Story & Song

Historic Jacksonville’s highly popular monthly series, “Pioneer History in Story & Song,” features celebrated folk singer and historian David Gordon, sharing original songs from the 1800s along with the stories behind them.  His April 9th concerts highlight Women Poets & Ballad Composersand the popular songs they created during a time when women were expected to play and sing, but were widely prevented from composing.


The few women who did publish their music did so under male pseudonyms.  American women had more freedom to write and publish poetry and ballads, and the lyrics and music of artistic pioneers such as Marion Dix Sullivan, Carolyn Mason, Susan Parkhurst, and Elizabeth Allen include some great hits of the early parlor song repertoire, like The Blue Juniata, Do they Miss Me At Home, My Lovely Canoe, and All Quiet along the Potomac Tonight.

On April 9, David will be telling the stories and singing the songs of these mostly forgotten pioneers at 2 and 3:30pm in the Jacksonville Library Naversen Room located at 340 West C Street.  Admission is $5, paid at the door.  Reservations are strongly suggested since every 2016 performance was a sell out!  The 2 p.m. performance for “Women Composers” is almost fully booked.  Limited space is still available for the 3:30 p.m. concert, and you are welcome to join our “wait list” for the earlier time. Secure your seat(s) by calling 541-245-3650 or e-mailing

We are also taking reservations for David’s last concert of the season at 2:30 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 – “Pioneer Laughter.” 

David has been described by The Washington Post as “an irresistible performer,” weaving a soothing musical tapestry of songs, irresistible vocals, gentle guitar stylings, stories, musings, and his own unique brand of goofy humor.  After a 40+ year career as an internationally acclaimed Bach tenor, this series represents a return to David’s musical roots.

You can revisit part of our 2016 series at David’s website,