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Jean Murray: Press

Jean Murray, a longtime Alaskan and music aficionado, meticulously researched the songs and stories of the Gold Rush. What emerged was a treasure trove of music that ran the gamut, from rowdy dance hall tunes to weepy laments for distant homes and families. The result is a 415-page collection of more than 100 songs. Murray verified the authenticity of the tunes through diaries, letters, libraries and archives. Each song includes a short history and notes about its composer. And there are plenty of old sheet-music covers, as well as photos of gold seekers singing and playing instruments, decorating the volume.

Editors - Alaska Magazine (Feb 1, 2001)
"The recording is a delight of yesteryear."
Rene' Blahuta - Tanana-Yukon Historical Society
Regarding the collection of music: "Although most of the settlers left the Klondike shortly after the gold rush, their influences are still found throughout the region. Because of its accessible scores, "Music of the Alaska-Klondike Gold Rush" is certain to be a popular book among musicians in Dawson,Faribanks, Skagway, and Nome today who perform for tourists. The book is also useful for scholars and others interested in the gold rush as an historical American phenomenon, complete with musical expression and romantic idealism."
Music Of The Alaska-Klondike Gold Rush brings the songs to life with stories and tales about many of the people who were important to the music of this yesteryear era. Photos and reproductions of original sheet music covers provide an engaging visual counterpoint to the scores and their history. Music Of The Alaska-Klondike Gold Rush is a benchmark publication for the history of American music and is highly recommended for personal, academic, and public library collections.”
The Bookwatch (Jan, 2000)
“The author has not only assembled a rich and intriguing collection of period tunes and lyrics, but rounded out the collection with reproductions of sheet music covers, posters, illustrations, and other graphics relating to the music, as well as annotations on the musicians and the origins of the tunes. Like popular music from the present era, some of the lyrics seem downright silly and many are cliched, but they present a colorful backdrop to the gold rush."
Mike Esterbean - The Bloomsbury Review (May, 2000)
“This substantial book is the culmination of Jean Murray’s long search for the genuine songs of the Gold Rush. It includes songs and parodies by the gold seekers themselves and songs about the Gold Rush by professional musicians. It also contains popular music sung and performed by the prospectors, which they brought with them from home and recorded in diaries, letters, and other accounts...This book is a great resource both for researchers and other enthusiasts. The music and words are clearly reproduced, the book fits easily on a piano music stand, and it is attractively presented.”
The Polar Record (Apr, 2001)
"Murray has collected over 100 pieces, all of which have historically verifiable ties to the Gold Rush. She has not "assumed" anything. She found allusions to tunes in diaries, letters and publications of the period...[She] has laboriously and lovingly compiled a wonderful book that recreates the musical interludes of the Gold Rush era."
Ann Chandonnet - Juneau Empire (Mar 24, 2002)