Christy, Edwin P.

Christy, Edwin P.,

1815–62, American showman, b. Philadelphia. He established c.1846 in Buffalo, N.Y., a company of minstrels that came to be known as Christy's Minstrels. The company, although not the first of its kind, crystallized the pattern of the minstrel showminstrel show,
stage entertainment by white performers made up as blacks. Thomas Dartmouth Rice, who gave (c.1828) the first solo performance in blackface and introduced the song-and-dance act Jim Crow, is called the "father of American minstrelsy.
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—the interlocutor, the semicircular arrangement of white performers in blackface, the end man, and the variety act. For over 10 years Christy had great success all over the United States and in England. He retired in 1854, and the group continued under the direction of George N. Harrington, who assumed the name Christy. Some of the songs of Stephen FosterFoster, Stephen Collins,
1826–64, American songwriter and composer, b. Lawrenceville, Pa. His pioneer family was aware of his talent for music, but not understanding it they provided him with little formal musical education.
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 were published bearing Christy's name as author and composer.
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