When Johnny came marching home again, Rick Spencer says, he had some good tunes waiting for him.
There was “Battle Cry of Freedom,” and “The First Gun is Fired,” for starters. There was also “Marching Through Georgia,” “Grafted Into the Army,” and “Beautiful Dreamer.”
Spencer says these songs and their composers constituted the first great wave of American pop culture, and he should know. He’s sort of the Dick Clark of Civil War music.