In 2016 David Gordon established an unusual and popular solo concert series in historic Jacksonville, Oregon. Popularity grew, and he began performing for California audiences, too. Since 2016 he has given more than 50 performances of these "song and story" concerts.

The series focuses mostly on songs popular in the USA in the 19th Century. In his concerts David has featured more than 130 vintage songs, each one with its own memorable and carefully researched story. His musical arrangements are based on original sheet music.

The entire series playlist is shown below, although some titles may be missing. The list is arranged chronologically by the year the songs were first published. A few historic events have been added for context. Listen to audio samples.

Songs Popular in 19th Century America


The Last Rose of Summer(Thomas Moore/traditional tune)



Home! Sweet Home! (John Howard Payne & Henry Bishop)



Erie Canal completed between Hudson River and Lake Erie


U.S. population reaches 17 million


A few dozen wagons travel west on the Oregon Trail


Western emigration begins in earnest; 1000s head west

The Boatmen Dance (Daniel Decatur Emmett)

Long, Long Ago (Thomas Haynes Bayly)

Oh We Won't Go Home Until Morning (William Clifton)


Samuel F.B. Morse sends the first telegraph message

The Blue Juniata (Marion Dixon Sullivan)

Open Thy Lattice, Love (Stephen Foster)


O Susanna (Stephen Foster)


The Spider and the Fly (Jesse Hutchinson)

  1841—1848, c.17,000 emigrants traveled overland to Oregon, California, & Utah


The US wins the war with Mexico and acquires the western territories

Gold is discovered in California. In 1848 most miners were already living in California


California Gold Rush begins. This year, 80,000 travel to California, overland or by ship

O California (Jonathan Nichols. To the tune of O Susanna)

Nelly was a Lady (Stephen Foster)


U.S. population: 23 million   •   California becomes the 31st state

Levi Strauss “bibless overalls” (blue jeans) introduced in San Francisco

New York Times begins publication   •   First Singer Sewing Machine is patented

Nelly Bly (Stephen Foster)

Seeing the Elephant (John A. Stone. To the tune of The Boatmen Dance)

What was your name in the States? (anon.)

Kentucky Home

Ah! may the Red Rose Live Alway (Stephen Foster)

Twenty Years Ago (Smith & Willing)


Gold rush in Northern California in Siskiyou County


Wait for the Wagon (R. B. Buckley)


Old Folks at Home (Swanee River) (Stephen Foster)


Gold rush in Southern Oregon around Jacksonville

Wells, Fargo Co. and Otis Elevator are founded

Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)

The Miner’s Farewell (James L. Pierpont)

My Old Kentucky Home (Stephen Foster)

Do They Miss Me at Home?(Caroline Mason & S.M. Grannis)

The Old Log Hut (R.M. Sinclair) ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat")

Lilly Dale (H S. Thompson)


The first U.S. World's Fair takes place in New York

Commodore Perry and U.S. Naval fleet arrive in Japan to establish


Hard Times (Charles Dickens)


Hard Times, Come Again No More (Stephen Foster)


West Coast Gold Rush fades. Gold is harder to find and more expensive to extract

Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)

Listen to the Mockingbird (Milburn & Winner)

Over the Summer Sea (anon. arrangement of "La donna e mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto)

Miner’s Lament (John A. Stone. Tune: Lilly Dale)

Love's Old Sweet Song

The Ship That Never Returned (Henry C. Work)

Some Folks (Stephen Foster)


Western Union Company founded

Sweet Betsy from Pike (John A. Stone)

Gentle Annie (Stephen Foster)


The Miner’s Song (Swett & Kemp)


The California Stage Company (John A. Stone)

Champagne Charlie (Alfred Lee)

Sweet Betsy from Pike (John A. Stone)

Billy’s Back Room (Rob Roy)


On the Origin of Species (Charles Darwin)

The Rose-Bush (Faustina Hasse Hodges)

Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)


U.S. population reaches 31 million.

In the Days of 49 (Charles Bensell)

I’ll Twine ’Mid the Ringlets ("Wildwood Flower") (Joseph Philbrick Webster & Maud Irving)


Civil War hostilities begin at Ft. Sumter.

