Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946

Folksongs of Another America

Description: Hardcover, 456-page book with 5 CDs and DVD
Publication Date: August 7, 2015
Availability: Out of stock

Price: $60.00 Out of stock

Armed with bulky microphones, blank disks, spare needles, and cumbersome disk-cutting machines, several folklorists had the foresight to document and preserve a significant but overlooked part of the nation’s musical heritage, made by immigrant, Native American, rural and working-class performers. Almost all of these dance tunes, ballads, lyric songs, hymns, laments, versified taunts, political anthems, street cries, and recitations are being issued for the very first time.

This 5-CD set is teeming with African-American, Austrian, Belgian, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French Canadian, German, Ho-Chunk, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Irish, Italian, Luxemburger, Norwegian, Ojibwe, Oneida, Polish, Scots Gaelic, Serbian, Swedish, Swiss, and Welsh performers.

Bonus DVD includes the new documentary film The Most Fertile Source: Alan Lomax Goes North with never-before-seen footage shot in Michigan in 1938. The accompanying book includes extensive liner notes, lyric transcriptions and translations by James P. Leary, co-founder of the Center for the Study 
of Upper Midwestern Cultures at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

About this release:
This groundbreaking documentary project — 5 CDs of newly-restored, rare music; a new documentary film on DVD; and a richly-annotated book to go with them — weaves the songs and spirit of the Upper Midwest’s peoples into America’s folksong fabric. These tunes and songs in more than twenty-five languages showcase a significant but overlooked part of the nation’s musical heritage, made by immigrant, Native American, rural, and working class performers in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

America’s Upper Midwest is a distinctive region where many indigenous and immigrant peoples have maintained, merged, and modified their folk song traditions for more than two centuries. In the 1930s and 40s, folklorists Sidney Robertson, Alan Lomax, and Helene Stratman-Thomas — with support from the Library of Congress and armed with bulky microphones, blank disks, spare needles, and cumbersome disk-cutting machines—recorded roughly 2000 songs and tunes throughout Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Spanning dance tunes, ballads, lyric songs, hymns, laments, versified taunts, political anthems, street cries, and recitations, these field recordings—made by people born before or shortly after 1900—were captured at a transformative moment when America was in the throes of the Great Depression, World War II was erupting, and market-driven mass entertainment media were expanding rapidly. Yet, except for a handful of Anglo-American performances, these remarkable field recordings in more than twenty-five languages have remained largely unknown, along with the lives of their mostly immigrant, indigenous, rural, and working class performers.

Since the 1970s, folklorist James P. Leary has worked steadily to bring the folk music of the Upper Midwest to a larger public. Folksongs of Another America presents 187 representative performances by more than 200 singers and musicians, carefully restored in digital form from deteriorating original formats. The accompanying book provides an introduction, full texts of all lyrics in the original languages and in English translation, extensive notes about each song and tune, biographical sketches and photographs of many of the performers, and details about Robertson, Lomax, and Stratman-Thomas and their fieldwork efforts as song collectors. These restored performances reveal with clarity and power a nearly lost sonic portrait of another America.

About the author / compiler:
James P. Leary is
 the Birgit Baldwin Professor 
of Scandinavian 
Studies, professor
 in the Department
 of Comparative
 Literature and Folklore Studies, and a co-founder of the Center for the Study 
of Upper Midwestern Cultures at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His books include Wisconsin Folklore; So Ole Says to Lena: Folk Humor of the Upper Midwest; and Polkabilly: How the Goose Island Ramblers Redefined American Folk Music. He is co-editor of the Journal of American Folklore.

This project is a co-production between Dust-to-Digital and the University of Wisconsin Press in collaboration with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the Association of Cultural Equity / Alan Lomax Archive.

CD 1
Recordings of lumberjack, Finnish, Scots Gaelic, and Serbian performers captured by fieldworker Sidney Robertson in Wisconsin and Minnesota in 1937.

