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John Barnes Wells

John Barnes Wells, a tenor vocalist, was featured on many 78-rpm recordings released in the first decades from the 20th hundred years. He also performed in musical movie theater productions of the era like a 1903 edition from the Wizard of Oz and an Uncle Tom’s Cabin built for the Broadway stage significantly less than two years ahead of Wells’ loss of life. This artist can be acknowledged with composing a number of the ditties he documented only and in tandem with performing partner Mildred Potter or the Columbia Stellar Quartet vocal ensemble. Entitled “I Dunno,” among these songs arises in mention of the flighty, comfortable, and intriguing subject of parlor tunes about parrots. The tune itself could be a grammatically feeble response to a earlier question-song by Wells, “Why?”

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