James R. Murray
James Ramsey Murray was born to Scottish immigrants in Ballard Vale, Andover, Massachusetts. He was educated in the public schools and started a business career with the Tyer Rubber Company. His life changed directions when, at the encouragement of his friends, he studied at the Musical Institute in North Reading, Massachusetts. There he studied with some of the best teachers of the day including Lowell Mason, George Frederick Root, William Batchelder Bradbury, and George J. Webb. He enlisted as an Army musician during the Civil War and his first song, “Daisy Deane,” was composed in a Virginia camp in 1863. After the war, he returned home and taught piano, but soon moved to Chicago, Illinois, to join the Root & Cady publishing house as editor of “The Song Messenger.” He remained there until the great Chicago fire of 1871, when he returned to Andover and taught music privately and in the public schools. In 1881, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, to work for the John Church Company as editor of “The Musical Visitor” and taking charge of the publishing department. He died in Cincinnati. He wrote many songs and gospel songs, compiled and edited many volumes of music for church or school use, and edited five volumes of Wagner’s musical dramas. The popular Christmas song Jolly Old Saint Nicholas is usually attributed to him, though it is not certain.
View the Wikipedia article on James R. Murray.
List of choral works
- Daisy Deane
- Jolly old Saint Nicholas (Traditional)
- The little girl that meets me
- “Me Too!”
- Slumber On
- When Sue and I went skating
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