French Canadian
1. Leizime Brusoe – Fisher’s Hornpipe
2. Leizime Brusoe – Pigtown Fling
3. Leizime Brusoe – Lancer’s in Five Parts

Lumberjacks and Farmers
4. Robert Walker – Lost Jimmie Whalen
5. Warde Ford – Little Brown Bulls
6. Warde Ford – Crandon
7. Warde Ford and Art Ford – I’d Rather Be a Nigger than a Poor White Man
8. Charles Spencer – Mighty Adley-ca-budley-fatley-ca-ham-shaw
9. Charles Spencer – Locks and Bolts
10. Clyde Spencer and Harry Fannin – The Sinking of the Titanic

Scots Gaelic
11. John H. Matheson – A Mhàiri bhàn òg / O Fair Mary
12. John H. Matheson – Stocainnean daoimean / Diamond-Patterned Socks
13. John H. Matheson – Eilean Leòdhais / Isle of Lewis
14. John H. Matheson – Gabhaidh sinn a’ rathad mòr / We Will Take the High Road

15. The Balkan Troubadours (Dan Radakovich, Nick Mitrovich, Lubo Mitrovich, Bob Rajacich, and George Rajacich) – Alaj Gigi
16. The Balkan Troubadours (Dan Radakovich, Nick Mitrovich, Lubo Mitrovich, Bob Rajacich, and George Rajacich) – Angelina vodu lije / Angelina Is Pouring Water

17. Cecilia Kuitunen – Charm for Hiccups
18. Anna Leino – Charm for Toothache
19. Olga Simi and Sue Simi – Pium, paum
20. Matti Simi and Sue Simi – Vilho ja Pertta / Vilho and Bertta
21. Matti Perala – Heramäen pukki / Old Man’s Goat
22. Josefiina Perala – Kataja / The Juniper
23. Otto Sarkipato – Lähtetään pojat nyt soutelemaan / Boys, Let’s Go Rowing
24. Otto Sarkipato – Keskellä lahtea / In the Middle of the Bay
25. Maria Heino – Laurilan Aleksin harmoonipeli / Laurila Aleksi’s Accordion
26. Maria Heino – Ei kukaan puhu puolestani / No One Speaks on My Behalf
27. Maria Heino – Eikä ne haavan lehdet lakkaa / Never Cease the Aspen Leaves
28. Maria Heino – Istuta, tyttö / Plant, O Girl

CD 2
Performances of the acclaimed Wisconsin Lumberjacks band of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, recorded by both Sidney Robertson and Alan Lomax during National Folk Festivals in Chicago and Washington, D.C., in 1937 and 1938.

1. Earl Schwartztrauber and Ray Calkins – Fred Sargent’s Shanty Song
2. Otto Rindlisbacher – Hounds in the Woods
3. Ray Calkins and unknown percussion player – Shantyboy Tune (Kväsarvalsen)
4. Iva Kundert Rindlisbacher – The River in the Pines
5. Sven “Shantyman” Svenson (Otto Rindlisbacher) – Dinner Horn Solo
6. Otto Rindlisbacher and Ray Calkins – Soldier’s Joy
7. Frank Uchytil with Otto Rindlisbacher and Iva Kundert Rindlisbacher – The River in the Pines
8. Otto Rindlisbacher and John Giezendanner – Woods Holler; Hoot Owl Holler
9. Otto Rindlisbacher, Iva Kundert Rindlisbacher, Ray Calkins, Frank Uchytil, Earl Schwartztrauber, and John Giezendanner – Medley: Die lustigen Holzhackerbuab’n / The Jolly Lumberjack; Fred Sargent’s Shanty Song; Schuhplattler
10. Sven “Shantyman” Svenson (Otto Rindlisbacher) – Cow Horn Solo
11. Sven “Shantyman” Svenson (Otto Rindlisbacher) – Lumberjack Story; Swedish Dialect Story
12. Sven “Shantyman” Svenson (Otto Rindlisbacher), Iva Kundert Rindlisbacher, Ray Calkins, and Frank Uchytil – Kväsarvalsen / Swagger Waltz
13. Otto Rindlisbacher – Rippling Brook
14. Iva Kundert Rindlisbacher, Otto Rindlisbacher, and unknown pianist – Saeterjenten’s sontag / Herdsgirl’s Sunday
15. Ray Calkins – Styrmans vals / Pilot’s Waltz
16. Peter H. Plante – Rolling the Logs; French Dialect Story
17. Frank Uchytil – Marie Patin
18. Otto Rindlisbacher and Ray Calkins – Turkey in the Hay
19. Otto Rindlisbacher and Ray Calkins – Woodchopper’s Jig
20. Otto Rindlisbacher – Gamle reinlander / Old Reinlander
21. Otto Rindlisbacher and John Giezendanner – Yodeling
22. Otto Rindlisbacher – Sørland springar’n

