“Folksongs of Another America”– Midwest Field Recordings 1937-46

“It’s All About the Pinery Boys: Historic Sounds from Northwoods Lumbercamps”  Workers in lumber camps composed and performed an array of songs and dance tunes to entertain one another through long dark winters. In the 1930s and 1940s folklorists working for the Library of Congress made field recordings of old time lumberjacks throughout northern Wisconsin–and this presentation offers vivid images and restored sound from those historic sessions. A former bark-peeler in the pulpwoods, Jim Leary is emeritus professor of Folklore and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he co-founded the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures. The talk draws on his most recent publications: the Grammy-nominated Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946 and Pinery Boys: Songs and Songcatching in the Lumberjack Era (both published by University of Wisconsin Press).