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Carr, Benjamin (12 September 1768–24 May 1831), composer, organist, and music publisher, was born in Holborn, England, the son of Joseph Carr, the owner of a music store in London, and Mary Jordan. Born into a musical family, Carr studied music with Samuel Arnold, a well-known opera composer, and Charles Wesley, an organist and composer of Methodist hymns. In addition to singing in concerts, Carr was involved with the London musical stage and wrote an opera, ...

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Drake, Pete (08 October 1932–29 July 1988), steel guitarist, music producer, and music publisher, was born Roddis Franklin Drake in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Rev. Johnny Drake, a Pentecostal minister, and Nora Blevins. Beginning his musical pursuits on the acoustic guitar, Drake was inspired at around the age of eighteen by hearing steel guitarist Jerry Byrd playing at the Grand Ole Opry. Drake purchased a lap steel at a local Atlanta pawnshop and began to teach himself to play it. Further inspiration came a few years later from hearing Webb Pierce’s 1953 recording of “Slowly,” on which steel guitarist Bud Isaacs achieved bending-note effects with a pedal-activated, pitch-altering mechanism on his guitar. Fashioning his own pedal guitar, Drake became one of Atlanta’s first pedal steel guitarists. He soon formed his own band, the Sons of the South, which at one time included such notable country music figures as Jerry Reed, Joe South, Doug Kershaw, and ...

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Graupner, Gottlieb (06 October 1767–16 April 1836), musician and music publisher, was born Johann Christian Gottlieb Graupner in Verden, Germany, the son of Johann Georg Graupner, an honored Hanover musician, and Anna Maria Agnesa Schoenhagen. He apparently bore no relation to famed composer Christoph Graupner of Darmstadt. At age fifteen Gottlieb followed his father’s profession and joined the nearby Hanover regiment as an oboist. After his father’s death Gottlieb was discharged in 1788 and traveled to London where, in 1791–1792, he performed under Joseph Haydn in the premieres of the first set of his “London” symphonies. Graupner then immigrated to the United States, probably through Prince Edward Island off the coast of Canada. He gained employment as a musician in a traveling Atlantic coast theater company on the West and Rignall circuit. In April 1796 he married Catherine Comerford Hillier, a widow with three children, a professional singer, and a member of the company. The Graupners settled in Boston in the winter of 1796–1797 and worked to improve the musical quality of Boston’s cultural life....

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Rose, Fred (24 August 1897–01 December 1954), music publisher, songwriter, and pianist, was born Knols Fred Rose in Evansville, Indiana, the son of Andrew Rose and Annie West. Little is known about either parent. His childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, was Dickensian in its poverty and insecurity; when he was as young as seven, he was singing for change in various saloons and being shuttled about to various relatives. It was little wonder that he left St. Louis when he was around fifteen, hopping a freight train to Chicago, where he established a base of operations for the following fifteen years. His first marketable skill was as a pianist, and he joined jazz great ...