Nearer My God to Thee (Sarah Flower Adams)

Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line

James Lingenfelter of Jacksonville is the first Oregonian killed in combat in the Civil War

Roughing It by Mark Twain, describing his journey from the midwest to San Francisco


People Will Talk (S. M Grannis)

Bonnie Blue Flag ("We Are a Band of Brothers") (Harry McCarthy) Plus several Union versions.

Better Days are Coming (Stephen Foster)

If You've Only Got a Moustache (Stephen Foster)


All Quiet Along the Potomac To-night (Fontaine & Hewitt)

We're Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground (Walter Kittredge)

When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Patrick Gilmore, as Louis Lambert)


The Salvation Army is founded

Battle Cry of Freedom (George F. Root) Union and Confederate versions.

Beautiful Dreamer (Stephen Foster)


Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (The Prisoner's Hope) (G.F. Root)


Civil War Armistice

Song of the Overland Stage Driver (Nat Stein)

Marching Through Georgia (Henry Clay Work)

Love on the Brain (Mrs. E. A. Parkhurst)


Eating Goober Peas (anon)


Don’t Marry a Man if He Drinks (Kidder & Parkhurst)


The Cincinnati Red Stockings are the first pro Baseball Club

The Man on the Flying Trapeze (Lee & Leybourne)

The French Velocipede (Harry Miller)


First transcontinental railroad is completed


Hurrah For Our National Game (Walter Neville)


U.S. population reaches 38 million.


First intercollegiate football game: Rutgers–Princeton

Campbell Soup Co. and H. J. Heinz Co. are established

Song of the Sewing Machine (Will Hays)

Up in a Balloon (Harry Birch)

The Flying Velocipede (Brio)


The Wonderful Musician (Greenaway and Davies)

  After the Opera (Gus Williams)


Second Wave of the anti-alchohol Temperance Movement

The Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America is founded

Courting in the Rain (Vincent Davies)


The Women's Christian Temperance Union is founded

The Base Ball Song (W. J. Bullock)

Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Never Touch Mine (Booth & Evans)


Ulysses Grant becomes president


Oh Papa, Don’t Drink Any More (French & Blake)

Oh Barney, Take Me Home Again (George W. Brown)


I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen(Thos. P. Westendorf)

My Grandfather’s Clock (Henry Clay Work)

Have Courage, My Boy, to Say No(Penrose & Keens)


The Wondrous Telephone (Thomas Paine Westendorf)

Charlie the Telegraph Clerk (T. Brigham Bishop)

In the Gloaming (Annie Fortescue Harrison)


The Electric Light Waltz (Hazelton & Spencer)


WCTU membership reaches 12,000

I’m a Western Union Telegraph Boy (Herbert Spencer)

Rock-A-Bye Baby (Effie Crocket)

1880 The Picture on the Wall (J. P. Skelly)


The Great Rock Island Route (J. A. Roff)


Love's Old Sweet Song (James Molloy)

  The Fountain in the Park (Edward Haley)


After the Ball (Charles K. Harris)


A Bird in a Gilded Cage (Harry Von Tilzer & Albert Lamb)



Keep On the Sunny Side of Life (Ada Blenkhorn & J. Howard Entwisle)


My Wild Irish Rose (Chauncey Olcott)

20th Century - Tin Pan Alley and Beyond


The Olds Company builds the first assembly line-produced car.

Take me up with you


First flight by the Wright Brothers


In My Merry Oldsmobile (Gus Edwards & Vincent Bryan)


Shine On, Harvest Moon (Dave Stamper)


Low Bridge, Everybody Down (Thomas Allen)


Take Me Up With You, Dearie (A. Von Tilzer & Junie McCree)


Let me Call you Sweetheart (Leo Friedman & Beth Whitson)


When Irish Eyes are Smiling (Chauncey Olcott & Ernest Ball)


TooRaLooRaLooRal (James Royce)


Brother, Can You Spare a Dime (Jay Gorney & Yip Harburg)


Two Brothers (Albert Gordon)


Oregon Place Names Song (David Gordon, written for this series)

Folk Songs  (18th to mid-19th Century)


The Water is Wide

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Poor Wayfarin' Stranger

Oh Shenandoah

One More River to Cross

I Am a Rovin' Gambler

Jack o' Diamonds / Rye Whiskey

The Girl I Left Behind Me

Begone, Dull Care

   and more...