The Sheldon Museum presents “The Hutchinson Family Singers: Huzzas, Horrors, and Bumps in the Night,” a talk by Dale Cockrell, a specialist in American popular music. Free with Museum admission. Space is limited, advance reservations are recommended by calling 802-388-2117.

The Hutchinson Family Singers were the best-known, most-loved, and most-hated musicians in nineteenth-century America.  Their passionate commitment to talking and singing about the sisterhood of social reforms garnered them notoriety on all sides of a wide range of divides (including spiritualism).  Too often overlooked, though, is that they bear a primary responsibility for the ways in which American popular music was then made, heard, and appreciated, legacies still much manifest today.

Dale Cockrell, a specialist in American popular music, is Professor Emeritus of Musicology at Vanderbilt University, a Research Associate of the University of the Free State (South Africa), and a happy resident of Lincoln.  He is the author of fourteen books and editions, more than seventy articles, and the founder of The Pa’s Fiddle Project.  He has received several major grants, awards, and honors including a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Society for American Music.  His “Everybody’s Doin’ It:  Sex, Music, and Dance in New York, 1840-1917” (W.W. Norton) was published earlier this year.

The talk is part of the programming offered by the Sheldon Museum in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibit “Conjuring the Dead: Spirit Art in the Age of Radical Reform.”