Emmett, Daniel Decatur

Emmett, Daniel Decatur

biographical name

(born Oct. 29, 1815, Mount Vernon, Ohio, U.S.—died June 28, 1904, Mount Vernon) U.S. showman and songwriter. The son of an Ohio blacksmith, he joined the army at age 17 as a fifer. In 1843 in New York he helped organize the Virginia Minstrels, one of the earliest minstrel-show troupes. He is credited with writing “Dixie” (1859), a minstrel “walk-around” (concluding number) that became the Confederacy's unofficial national anthem. His other songs include “Old Dan Tucker” and “Blue-Tail Fly.” He also wrote banjo tunes and music instruction manuals.

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