CD 3
Alan Lomax’s 1938 Michigan field recordings of lumberjack, Finnish, French Canadian, German, Irish, Lithuanian, Ojibwe, Polish, and Swedish performers.

1. Alan Lomax – Introduction to Joe Cloud
2. Joe Cloud – Red River Jig
3. Joe Cloud – Squaw Dance
4. Joe Cloud and Clarence Cloud – White River Two-Step

French Canadian
5. Edward King – Le Jour de l’an / New Year’s Day
6. Edward King – Ida Goyette, no. 1
7. John Cadeau with Ed Cadeau, Adelore Vizina, and probably Joe Miron, Mose Bellaire, and Edward King – Non que j’aime donc que la boisson / No, So I Don’t Love Anything but the Drink
8. Fred Carrière – La fille du roi/ The King’s Daughter; Le mariage anglaise / The English Marriage
9. Exilia Bellaire – I Went to Marquette
10. Fred Carrière – Pretty Polly; Those Western Shores

11. Bill McBride – No Sir
12. Bert Graham – Joe Williams
13. Unidentified man – Torch Lake
14. Lester Wells – Traverse City
15. Nils Larsen – Yulia and Olaf
16. Lester Wells – Long Barney
17. Adolphus Delmas – Hayfoot, Strawfoot
18. Ed Thrasher – Shoot the Cat

19. Charles Ketvirtis – Russian Gigue
20. Charles Ketvirtis – Buffalo Gals
21. Charles Ketvirtis – Mother Song

22. Herman Meyers – Was war an diesem Baum? / What’s on This Tree?

23. Edwina Lewandowski and Stephanie Lewandowski – Chodźcie gąski moje / Come My Little Geese
24. Felix Kania – Wedding March
25. Tony Strzelecki and possibly Tony Wasylk – Irish Washerwoman
26. Tony Strzelecki – Polish Polka
27. Adolph Romel and Sylvester Romel – W żelaznej fabryce / In the Steel Mill
28. Tony Strzelecki and possibly Tony Wasylk – Turkey in the Straw
29. Felix Kania – Czerwono posiadło, a zielono zniszło / Red When It Was Planted, Green When It Bloomed
30. Edwina Lewandowski and Stephanie Lewandowski – Goldmine in the Sky

31. Yalmer Forster – Kulkurin valssi / Vagabond Waltz
32. Amanda Härkönen – Kaurapellon pientareella kasvoi kaunis kukka / On the Side of an Oat Field Grew a Beautiful Flower
33. Aapo Juhani – Juliana
34. Henry Mahoski – Kauhavan Polka
35. Selma Elona Halinen – Pikkulintu erämaassa lauleleepi suruissana / A Little Bird in the Desert Sings Sadly
36. Frank Maki – Meripojan laulu / Sailor’s Song
37. Amanda Härkönen – Oli mulla ennen punaset posket I Used to Have Red Cheeks
38. Kalle Kallio – Kuule sinä Hiltu kun laulelen / Listen Hiltu When I Am Singing
39. Wäinö Hirvelä – Kylläpä kai / I Guess So
40. Kusti Similä – Yli kymmenen vuotta Korpiinissa oli jo asuttu / Ten Years We’ve Lived in Corbin
41. Lillian Aho – Oi Herra, jos mä matkamies maan / Oh Lord, if I, a Wanderer of the Earth
42. Pekka Aho and Lillian Aho – Mun kanteleeni kauniimmin / My Kantele Will Sound More Beautiful
43. Emil Maki – Suun kloorin kloorin halleluuja! / Oh Glory, Glory Hallelujah!

