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Michigan & Great Lakes tunes, songs site

Desert Dancer 07 Sep 12 - 09:50 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Sep 12 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Stim 08 Sep 12 - 05:04 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Sep 12 - 07:28 PM
GUEST 09 Sep 12 - 10:09 PM
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Subject: Michigan & Great Lakes tunes, songs site
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Sep 12 - 09:50 PM

Paul Gifford's Collection of Fiddling, Dulcimer Playing, and Songs from Michigan and the Great Lakes Region

From the Home page:
... recordings, photos, commentary, and more.

I have attempted to organize and edit tape recordings I made between thirty and forty years ago, when reel-to-reel tape recorders were giving way to cassette recorders, allowing recordings to be made almost anywhere. At the time, I was young, mobile, and eager to discover and document local musical traditions. My interest started at home in my teens and grew through the 1970s. I acted out of personal interest, without any academic pretensions, grant money, or expensive equipment. The recordings thus are simply documents of personal experience playing with various tradition-bearers whom I sought, with all that implies: slamming doors, ringing telephones, out-of-tune interlopers, and other surprises that affect recording. I hope the selection here is comprehensive enough for the listener to get a good idea of the Michigan fiddling tradition, of the Great Lakes Region hammered dulcimer playing tradition, and of lumberjack and other kinds of traditional song from the state.

From the lengthy Personal Notes page (Gifford came from a musical family and was involved with the folk revival in Michigan in the '70s):
I have been interest[ed] in exploring the historical dimensions of traditional music. I wrote an article, "Fiddling and Instrumental Folk Music in Michigan," in Michigan Folklife Reader, ed. Yvonne Lockwood and Kurt Dewhurst (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1987); a book, The Hammered Dulcimer: A History (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2001); "Henry Ford's Dance Revival and Fiddle Contests: Myth and Reality," Journal for the Society for American Music 4 (Aug. 2010): 307-338; a column which ran in Dulcimer Players News from 1997 to 2004; and other articles.

Although I miss having not recorded certain fiddlers I met in the 1980s who since died, I am glad I was able to tape many fiddlers and others when the jamborees were first starting. Many of the fiddlers and dulcimer players, of course, never had anything to do with them, as I happened to meet them before or outside of those venues. When I first started recording, I used a Sony reel-to-reel (which, incidentally, still works!) that my father purchased in 1965. I bought a Superscope cassette recorder in 1975, and most of the recordings made in the late 1970s were done with that.

Now, years later, few from the generation born between 1880 and 1920 remain. At 61 I've already outlasted my immediate family, and, like everybody else, I don't know how many years I have. I am putting this website together in order to organize and help disseminate these recordings.   Preservation of the tapes will come later.

This looks like an amazing resource. (Thanks to CDSS via Facebook for the tip.)

~ Becky in Tucson

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Subject: RE: Michigan & Great Lakes tunes, songs site
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Sep 12 - 10:09 PM

Here is a list of the song recordings (version/parody notes are Gifford's):

Jam on Gerry's Rock
The Wexford Girl
Johnny German
Miller's Will
My Brother John
I Met the Old Lady One Morning (version of "Dick Darby, the Cobbler")
I'd Married a Dandy Just Nineteen Years Old
I Once Did Know Farmer
Paper of Pins
Mister Captain, Stop the Ship
There's a Pine Tree on the Hill (parody of "Little Log Cabin in the Lane")
There Was an Old Lady Lived over the Hill
We're Just Plain Folk
My Mother was a Lady
Irishman's Shanty

    Bawdy songs:

The Sea Crab
My Name is John Williams
Chisholm Trail
Darby Town
This Way and That Way (note: this version is in the DT, SongID=7282)
Peddler and Joe
There Was a Little Bird
Did You Ever See Sally Make Water?
I Dreamt Last Night
I Fucked an Old Lady (two versions)
I Went Upstairs to Get a Glass of Cider
Monroe is a Beautiful Creature
Oh, Sally, Come Quick
Old Lady She Shit in the Haymow
Old Lady in the Haymow
Old Mother Hubbard
Rory O'More
Said the Little Red Rooster to the Little Red Hen
She Jumped in the Bed
Up Jumped Sally with Her Feet upon the Drum
Oh, She Set with Her Feet Cocked up on a Drum
Yankee Doodle Had a Cat
Oh, Baker, Oh, Baker, He was a Shoemaker
I Stuck My Nose in a Billy Goat's Ass
There's a Pretty Spot on Nellie
Was a Rink in My Dink
My Name is Bob Taylor

   Recitations and a Joke

Here's to the Girl Out West
The Indian and the Druggist
I'm Hunt de Skunk
Dangerous Dan McGrew (a parody of the original Robert Service poem)
Down in the Lehigh Valley

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Subject: RE: Michigan & Great Lakes tunes, songs site
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 08 Sep 12 - 05:04 PM

I sure hope others have checked this link out, because it is a unique documentation of an almost forgotten musical tradition.

I grew up in Michigan, and remember hearing and dancing to this music as a child, but I'd forgotten all about it. I'd also forgotten that hammered dulcimer was once an important part of the music there.

I'd like to know more about the musicians and the music. I love the story about the dance where the attendees whistled all the tunes because they couldn't find a band.

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Subject: RE: Michigan & Great Lakes tunes, songs site
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 07:28 PM


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Subject: RE: Michigan & Great Lakes tunes, songs site
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 10:09 PM

Thanks again for this link info. I had been searching for "Johnny German" and never a hint of it, and there it is!

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