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Field recordings made primarily by Jeffrey “Smokey” Mckeen for use in developing a series of radio programs devoted to traditional music in Maine. The collection includes 37 cassette recordings of interviews with 44 individuals in addition to performances. The programs were later packaged and released by the Maine Folklife Center as a series of four cassettes entitled “Traditional Music of Maine, Vols. 1-4.”

Traditional Music of Maine celebrates the musical legacies of a variety of Maine folk communities by exploring their cultural and historical significance through oral history interviews with musicians and other community members. The tapes introduce the general public to the remarkable diversity and vitality of Maine's musical traditions. Originally developed as a radio series for the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, the project was funded by grants from the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Community Foundation. This series consists of four cassette tapes containing a total of eight half-hour programs documenting Maine's rich, traditional musical heritage.

Program themes include: Songs of the Maine Lumberwoods; Music of the Maine Grange; Swedish Music of Aroostook; Music of Maine’s Finnish Communities; Slavic Music of the Lower Kennebec; Acadian Music of the St. John Valley; Pioneers of Maine Country Music; and Songs of the Passamaquoddy. To date, no accessions have been specifically linked to the last three program themes. Topics discussed in the interviews include: life in lumber camps; working in the lumberwoods; working on river drives; transition from river driving to using trucks to haul logs; the Maine Grange; changing role of the Grange in Maine life; immigration; and the Swedish and Russian communities in Maine. Interviewees sing traditional songs; and play the harmonica; piano; concertina; mandolin; and other instruments.

NA2028 Noel "Jack" Tomer, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, winter 1988, Greenville, Maine. Tomer, a 93 year old Maliseet Indian, talks about his experiences as a Maine Guide, river driver, and musician; recollections of playing in Francis' Famous Orchestra. Tomer also plays selections on the mandolin, Jew's harp, harmonica, and penny whistle. Lots of MUSIC.

NA2029 Fritjof Jacobson, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, spring 1988, Westmanland, Maine. Jacobson, retired potato farmer, talks about the music and traditions of the Swedish communities in Aroostook County, Maine. Mr. Jacobson plays several selections on the fiddle accompanied by son Jake on the guitar. LOTS OF MUSIC.

NA2095 Walfred Hamari, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen and Ernie Freeberg, winter 1988, South Paris, Maine. Hamari talks about Finnish communities in Oxford Co. and the U. P. of Michigan; songs sung by Walfred accompanied by Doc Tikander. LOTS OF MUSIC.

NA2116 Jorma Ranta, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen and Ernie Freeberg, winter 1987, Freedom, Maine. Ranta discussing the music of Finnish community of Monson and 35 years as accordion player for the dances at the Finnish Farmers Club. Some accordion music played.

NA2117 Maila Korsman, Anna Lee Libby, and Signe Ranta, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen and Ernie Freeberg, winter 1988, Monson, Maine. Korsman and Libby talk about the early days of the Monson Finnish community and Finnish Farmers Club. Also interview with Ranta. No music.

NA2118 Maila Korsman, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen and Ernie Freeberg, winter 1988, Monson, Maine. Korsman talk about Finnish community in Monson. No Music.

NA2119 Martha Viik, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen and Ernie Freeberg, winter 1988, Monson, Maine. Viik talks about growing up in Monson as the child of Finnish immigrants; traditions of the Finnish community; language; school; food; music; and dance.

NA2232 Jim Cahill, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Moscow, Maine. Cahill talks about living in the woods camps as a boy with his family; working in the woods camps as a boy with his family; working in the woods on the drives on the Kennebec. Some MUSIC.

NA2233 Eddie Rollins, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Moscow, Maine. Rollins, who worked in the woods and on river drives as a young man in the upper Kennebec area, sings on the tape songs such as: “Spring of 65,” The Red River Shore,” “Hungry Hash House,” “Peter Emberley,” and several others. LOTS OF MUSIC.

NA2234 Linwood Brown, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Alexander, Maine. Brown worked in the woods and on river drives as a young man in the upper Kennebec area.

NA2235 Joseph Walker, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Fort Fairfield, Maine. Walker talks about life in the lumber camps as a young man; his mother working as camp cook; working on St. John River and Chiemticook Stream. LOTS OF MUSIC.

NA2236 Calvin Hafford, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Allagash, Maine. Hafford, who worked in the woods around the St. John and Allagash Rivers, describes the work and the lifestyle and sings several songs. Music on recording. Songs: Shanty Boys, Wild Winds that Crossed, Androscoggin Shore.

NA2237 Frank Dowling, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Machias, Maine. Dowling talks about life in the woods; the camps around the Machias River and Grand Lake Stream; teaching school; and working for the Maine Central Railroad. No music.

NA2238 Newell Beam, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Machias, Maine. Beam discusses lumbering on the Machias; the song “Jam on Gerry’s Rock,” and sings it. LOTS OF MUSIC. Songs: Shanty Boys, Old Arm Chair (not to be confused with Old Rocking Chair), is Fogarty’s Christmas Cake (funny), “The Silvery Colorado,” Recitation of “French farmer from Canada.”