CD 4
Recordings made throughout Wisconsin in 1940, 1941, and 1946, encompassing not only Finns, French Canadians, Germans, Irish, Lithuanians, Ojibwe, Poles, Scots, Serbs, and Swedes, but also African American, Austrian, Belgian, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Ho-Chunk, Icelandic, Italian, Luxemburger, Norwegian, Oneida, Swiss, and Welsh performers.

1. Stella Stacy and Henry Thunder – Flute Song
2. Winslow White Eagle – War Dance

3. Wallace Smith and Albert Webster – Tsyatkatho

4. Margaret “Laughing Eyes” Edaakie (Eagle) and Phyllis Lewis – 49 Song

French Canadian
5. Leizime Brusoe, Robert McClain, Walter Wyss, and Emery Olsen – Good for the Tongue
6. Ernest Joseph Belisle – Je ne veux pas d’un avocat / I Do Not Want a Lawyer
7. Charles Cardinal – How They Sang the Marseillaise in Chippytown Falls
8. Mary Agnes Starr – Michaud
9. Marie Donalda Lagrandeur – Bonsoir, mes amis / Good Night, My Friends

Belgian (Walloon)
10. Alfred Vandertie – I Went to Market
11. Alfred Vandertie – C’est l’café / It’s the Coffee [the Kermiss Song]
12. Emile Boulanger – Dance Tune

13. John Persons – Cornish Story

14. William Reese and Selina Phillips – Cawn esgyn o’r / Paradise
15. Dr. Daniel W. Wickham – My Welsh Relation
16. Hugh P. Jones – Y mochyn du / The Black Pig
17. John Williams and chorus – Siani bach / Dearest Sian

African American
18. Lillie Greene Richmond – Hide Thou Me
19. Lillie Greene Richmond – Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane
20. Lillie Greene Richmond – One More River

21. Preston Willis – Chase the Buffalo
22. Hamilton Lobdell – Barker’s Call
23. Pearl Jacobs Borusky – My Old Hen’s a Good Old Hen
24. Pearl Jacobs Borusky – Last Saturday Night I Entered a House
25. Charles Dietz – Did You Ever See the Devil?
26. Charles Dietz – Three Dishes and Six Questions

Lumberjack and Irish American
27. Emery DeNoyer – Snow Deer
28. Emery DeNoyer – Shantyman’s Life
29. Emery DeNoyer – Irish Jubilee
30. John Muench with Ralph Weide – Irish Washerwoman
31. Noble Brown – Oh, It’s Nine Years Ago I Was Diggin’ in the Land
32. Robert Walker – McNamar’ from County Clare
33. Charles Robinson – Fond du Lac Jail
34. Lewis Winfield – Moody Alphabet Song
35. Bill Neupert – Red Light Saloon
36. John Christian – Red Light Saloon
37. Bessie Gordon – Gambler’s Blues

CD 5

German and Austrian
1. Noble Brown – My Father Was a Dutchman
2. Richard Taschek with Laura Zenz and Louis Taschek – Die Deutschmeister / The German Master [Regiment]
3. Hans Huber – Wiener Fiakerlied / Viennese Coachman’s Song
4. Ella Mittelstadt Fischer – Wir sitzen so fröhlich beisamen / We Sit So Merrily Together
5. Charles Robinson – Sockery’s Cat
6. Martha Steinbach – An einem Fluss daraus an Schuss / By a Rapidly Flowing River

7. Albert Mueller – Landjäger / Gamekeeper
8. John Giezendanner with Albert Giezendanner – Echo Yodel
9. Otto Rindlisbacher – Ländler

10. Jacob C. Becker – Onse gescht fu Chicago / Our Guests from Chicago

11. Rika Tuinstra Enhoff – Schaarensliep! / Knife Grinder!
12. Marvin Fennema – Bokkie / Billy Goat
13. Anna C. Gysbers Scholten – Moeder, moeder de beer ist los / Mother, Mother, the Bear Is Loose
14. Mary Tillema Smedema – Epitaph
15. Dick Kok – Wiene Wederslweh bloed volksrang / Blood of Netherland Flows; Vlaggelied / Flag Song
16. Henry Kempers – Daisy, Daisy

17. Thomas St. Angelo, Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose DeGidio, and Michael Ranallo – L’America è tanto bella / America Is Most Beautiful
18. Irene Ruffolo – Sona la mezzanotte / It Is Midnight
19. Joseph Accardi – Tiki-ti, Tiki-ta!

