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Collections - MF 039 Traditional Music of Maine Project

Number of Interviews: 27
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1990-1991
Time period covered:
Principal interviewers: Jeff McKeen
Finding Aides: brief indexes and partial transcripts
Access Restrictions: #2256 is restricted

Description: A series of interviews with traditional singers and musicians throughout Maine by Jeff “Smokey” Mckeen for use in developing a series of eight radio programs devoted to traditional music in Maine. The programs were later packaged and released as a series of four cassettes entitled “Traditional Music of Maine,” available from the Maine Folklife Center. Program themes included: 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.

2232 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Moscow. 15pp. Tape: 65 minutes with transcript. Jim Cahill recalls living in the woods camps as a boy with his family, later worked in the woods on the drives on the Kennebec. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C862

2233 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Moscow. 13pp. Tape: 40 minutes approx. with transcript. Interview with Eddie Rollins who worked in the woods and on river drives as a young man in the upper Kennebec area. He mostly sings on the tape songs such as: “Spring of 65,” The Red River Shore,” “Hungry Hash House,” “Peter Amerley,” and several others. Traditional Music of Maine Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C863

2234 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Moscow. 16pp. Tape: 45 minutes with transcript. Interview with Linwood Brown who worked in the woods and on river drives as a young man in the upper Kennebec area. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C863

2235 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Fort Fairfield. 26pp. Tape: 145 minutes with transcript. Joseph Walker talks about life in the lumbercamps as a young man. His mother worked as camp cook, worked on St. John River, and Chiemticook Stream. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C866

2236 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Allagash. 14pp. Tape: 45 minutes with transcript. Interview with Calvin Hafford who worked in the woods around the St. John and Allagash Rivers, describes the work and the lifestyle and sings several songs. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C867

2237 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Machias. 11pp. Tape: 1 with transcript. Interview with Frank Dowling who talks about life in the woods, and the camps around the Machias River and Grand Lake Stream, teaching school and working for the Maine Central Railroad. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C868

2238 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Machias. 23pp. Tape: 1 with transcript. Newell Beam discusses lumbering on the Machias, about the song “Jam on Gerry’s Rock,” and sings it. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C869

2239 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: West Enfield. 14pp. Tape: 1 with transcript. Perlie McLaughlin talks about river-driving on Schoodic Stream, and woods work around the Millinocket area. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C870

2240 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Skowhegan. 13pp. Tape: 1 with transcript. David Calder discusses the last years of riverdriving and the transition to using trucks for hauling, worked for the Kennebec Log Driving Company and sings “The Last Drive.” Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C871

2241 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: East Andover. Tape: 2 with no transcript. Lester White plays the harmonica and discusses working in the woods. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Lumberwoods. C872 – C873

2242 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Parkman. Tape: 1 with no transcript. Interview with Ernest Tweedie. (see companion accession NA 2243) Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C874

2243 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Guilford. 23pp. Tape: 90 minutes with transcript. Ernest and Thelma Tweedie discuss early days of the Grange, growing up in Aroostook county and sings several songs from the lumber camps. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C875

2244 McKeen, Jeff and Ernie Freebert. Summer 1991. Maine: Oxford. 15pp. Tape: 90 minutes with transcript. Dorothy Canwell discusses the Grange, the role of the Grange in contemporary life, selection of music by Dot Canwell, Harry Boyer, and Althea Fish. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C876

2245 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Bingham. 18pp. Tape: 1 with handwritten transcript. Dot Ruppell and Jim Cahill talk about the Grange and compare the old days with now and sing. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C877

2246 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Owl’s Head. 18pp. Tape: 45 minutes with handwritten transcription. Thelma Murray talks about her role as Grange musician and plays some of the old marches and dance tunes. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C878

2247 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: South Montville. 5pp. Tape: 1 with partial catalog. Selections from the George’s River Grange. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C879

2248 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Montville. 14pp. Tape: 90 minutes with handwritten transcript. Lewis Newell discusses the founding of the Grange, music and the role the Grange today. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C880

2249 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Corinna. 16pp. Tape: 90 minutes with handwritten transcript. R.I. Crossman discusses the importance of music and the changing role of the Grange in Maine life. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange C881

2250 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Vienna. 18pp. Tape: 90 minutes with handwritten transcript. Hazel Bean talks about the Grange and plays some pieces on the piano. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C882

2251 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Mercer. 12pp. Tape: 1 with handwritten transcript. Ethel Herbert discusses belonging to the Sandy River Grange, and serving as lecturer. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C883

2252 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: South Bristol. 5pp. Tape: 1 with partial catalog. Songs recorded at the Seaside Grange. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C884

2253 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: East Dixfield. 6pp. Tape: 1 with partial transcript. Harry Boyer discusses going to the Grange meetings all over the state. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C885

2254 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Freedom. Tape: 1 with no transcript. Doug Protsik plays the piano. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C886

2255 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Appleton. Tape: 1 with no transcript. Harvey Gurney plays songs on the concertina and harmonica. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. C887

2256 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Camden. Tape: 1 with no transcript. Gene and Ava Allen play the mandolin and piano. Maine Traditional Music Series, Music of the Maine Grange. RESTRICTED. C888

2257 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1991. Maine: Richmond, Gardiner. 52pp. Tapes: 10 with transcripts and catalog. Interviews with Val Bardash, Walter Taranko, John Supruniuk, Walter Lepuchenko, Ukranian picnic, Washy Moros, Maria Sachno, Willis Johnson, Helena and Mathilid Schumejko, and the St. Alexander Nevsky Church Choir. Conversations concerning immigration, life in Maine, also singing and the playing of instruments. Traditional Music of Maine Series, The Russians. C889 – C898

2258 McKeen, Jeff. Summer 1990. Maine: New Sweden. 55pp. Tapes: 9 with transcripts and catalog. Interviews with The Midsummer Festival, Axel Tall, Fritjof Jacobson, Charlene and Peter Espling, Lillian and Adella Johnson, Helen Borgeson, Chester Ringdahl, Mildred Beaulieau, and Harley Jepson. Immigration, early days, current times and the Swedish community in Maine are discussed. Traditional Music of Maine Series, The Swedes. C899 – C908


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