Oh Dry Those Tears

My paternal grandmother, Pearl Reed Cleage was born in Lebanon, Kentucky. Her family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana when she was a young girl and that is where she grew up. She sang at various events before she married and my father was born and the family moved to Kalamazoo, MI. I found this newspaper article in the box of family photos and was able to find more information about the event in several local papers. I found one of the songs she sang (Oh Dry Those Tears) and I shared it below.

Sings in Concert at Simpson Chapel

 Miss Pearl D. Reed The violin recital of Clarence Cameron White will be given this evening at Simpson Chapel under the direction of the Colored Y.M.C.A. Orchestra.  He will be supported by the best local talent.  The following program will be given:
Overture – “Northern Lights,” Y.M.C.A. Orchestra
Violin – Hungarian Rhapsodie, Clarence Cameron White
Song – “Oh Dry Those Tears,” Miss Pearl D. Reed.”
Piano – “Vaise in C sharp minor (b) Polanaise in A major.  Mrs. Alberta J. Grubbs.
Violin – (a) Tran Merel: (b) Scherzo, Clarence Cameron White
Orchestra – “The Spartan,” orchestra
Vocal – “Good-by”, Miss Pearl D. Cleage
Readings A.A. Taylor.
Selection – “The Bird and Brook,” orchestra

The Indianapolis Star, Friday       May 8, 1908

“The Cameron White Recital” 

Clarence Cameron White ably sustained his reputation as a violinist at Simpson Chapel church last week under the auspices of of the Y.M.C.A. Mr. White plays a clean violin; he gets all out of it there is – dragging his bow from tip to tip, and more if it were possible.  He did not attempt any of the great big things – the big concertos, and perhaps for the best.  Yet he showed his capability for such work and at the same time satisfied his audience.  His encores as a rule were selections that the audience recognized and through the beautiful renditions it could easily form some estimate of his playing ability.  Mr. White was a decided success.  Seldom is has a good class of music been so thoroughly appreciated.  He was supported at the piano by Samuel Ratcliffe whose playing was commendable.  Miss Pearl D. Reed proved an acceptable contralto singer.  The orchestra under Alfred A. Taylor did some very effective work.  Mr. Taylor proved a reader of ability; he read several of his own selections.  The audience was magnificent and paid the utmost attention to the renditions.”

The Freeman An Illustrated Colored Newspaper 1908    May 16 page 4

One of the songs Pearl Reed sang at the recital, “Oh Dry Those Tears”

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11 thoughts on “Oh Dry Those Tears

  1. I don’t know if you’ve mentioned Lebanon, KY before, but I missed it. My husband is from Marion Co, born in St Mary’s (many years after Pearl). I’ve been to Lebanon many times! I wasn’t able to hear the song for some reason, but I will go find it. I’m sure you’d love to hear your Grandmother Pearl sing it.

    1. I have mentioned Lebanon, KY before in posts on my grandmother. Maybe not on Sepia Saturday. I have never been to Lebanon. When we used to drive to Detroit, that was when I should have done it. Now, I don’t go anywhere outside of visiting my children in GA, or a dip into states bordering.
      I’m sorry you can’t hear the song! It’s on youtube. By the time I heard my grandmother sing, she had a thin old voice. I never realized then she had been a well known singer in her youth and in her arena.

  2. Oh how funny & serendipitous! I had not seen your post until after I’d put mine together & posted it. I wish I had a recording of me singing “O Dry Those Tears” in the melodrama I mentioned. When I came onstage as an angel to sing the song to the sobbing heroine, the audience cracked up, & I put every trill, grace note, appoggiatura, & glissando I could fit into the song for the full old-fashioned effect. 🙂

    1. What are the chances of two people having “Oh Dry Those Eyes” in the same week here on Sepia Saturday? Pretty good I guess.

  3. What a great clipping to treasure, especially with her photo! I quickly found the digital version at Newspapers.com just to save it for the other names. Clarence Cameron White became a noted composer as well as violinist and I’m sure some of the musicians in my collection knew him. The song is lovely and I can imagine your grandmother’s voice singing. This was the great era for contraltos as their deeper vocal timbre carried further on outdoor stages and was easier for the early recording microphones to pick up. It’s no longer as common a term though many women still sing with that quality.

    1. Yes! It’s one of the earliest ones we have of her. I found another item about the same concert with another photo but the copy is so bad. I may use it in the A to Z though.

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