MORTON, Johnny; MASTODON MINSTRELS
Johnny Morton’s Mastodon Minstrel song book, containing all the favourite songs, & which have made the “Mastodon Minstrels” famous on their tour of the Australian Colonies.
Wellington : Printed at the “New Zealand Times” office, Lambton Quay, 1882. Duodecimo, original printed wrappers, lower wrapper with advertisement for the Company, pp 23, [1 contents]; very small hole with loss to lower wrapper, otherwise a very good copy. Bagnall, 3641.
Formed in the United States by the entrepreneur J.H. Haverly (1837-1901), this legendary blackface minstrel troupe was known as the “Mastodon” company because of its unusually large size: it comprised 40 entertainers drawn from four of Haverly’s other companies, and was renowned for the scale and lavishness of its productions, which incorporated both song and dance. In 1881-82 the Mastodon Minstrels toured Australia and New Zealand.
This pamphlet, printed at the start of the company’s New Zealand visit, contains the lyrics to 34 of the Minstrels’ songs.
Unrecorded in North American libraries; we can locate only two copies of this pamphlet, both of them in New Zealand libraries (Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand; the Hocken Library, University of Otago).