Red Wing COMPOSERs:

kerry mills/Thurland Chattaway  

Frederick Allen (“Kerry”) Mills (1869-1948) was a former Midwest music teacher who reinvented himself as "Kerry" the cornerstone composer of cakewalking America with pieces like “At A Georgia Camp Meeting” (1897)  and “Whistling Rufus” (1899). 

Coming to New York in 1895, Mills established an eponymous publishing house and issued more hits like  “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1904) and “When the Bees Are in the Hive  (1905)  [Featured on Disc B, tracks 12-13] Though Mills' hold on the American dancefloor loosened with the rise of jazz, his work continued to be used in film and radio when depicting the Gay '90s, though he himself lived in poverty and anonymity. 

Thurland Chattaway 

(1872–1947)  

was born in Springfield, Massachusetts where he was a boy soprano later moving to New York City in 1896 to work for music magazines. Chattaway captured the taste of his era in songs like "Mandy Lee" (1899), "When the Blue Sky Turns to Gold" (1901), "My Honey Lou" (1904),  and  "Can't You Take It Back and Exchange It For a Boy? "(1908)  but his most successful song was "Red Wing." He died in Milford, Connecticut, aged 75. 

© 2020 by Henry Sapoznik

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