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Let Me Call You Sweetheart
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Beth Slater Whitson (1870-1930) is part of the great songwriting tradition of the American South in general and Tennessee in particular. In 1925 she wrote of her career: "Between the little frame house in the valley where I wrote my first song-poem, and the sturdy old brick building with its adjoining flower gardens where today I am trying to grow the song-poems I can no longer write, there is a long road of fifteen years. It is an upgrade road of but few level stretches, the rough and rocky road of the average songwriter."" ""I do not call myself a "has-been," for I have no consciousness of having failed. During the long years of striving I have, at least, "touched the hem of success; and, in a measure, consider myself one of the specially anointed. With more than four hundred songs published under by own name and various nom-de-plumes, I feel that I have something of interest to say about my subject."" ""In the spring of 1909, a little country girl with a one-way ticket to Chicago in her near-leather handbag boarded a train at a small Southern town. In the handbag, which was a bulky affair with nickel trimmings, there were close to fifty song-lyrics - the fruit of three years' labor."" ""The girl was timid and awkward and a dreamer. She wore a homemade coat-suit, which consisted of a very long skirt and a very short coat that had caused a member of the family to remark that "sister showed her collar-button whenever she leaned'""" ""That country girl was I. I knew that my coat was too short and my skirt was too long. I knew that my shoes were clumsy and my gloves too stiff. I knew that I was a frump in appearance and that, figuratively, I did show my collar-button when I leaned. But I also knew that there were songs in my soul." From True Confessions Magazine, February, 1925

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