During the summer of 1903, the New Orleans Times-Democrat published an article about O'Hare's music, thus raising questions about possible 1880s association with Witmark and his reasons for moving from Washington, D.C. to Shreveport:
The claim that O'Hare had signed a contract with Witmark to study black music is intriguing but not readily accepted.
Would Witmark pay a 21-year-old to go on an extended hunt for tunes that might enhance the firm's reputation and profit but which might lead nowhere? Would this mean that Witmark lined up the Grand Opera House job for O'Hare as a cover for his research or that he began by wandering the South in the name of research and ended up at the right place and time to become the first music director of the newly built opera house?
Facts and Reasonable Inferences
Although Witmark did not publish the songs on which Schwing and O'Hare collaborated until after O'Hare moved to New York, the songs may have been composed, or at least begun, while both men lived in Shreveport. Just as O'Hare had made a career move and joined the Witmark staff, Schwing had moved to New Orleans as the Times-Democrat article correctly points out.
The article appeared a few months after Witmark's March 20 copyright of the two men's I Kissed You in My Dream Last Night and Do You Remember, Dear? Whether Carter Schwing contacted the newspaper or a reporter contacted him, Schwing was probably the paper's source. Errors in chronology, and even in facts, could easily have occurred, especially since O'Hare had left Louisiana approximately three years before the article's publication.
Comments are closed.
I am a retired community college professor and the great-granddaughter of composer, orchestrator, arranger, organist, and teacher William Christopher O'Hare.
Click the "Read More" link to see each full blog entry.