This sweet-faced young man was named Stark Paget. He passed away in 1934 at the young age of 37. He suffered from severe food poisoning, and died at the home of his mother, Mrs. Lucy Paget in Troy, Alabama.
Paget was born in 1897 in Searight, Alabama, the son of J.E. Paget and Lucy Thomas Paget. He spent most of his youth in Andalusia. He came to The University of Alabama in 1923, after serving in the Quartermaster Corps in WWI and attending Auburn University for a short period of time.
Though he has been gone a long time, Paget’s legacy remains –a legacy of music. During his short life, he had a career as an auditor and stenographer for several companies, but he also was a pianist, appearing on the Keith Vaudeville Circuit in Alabama and Florida. He was a gifted singer and musician, but also a composer as well. He was very active in the UA Glee Club. And he composed a song that was popular regionally, called “The Kappa Sigma Dream Girl”, which was dedicated to The University of Alabama chapter of his fraternity, Kappa Sigma. He was perhaps best known for composing the then widely known and performed song, “Song of the Crimson Tide”, which was published by the Supe Store in 1930, and performed by Paget and the Glee Club on the opening of their then new location in the Union Building (now known as Reese Pfifer Hall)
This song is not as widely known as the 1926 song, Yea Alabama! by Lundy Sykes, perhaps it will make a resurgence….
This photograph of Stark Paget, along with his biographical information and this rare piece of sheet music (which the Hoole Library did not have until now!) was donated recently by Mrs. J.W. Hamiter of Andalusia, whose grandmother was Stark Paget’s sister. These were given to us by Janice Fink, editor of the UA Alumni Magazine, who often receives materials like this and they know to pass them on to us. It is a greatly appreciated effort that helps us to preserve and document the history and culture of the University, the community, and beyond. These materials are now part of the Hoole Library’s collections.