Composer: Bethune Murray
Famous Song: No One Knows What a Two Cent Stamp Can Do
Style: Snappy Fox-trot Music.
Home: Chatham Ontario
Bethune Murray, Chatham musician and composer who earned success in Chicago.
Bethune, the youngest of the children, is probably the best known of the family. He was one of the first blacks in the Chatham area to receive the A.T.C.A. (a music degree) from Toronto Conservatory of Music and he was also an excellent artist.
Prior to his move to Chicago, Bethune played the piano for one of the theaters in Chatham in the days of silent film. When he moved to Chicago he met and married Louise Ann De Loache. He had a short-lived, but good band in Chicago called The Canadian Ginger Snaps. The problems of being a bandleader became a burden to Bethune so he began to play solo at the better nightclubs in the Chicago area. He also played regularly at the Chicago World’s Fair (Ida Murray Burks also performed at the World’s Fair with the William Henry Smith Chorus.)
Bethune was also a songwriter. His most remembered song was “No One Knows What a Two Cent Stamp Can Do.” He wrote the lyrics and music and had it published in 1928.
Source: Ida Murry Burk.
Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society, 177 King Street East, Chatham On. Canada.
Note: The foxtrot is a ballroom dance. In the beginning the foxtrot was originally danced to ragtime performed by a ‘Big Band’.