The Adirondack History Center Museum is offering Vagabonding: Reminiscences, Songs, Stories and Poems of Marjorie Lansing Porter on Friday, September 20 at 6:00pm. The evening features Adirondack folk music performed by Lee Knight and “Speedy” Arnold, both musicians who knew Marjorie Lansing Porter. In addition, Marjorie’s grandson, Dana Paul, will perform and her other grandchildren and great-grandchildren will read from her poems and letters.
The event includes stories by Jack LaDuke and others who knew and admired Marjorie and were inspired by her energy and passion for history, journalism, collecting music and especially the people of the Adirondacks.
Marjorie Lansing Porter’s Musical Legacy
Marjorie Lansing Porter was one of the founders of the Adirondack History Center in 1955. She served as historian for both Clinton County and Essex County and was a writer and editor for the Essex County Republican and other northern New York newspapers.
In her work as historian, she traveled across the region collecting stories and songs using a SoundScriber portable recorder. The songs, recorded in the 1940s and 1950s and considered by Marjorie as “fine to keep,” ranged from British and Irish ballads to native New York songs of lumber camps and iron mines.
Lee Knight, a musician and friend of Marjorie’s, has been researching and transcribing the lyrics to the music. An initiative by SUNY Plattsburgh to digitize the entire Porter song collection has been an important contribution to the project.
Vagabonding is presented in partnership with Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY) in Canton who is spearheading the Songs to Keep project to bring this rich and long-forgotten collection of Adirondack/North Country music to light to showcase and raise awareness of the folk music of New York’s Adirondack North Country.
The songs are seeing new life through a collaborative effort that includes a CD of songs from the collection recorded by contemporary artists, a song book with music, lyrics, and historical information, and a Mountain Lake PBS documentary featuring Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary, and the Bacon Brothers, and the work of SUNY Plattsburgh Feinberg Library’s Special Collections.
The price for the Vagabonding concert and readings is $5.00 museum members, $8.00 non-members. With the purchase of a concert ticket, the museum is free and open to the public before the concert to view the Marjorie Lansing Porter traveling exhibit curated by the Adirondack History Center Museum.
The museum is located at 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown. For more information and reservations please contact the museum at 518-873-6466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.