NA2239 Perlie McLaughlin, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, West Enfield, Maine. McLaughlin talks about river-driving on Schoodic Stream, and woods work around the Millinocket area. No music, though a recitative of “The touch of the Master's hand.”

NA2240 David Calder, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Skowhegan, Maine. Calder discusses the last years of riverdriving; the transition to using trucks for hauling; worked for the Kennebec Log Driving Company; sings “The Last Drive.”

NA2241 Lester White, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, East Andover, Maine. White plays the harmonica and discusses working in the woods. LOTS OF MUSIC.

NA2242 Ernest Tweedie, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Parkman, Maine. Tweedie talks about working in the logging industry and the music in the bunkhouses. Sings a few shanty songs and gives an example of Bunkhouse Wake Up Call. See companion accession NA 2243. Songs: “East Bound Train,” “Whisper Your Mothers Name,” “A Drunkard’s Child,” Bunkhouse wake up call.

NA2243 Ernest Tweedie and Thelma Tweedie, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Guilford, Maine. The Tweedies discuss early days of the Grange; growing up in Aroostook county; sings several songs from the lumber camps.

NA2244 Dorothy Canwell, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Oxford, Maine. Canwell discusses the Grange; the role of the Grange in contemporary life; selection of music by Dot Canwell, Harry Boyer, and Althea Fish. LOTS OF MUSIC.

NA2245 Dot Ruppell and Jim Cahill, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Bingham, Maine. Ruppell and Cahill talk about the Grange; compare the old days with now; sing.

NA2246 Thelma Murray, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, July 10, 1990, Owl’s Head, Maine. Murray talks about her role as Grange musician and plays some of the old marches and dance tunes. No music.

NA2247 Georges River Grange, recorded by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, South Montville, Maine. Selections from the Georges River Grange. LOTS OF MUSIC.

NA2248 Lewis Newell, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Montville, Maine. Newell discusses the founding of the Grange; music; and the role the Grange today. No music.

NA2249 R. I. Crossman, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Corinna, Maine. Crossman discusses the importance of music and the changing role of the Grange in Maine life. No music.

NA2250 Hazel Bean, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Vienna, Maine. Bean talks about the Grange and plays some pieces on the piano. Lots of music including Grange Marches.

NA2251 Ethel Herbert, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Mercer, Maine. Herbert discusses belonging to the Sandy River Grange and serving as lecturer. No Music.

NA2252 Songs recorded at the Seaside Grange by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, South Bristol, Maine. LOTS OF MUSIC.

NA2253 Harry Boyer, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, East Dixfield, Maine. Boyer discusses going to the Grange meetings all over the state and sings a cappella music of the Grange. Includes original song by his daughter “Know the Feeling it Brings.” Songs: There’s A River, The Lords Prayer, It’s Been A Long Long Time, When You and I Were 17, State of Maine (Grange Song), Waltz Across Texas, Know The Feeling It Brings (original song by daughter), I Wish I Was A Teddy Bear by Waylon Jenning.

NA2254 Doug Protsik, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Freedom, Maine. Protsik plays the piano; explains the ways Grange players played the piano for the granges. Excellent resource for researching Grange Music Theory.

NA2255 Harvey Gurney, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Appleton, Maine. Gurney plays songs on the concertina and harmonica. LOTS OF MUSIC.

NA2256 Gene Allen and Ava Allen, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Camden, Maine. The Allens play the mandolin and piano. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. LOTS OF MUSIC. RESTRICTED.

NA2257 Val Bardash, Walter Taranko, John Supruniuk, Walter Lepuchenko, Ukrainian picnic, Wasyl Moros, Maria Sachno, Willis Johnson, Helena and Mathilda Schumejko, and the St. Alexander Nevsky Church Choir, recorded by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1991, Richmond and Gardiner, Maine. Interviews with Bardash, Taranko, Supruniuk, Lepuchenko, Ukrainian picnic, Moros, Sachno, Johnson, the Schumejkos, and the St. Alexander Nevsky Church Choir talk about immigration; life in Maine; also singing and the playing of instruments. Traditional Music of Maine Series, The Russians.

NA2258 Axel Tall, Fritjof Jacobson, Charlene and Peter Espling, Lillian and Adella Johnson, Helen Borgeson, Chester Ringdahl, Mildred Beaulieau, Harley Jepson, and others, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, summer 1990, New Sweden, Maine. The Midsummer Festival, Tall, Jacobson, the Esplings, the Johnsons, Borgeson, Ringdahl, Beaulieau, and Jepson talk about immigration; early days; current times; and the Swedish community in Maine. Song sung by Chester Ringdahl on Track 8 CD 979 “Jag Har en Van” (“I have a Friend...”). Song sung by Helen Borgesen “Halsa dem Darhemma.” Traditional Music of Maine Series, The Swedes.

Publication Date

2020

Keywords

Folk music, Bluegrass music, Country music, Grange

Disciplines

Folklore | Oral History

Size of Collection

34 items

Dates of Collection

1987-1991

Manuscript Number

MF039

MF039  Traditional Music of Maine Project Collection

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