20. Charles Elias Jr. – Introduction to Tamburitza Instruments
21. The Elias Tamburitzans (Charles Elias Jr., Ann Elias, Martha Elias, and Mary Filipovich) – Medley: Da nije ljubavi nebi svjeta bilo / If Not for Lovers There Would Be No World; Vinca ca / Wine, Wine

22. Charles Pelnar, John Pelnar, Bill Slatky, and Louis Kasal – Švestková alej / Prune Song
23. The Yuba Bohemian Band (Otto Stanek, Wencil Stanek, George McGilvery, William Tydrich, Anton Stanek, Nick Rott, Martin Rott, and Alfred Stanek) – Popelka polka / Cinderella Polka
24. Emily Bauer McClure and Mayme Bauer Doser – Pod našima okny / Underneath Our Windows
25. Emily Bauer McClure and Mayme Bauer Doser – Když jsem šel cestičkou úzkou / As I Walked That Narrow Path
26. Albert Wachuta – Voják od Prairie du Chien / Soldier from Prairie du Chien

27. John Ciezczak – Zbojniki / Bandits’ Dance
28. John Ciezczak – In the Style of Sabała
29. Bernice Bartosz – Matuś moja, matuś / Mommy, My Mommy
30. Bernice Bartosz – Miałeś czapkę / Hat with Peacock Feathers
31. Adam Bartosz – Zajumiały bory / The Forests Roared
32. Stasia Pokora – A witajże / Oh Hello

33. The Lithuanian Group from the Church of the Immaculate Conception (John Abromaitis, John Aldakauskas, Lucia Aldakauskas, Mary Aldakauskas, Ruth Baranoucky, Ann Belekevich, Edward Girdaukas, Alexander F. Skeris, Stella Skeris, Agnes Zupancich) – Subatos vakarėli / Saturday Night I Saddled My Black Horse

34. Jalmar Nukala and Mamie Wirtanen Nukala – Tula tullallaa, posket pullalla / Cheeks Full of Pulla

35. Abel Jotblad – Flickan på Bellmansro / The Girl at Bellmansro
36. Charles O. Lindberg – Luffarevisa / Hobo Song
37. Ruth Johnson Olson and Alice Johnson Carlson – Julen är inne / Christmas Is Here

38. Kamma Grumstrup – Fra fjerne lande kom hun dronning Dagmar / From Far Lands Came Queen Dagmar

39. Otto Rindlisbacher – Fannitullen / Devil on the Wine Keg
40. Alice Everson – Kom kjyra / Come Cows
41. Britha Lothe and Hannah Haug – Her er det land / This Is the Land
42. Hans Waag – Gamle mor / Old Mother
43. The Psalmodikon Quartet (Elsie Thompson, Emily Thompson Flugstad, Nora Thompson Brickson, and Bertha Larson) – Yderst mod norden / Far in the North

44. Sigurline Bjarnarson and Christine Gudmundsen – Ólafur reið með björgum fram / Olafur Rode Beneath the Cliffs

The new documentary film combines digitally restored silent color film footage, related field recordings, voice-over readings from Lomax’s correspondence and field notes, and onscreen text to create an audiovisual narrative featuring the performers and scenes that captivated Alan Lomax during his 1938 Upper Midwestern foray.

The Wisconsin Lumberjacks: From Rice Lake and Ladysmith
In August and September 1938, Folklorist Alan Lomax Traveled Michigan Recording “a Thousand Songs” for the Library of Congress
Serbs: Detroit Area
Croatians: Copper Country (The Floriani Tamburitza Group)
French Canadians: Baraga
Finns: Upper Peninsula
“Enough Material for Years of Work”