MF 149 Country Music in New England/ Clifford R. Murphy Collection
Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History: MF 149 Country Music in New England/ Clifford R. Murphy Collection
Number of accessions: 6
Dates when interviews were conducted: June – August 2005
Time period covered: 1930-2000s
Principal interviewers: Clifford R. Murphy
Finding aides: transcript
Access restrictions: NA3862
Photographs: P09901 – P9940
Description: In this series of six interviews, Clifford R. Murphy interviews New England country music musicians. Spanning the 1930s to the 2000s and multiple generations of musicians, these interviews provide an intimate look at country music in New England. As members of a close-knit community, the interviewees talk about each other, other influential musicians like “Hal Lone Pine” Breau, Lenny Breau, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Wilf Carter, the various bands they were in, performing in festivals and in small-town halls, working on radio and television, the musician lifestyle, their challenges and successes, and the changes they have witnessed over the years. This series of interviews resulted in the book New England Country and Western Music: Self-reliance, Community Expression, and Regional Resistance of the New England Frontier (Brown University, 2008) by Murphy.
NA3373 Denny Breau, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, June 2, 2005. Breau was born May 26, 1952. He talks about his music and about his family who were all musicians; father Harold “Hal Lone Pine” Breau and mother Betty Cody; parents divorced; mother left music and worked in a shoe shop in the Lewiston-Auburn area; three brothers: Lenny, Richard, and Bob; more on Lenny: what he was like as a person, his musical style, movie “The Genius of Lenny Breau”; Denny in the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame; how music scene in Maine has changed; race relations; lifestyle of musicians; influences (Beatles and folk music); writing music; being on the road; musical training; family; Rusty Rogers/The Pemaquid Cowboy; drinking. Text: 61 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 0969 45 minutes, CD 0970 43 minutes. Photos: P09901.
NA3374 Herbert LeBlanc, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, August 20, 2005, in his camper van in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. LeBlanc, a country musician, grew up in Nova Scotia and played with a band called Les Tymeux De La Baie. LeBlanc talks about his early family life; fiddling family; “Bienvenue a Clare” (”Welcome to Clare” on Sounds of Nova Scotia); favorite country musicians; Hawkshaw Hawkins; Hal Lone Pine; Betty Cody; Gene and Florence Hooper; how he became interested in playing; Don Messer; The Clare Tones (band); his family; yodeling; Johnny White; Gary Hall Hallida. Includes performance by The Good Tymes Band (Track 1) and several performances by Herbert LeBlanc with his guitar throughout Tracks 2 and 3. Text: 10 pp. transcripT. Recordings: CD 0971 38 minutes. Photographs: P09905 – P09918.
NA3375 Kathleen M. Clark, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, June 1, 2005 at her home in St. Albans, Maine. Kathleen is the widow of country music star Yodelin’ Slim Clark and used to perform with him as “Dr. Kathy.” Clark talks about Slim: meeting him; what he was like; his love of painting, camping, hunting, fishing and performing songs; recording music; working with WABI radio and television; performing in New England; bluegrass festivals; his son Wilf; how his heart surgery affected him; Dick Curless; Rusty Rogers; Kenny Roberts; Johnny White; Wilf Carter; his first wife Celia; Hal Lone Pine; Betty Cody; Gene and Flo Hooper; yodeling; becoming a Catholic; his family; Jewel Clark; Walkway of Stars (Country Music Hall of Fame); Western Music Hall of Fame; biggest hits; pitching for Boston Braves; Mike Preston; Georgia Mae; Larry Sullivan. Text: 28 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 0972, CD 0973 1 hour 14 minutes.
NA3376 Gene Hooper and Flo Hooper, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, August 18, 2005, Machias, Maine (at the Hoppers’ home). Gene discusses how he became interested in country music; Jimmie Rodgers and Singing Brakeman; Dennis Breau; Hal Lone Pine Breau (Lone Pine Mountaineer); western dress; Ray Couture; radio; being a disk jockey; education; Depression; family; radio shows; recording; Hank Snow; Hawkshaw Hawkins, alcoholism; Doc Williams; playing in Canada and in New England; old radio transcriptions; fellow New England musicians (Dick Curless, Ken Mackenzie, etc); Paul Roberts. Flo discusses working with Hal Lone Pine and Betty Cody (her sister); her family; music in her home; performing; country music shows; yodeling; Betty; Flo’s family. Text: 71 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 0974 52 minutes, CD 0975 22 minutes. Photos: P09902 – P09904.
NA3377 Russell “Rusty Rogers (the Pemaquid Cowboy)” Kempton and Patty Kempton, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, June 4, 2005. Rogers, also known as the Pemaquid Cowboy, talks about being young amateur performer with Gloria Simmons; going to Mexico to learn Spanish-style guitar; working with the Downeasters; working the Down Homers; Bill Haley; getting fired from Esther King and the Pals of the Golden West; Bud Bailey; Jimmie Cal; types of audiences; Slim Sullivan; Roy Rogers; Sons of the Pioneers; an average day; Cousin Emmie and Gene Autry; Kenney; first wife Lil; Georgia Mae and her roller skating act; Slim and Kathy Clark; being the Connecticut weightlifting champion; Ernie Hackwood; making records; father; performing on cable TV and taping over 40 shows; Patty Kempton (promoter/agent); negotiations for Rockland festival “Lost in the Island of Love; Guy Campbell; Kenny Roberts. Text: 72 pp. transcripts. Recording: CD 0976 1 hour 16 minutes, CD 0977 19 minutes.
NA3862 Paul “Paul Roberts” Metivier, interviewed by Cliff Murphy, July 13, 2005, by telephone. Metivier, born in 1915 in Dorchester, Massachusetts, talks about his stage name Paul Roberts; being a hillbilly yodeler; his song “There’s A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere”; Bob Miller (Shelby Darnell); hillbilly music being renamed country music; learning to yodel; doing a triple yodel; performed with his wife Ann; other singers (Yodelin’ Slim Clark, Smilin’ Ernie Lindell, Johnny White, Montana Slim , etc.); his song “She Taught Me How To Yodel”; how to yodel; his 10 songs; profits; winning amateur contests; doing stage shows with his wife in Maine; radio broadcasts. RESTRICTED. Text: 21 pp. transcript, 2 pp. field notes. Recording: Flash Recording CM-05-05.