— by Kim Davenport
Back in 2017, which feels like a lifetime ago after the epic journey that was 2020, I shared a talk at The Swiss (RIP) about “booster songs” written in honor of Tacoma during the period 1890-1920. A musical form of boosterism and advertising, the songs are fun to explore for their beautiful cover artwork, entertaining lyrics, and peeks into a variety of stories from that era of Tacoma’s history.
The great folks at Grit City Magazine reached out to me recently to revisit that research, which I was delighted to do for what ended up being an article in Volume 10 of their beautiful hard-copy magazine.
Ever looking for things to keep me busy and positive during the pandemic, I realized it was a great time to revisit the talk and record a few of the songs. Thankfully, a fine young musician with whom I’ve been collaborating was game to lend his voice to the sometimes awkward rhymes (thank you, Drew!)
With a few short videos produced and uploaded to YouTube, I’m able to share the updated research talk again, this time virtually rather than as a pub talk (thanks, pandemic). This short post is my way of sharing with my followers a few of those links…
First, here are the songs themselves: You’ll Like Tacoma (1909), Watch Tacoma Grow (1906), and Tacoma: The Rose of the West (1910):
And finally, thank you to Tacoma Historical Society for hosting my talk at their January 2021 virtual meeting, which you can view below. My remarks begin at 9:38, following some THS business at the start of the meeting.