Happy Valentine’s Day, Claire
This is an early Valentine for my wife Claire and in honor of Women’s History Month, March 1 through March 31, 2016.
It is a ballad written by a woman in 1901 who sang it at the request of three U.S. Presidents. It sold over one million copies. She was the first woman to own and operate a music publishing house.
“Carrie Jacobs-Bond began to write songs in 1894 to supplement the income of her husband, Frank Bond. When he died in 1895, she returned briefly to her hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, where “I Love You Truly” was written. She then moved to Chicago where she painted china and rented out rooms to make ends meet. There she continued to write songs and eventually sought to publish them herself. With the encouragement and assistance of friends, including a loan from contralto Jessie Bartlett Davis, in 1901 she published a sheet music collection of her compositions called Seven Songs as Unpretentious as the Wild Rose, one of which was “I Love You Truly”. She published it again as a separate song in 1906, at the same time correcting an oversight and filing for copyright. It sold over a million copies, one of the earliest songs composed by a woman to achieve that distinction.[a]”
“I Love You Truly” was categorized as a “high-class ballad”, a genre of the period applied to serious ballads that were suitable for cultured venues as opposed to vaudeville. It became a standard at wedding ceremonies. It also became a mainstay of barbershop harmony arrangers and singers.”
Jacobs-Bond was invited to sing at the White House by three different presidents, and each time sang “I Love You Truly”.
On July 4th, 1939, during the tribute to Lou Gehrig, who had been stricken with ALS, before 61,808 fans the Yankees band played “I Love You Truly,” while the crowd sang “We love you, Lou.” “61,808 Fans Pay Tribute to Gehrig” New York Times, July 5, 1939. WGCJr. 2.11.2016