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Archives On The Air 247: Prolific Music Publisher — Charles N. Daniels Papers

Toe tapping, finger snapping, hummable tunes – that’s what Charles N. Daniels was known for.

Daniels exercised considerable influence on American popular music during the first decade of the twentieth century.

At the age of 18 he entered a contest and penned the notes to "Margery". He won $25 for his efforts, and more importantly, the attentions of John Philip Sousa. Sousa’s band popularized the song and Charles Daniels’ career as a composer was off to an exceptional start.

His next major hit was "Hiawatha". He sold the publishing rights to it for ten thousand dollars – an astonishing sum at the time. Several million copies of the sheet music were sold.

Over the course of his forty-seven-year career, Daniels wrote more than one thousand songs. His hit "Sweet and Lovely" was played at the Nixon presidential inaugural ball and featured on the Lawrence Welk television show. 

See musical scores from the early 20th century in the Charles N. Daniels papers at UW's American Heritage Center.