Influences onStephen Foster is often called the “father of American music.” Many of his songs are still popular today, more than 150 years after they were written. He has had a profound influence on American songwriting, evidence of which can be found in the works of those ranging from Charles Ives to Al Jolson to the Squirrel Nut Zippers and everyone in between. One of his songs, “My Old Kentucky Home,” is the official state song of California—nah, we’re just messing around; obviously it’s the state song of Kentucky.
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