Minor Music
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Oh dem Golden Slippers
Categories: December, January


The Mummers have been a formal New Year’s Day tradition in the city of Philadelphia since January 1, 1901. A day when accordion and banjo players, and saxophonists come together as unlikely (but undisputed) bedazzled rock stars; and when “Oh dem Golden Slippers” reigns as the official anthem of the day.

Now, I come from a time and place when New Year’s Day meant bundling up in multiple layers and camping out at our family’s spot at the corner of Broad and Reed. The day was spent cheering on the Comics; ooo-ing and ahh-ing the Fancy Brigades; and strutting to the String Bands.
Whether you’re a Broad Street Strutter from way back, or you’re brand new to this regional mainstay you’ll wanna add these Mummer standards to your holiday playlist:

“Alabama Jubilee” was written by George L. Cobb and Jack Yellen. Hail, Hail, the gangs all here, and undoubtedly they’ll wanna hear these versions of a true American classic:

Collins and Harlan Orchestra

Red Foley

Ferko String Band

“Oh dem Golden Slippers,” (written by James A. Bland) is well-known as a bluegrass instrumental standard that dates back to the 19th century. It’s actually a parody of a Civil War-era spiritual that tells the story of one man’s journey from this world. He dons his golden slippers and boards a chariot headed for Heaven.

Al Hirt

Pete Fountain

Fats Waller

For more on the history and tradition of the Mummers, check out PhillyMummers.com

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