Down Home Dairyland: A Listener's Guide

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Drawing on decades of research, folklorists Jim Leary and Richard March have distilled a definitive presentation of Upper Midwestern traditional and ethnic music, from Ojibwa drums to Norwegian fiddles, from polka to salsa, from gospel choirs to southeast Asian rock bands. The book Down Home Dairyland: A Listener’s Guide provides a wonderful overview of Wisconsin’s musical heritage through forty essays, fifty-seven photographs, plus a rich discography and bibliography.
Both the cassette and the music CD sets provide samplings from the Down Home Dairyland series of forty half-hour radio programs on Wisconsin Public Radio. These audio collections include interviews with traditional musicians, sample sound recordings, and discussion of the patterns of musical styles in the region.

Distributed for the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This astounding compendium is the quickest way to get a comprehensive grasp of the roots music of a major American region."—Nick Spitzer, Smithsonian folklorist and producer of Folk Masters for Public Radio International
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780924119156
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

James P. Leary is professor of folklore and Scandinavian studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His books include Yodeling in Dairyland, So Ole Says to Lena, and Wisconsin Folklore. Richard March is the traditional and ethnic arts coordinator for the Wisconsin Arts Board.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations v
Preface ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Part 1. Native Sounds
1 The Many Forms of Wisconsin Indian Music 3
2 Woodland Indian Fiddles and Jigs 7
Part 2. Anglo-Euro Fusion
3 The Tunes of String and Bow 13
4 Couderay Jig in the Buckhorn 17
5 Wendy Whitford: The Soul of Wisconsin's Country Music 21
6 The Goose Island Ramblers 25
7 Wisconsin's Ethnic Country Music 29
8 Snow Country Hillbillies: Northern Country Music 33
Part 3. Polka Heaven
9 German-American Music in Wisconsin 39
10 Ach Ja!: The Syl Groeschl Story 43
11 Music before Milking: The Very Musical Brueggen Family 47
12 The Minnesota Dutchmen 51
13 Humorous Scandinavian Dialect Songs 55
14 Ole in Dairyland: Scandinavian Ethnic Humor 59
15 Finnish-American Music in Superiorland 63
16 Green Fields of Wisconsin: Irish Music in the Badger State 67
17 From Maso Pust to Cesky Den: Czech and Slovak Music in Wisconsin 71
18 The Manitowoc Bohemian Sound 75
19 Wallonie en porte: Door County Belgians 79
20 The Polish Fiddlers of Posen 83
21 Old-Time Music in Stevens Point 87
22 Pulaski Is a Polka Town 91
23 The Tamburitza 95
24 Sjajno more ("Shining Sea") Lake Michigan: Tamburitza from Gary to Sheboygan 99
25 Echoes of Slovenia 103
26 The Milwaukee Polka 107
27 The Hartmann-Meisner Polka Dynasty 111
28 Old-Time Dance Music in Madison 115
29 Swissconsin 121
Part 4. Instruments and Infrastructure
30 Women Polka Band Leaders 127
31 Midwestern Ethnic Radio 131
32 In Tune with Tradition: Wisconsin Instrument Builders 135
33 The Accordions 139
34 The Concertina 143
Part 5. Sacred Traditions
35 Crying Holy unto the Lord: Midwestern Sacred Musical Traditions 149
36 Gospel in Wisconsin 153
Part 6. Newcomers
37 Borinquen suelo querido: Puerto Rican Music in Wisconsin 159
38 The East in the North: Southeast Asian Music in Wisconsin 163
Part 7. Recorded Legacy
39 Small Labels, Big Music 169
40 Saving the Sounds of Tradition 173
Appendix Folklore Institutions in the Upper Midwest 177
I. Interviews 179
II. Printed Sources 185
III. Recorded Performances 190
About the Authors 207
Index 209
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