“Traditional Arts in Upstate New York is spearheading a collaboration [with Mountain Lake PBS, the Adirondack History Center Museum, and SUNY Plattsburgh Feinberg Library’s Special Collections] on a ground-breaking project to showcase and raise awareness of the folk music of the Adirondack North Country. Todd Moe [of North Country Public Radio] talks with TAUNY director Jill Breit about the “Songs to Keep” project, and Champlain Valley historian Marjorie Lansing Porter’s work to preserve the music of lumber camps and iron mines.” (NPR)
Listen to the entire story here, and hear a sample of one of the old folk songs that is played during the interview.
The project will include a series of concerts throughout the summer, a PBS documentary, a song book, an album with some of these historic songs re-imagined by current Adirondack musicians, and an exhibit exploring Marjorie Lansing Porter’s work that will travel throughout the North Country.
About Marjorie Lansing Porter
Marjorie Lansing Porter was born in 1891 into a journalistic family in Essex County. She grew up thinking she would be a teacher, but her love of history led to into the role of a historian. She collected an abundance of folklore–stories and songs–from around the North Country. Now her work is coming to light again and being shared with the community!
Porter recorded many songs in the 1940s and 50s, and those recordings now reside in SUNY Plattsburgh’s Feinburg Library. The library has digitized the whole collection for easy listening. Learn how to access those records yourself here.
Songs to Keep Concert Schedule
The following concert schedule, which lists dates, venues, and performers was found on the TAUNY website:
Thursday, August 8, 7:30 p.m. – Clayton Opera House, Tickets $15
Featuring: Dave Ruch, Bill Smith, The Fraser Family and Friends, John Kirk and Trish Miller, Colleen Cleveland (Click here for ticket information)
Wednesday, August 21, 8 p.m. – Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Tickets $15
Featuring: Dave Ruch, Bill Smith and Don Woodcock, Jamie Savage and Sue Grimm, Dan Berggren with Alex Smith, Celia Evans, Bernard Ouimet (Click here for ticket information)
Saturday, August 24, 7:30 p.m. – View, Old Forge, Tickets $15 (Click here for ticket information)
Featuring: Dave Ruch, Jamie Savage and Sue Grimm, John Roberts and George Ward, La Famille Ouimet, Colleen Cleveland
Saturday, September 14, 7 p.m., Edwards Opera House Tickets $10
Featuring: Dave Ruch, Don Woodcock, The Fraser Family and Friends, John Kirk and Trish Miller, Lee Knight
Friday, September 20, 6 p.m., Adirondack History Center Museum, Elizabethtown, Tickets: $8 ($5 for museum members)
Evening of remembrances and song featuring Lee Knight, Sean Rosemeyer (Porter’s granddaughter), and other special guests.
Saturday, September 21, 7 p.m. – Giltz Theater, Hawkins Hall, SUNY Plattsburgh, Tickets: $10 (available at Angell College Center* and at the door)
Featuring: Dave Ruch, Jamie Savage and Sue Grimm, Dan Berggren, Colleen Cleveland, Lee Knight, June Millington