but since  then  the average size … that I have seen… were the size of small beans.

The memory is only remembered because… I’ve seen the photo – several times and there must have  been a special reason for collecting “HAIL STONES” and taking a picture.

No body was taking a lot of pictures in those days – since there was a WAR going on – you almost always had to have a “Ration Coupon” to buy so many things – because – most of the material and  general  supplies the people used – had to first go toward the WAR effort – we did want to Win the WAR – and all of us – did learn early  in LIFE, to do without – so that America would be victorious in the putting an end to all Wars!

When we lived in the North Saint Louis area, it seems to me that we had lots  of  ice and snow.  At least more than we have today  and there were  no organized street cleaners… since I remember my DAD having to put chains on the car  tires … if we were to have to go somewhere. 

So, in  one of those early years… I must have ask for “ice skates” … having no idea…  what “ice skates” looked like and or if I would even be able to skate  even if … I did receive them? Well … I received “ice skates” and there must have been plenty of ice out side on the side-walks where we lived… the “ice-skates” that I received…  were the kind that you attach to the shoes that you have on and you should have a good strong and firm shoe on… so that the skates can be attached properly!

My Father put the skates on me in the house and then carried me out side. These “ice skates” had double blades – on each skate – so at-least I could  stand without falling.

So my DAD took my hands and just pulled me – for a while – and then had me move one foot ahead of the other and pulling me slower to see if I could do the leg work of skating … but … all that  time, I felt secure – just holding on to him.

We only went around our block and for a very long time. I was dressed so warm – in those days…  little girls worn “Leg-gens”  … which were made to match your coat…  plus the knitted hat and scarf around the neck – and also I had  one of  those “HAND-MUFFS” …  it had a long attached ribbon that went around  to the back of the neck – so  that when you took your hands out – from each side – it was still hanging on to you – it did not get lose – and was always ready for you to put your hands in … and or some of your stuff or even your gloves…  that is,  if you did not need them… also a pocket that zipped shut for some money …  it was  really the best thing…  that I  remember…  for keeping the hands  really  warm!  The warmest.

It was amazing that my DAD would take the time to hold me  and run along side of me as I was learning to skate … as I did learn how to skate – and whenever it was okay with my parents, and the weather was just right… I was outside skating …  all by myself… all around the block!

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“1902 Scott Joplin is registered with the U.S. copyright office”


“Sure looks like Al’s hands and jeans… could that be King Al”

“We have always  had,  a large collection of  “Scott  Joplin” music  as my Mother had some of his music from the early 1900 days… as all the family   living back then… enjoyed … and one more … ” The Entertainer”



and…  “Mu MOM’s  favorite”


Scott Joplin “Maple Leaf Rag” Paul Barton, FEURICH HP piano…

Viewer request in overhead keyboard view. In this recording I play MLR as written in the published score.

In a related video tutorial I play Maple Leaf Rag in 4 different ways: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fotil…

Free public domain edition of original published score: https://www.mutopiaproject.org/ftp/Jo…

In this recording I use the harmonic pedal (only) in resonance half-position. The harmonic pedal was invented by Denis de la Rochefordière.

My Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/paulbarton for those that like to support online creators from as little as 1$ a month.

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CHRISTMAS EVE – December 24

Christmas Eve on December 24 kicks off a series of holiday traditions. Some are ancient practices with a modern spin, while others date back hundreds of years.

Christmas Eve is filled with both religious and non-religious traditions. Religious traditions center around the birth of Jesus. Different denominations have their own traditions. On Christmas Eve Roman Catholics and Anglicans hold Midnight Mass. Lutherans celebrate with candlelight services and Christmas carols. Many evangelical churches hold evening services where families celebrate Holy Communion.

Around the world, Christmas Eve is celebrated with a variety of foods. In Italy, they celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes. Russians traditionally serve a 12-dish Christmas Eve Supper before opening gifts. Meanwhile, in Bulgaria, the Christmas Eve meal consists of an odd number of meatless dishes.

Besides food and religious services, the holiday is when Santa Clause takes to the sky in his sleigh to deliver Christmas gifts around the world. Other names for the white-bearded man in a red suit include Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, and Saint Nicholas. No matter what he is called, the legend of Santa is based on a real-life man named Saint Nicholas of Myra. The early Christian bishop was known for secret gift-giving, as well as many miracles. Through the years, the legend of Santa grew to include the North Pole, a sleigh driven by reindeer, a naughty or nice list, and his jolly laugh, “ho, ho, ho.”

HOW TO OBSERVE #ChristmasEve

What are some of your holiday traditions? How did they begin?

There are many ways to observe Christmas Eve. For many families, the most important thing is to make lasting memories with their loved ones. Here are some ways to celebrate:

  • Attend church for a candlelight service or Midnight Mass
  • Read the account of Jesus’ birth from the book of Luke
  • Put out milk and cookies for Santa
  • Pass out Christmas cookies and other goodies to your neighbors
  • Host an ugly Christmas sweater party
  • Gather around the tree with your family and cups of cocoa and share favorite holiday memories
  • Go caroling in your neighborhood or at a senior center
  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Hang up Christmas stockings
  • Read Christmas classics like The Night Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol
  • Watch a fun Christmas movie like ElfHome Alone, or The Grinch
  • Rent a limo and look at Christmas lights

As you can see, there are many wonderful ways to celebrate Christmas Eve. While you wait for Santa Claus to come down the chimney (or through the window, down the fire escape, or your preferred entrance) you can explore the histories of other holiday personas in 5 Stories Behind Faces of Our Favorite Holidays. Share how you’ll be celebrating this special day by posting on social media with #ChristmasEve.


Hearkening back to the 16th century when Christian traditions were first influenced by winter solstice celebrations, decorating and preparing for Christmas Day took place the evening before. This included putting up the tree, decorating with mistletoe and holly, bringing in the Yule log and making dishes for the Christmas meal.

Jewish traditions have historically influenced Christian practices, too. One such practice is that the church day traditionally begins in the evening. Christian churches have celebrated Christmas Eve in part because it is believed that Jesus was born at midnight. Many churches today hold Christmas Eve services or Midnight Masses. They may also hold candlelight vigils, Nativity productions or sing carols.

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