Grant Projects
Indiana Hoedown
    Found Recordings
IU Folklore
East Central Illinois
Ethnic Music in Indiana
Waukegan & Zion, IL
Wyoming Fiddling
    Illinois Music

Folk Schools
Adler Cultural Center
In the Tradition
- Fiddlers Reunion

Old Town School
Concerts & Workshops
Fiddle Championship
- Battle of the Bands
Fiddle Club (Chicago)
- 2nd Monday

Field Notes and Final Reports

Here are short biographical sketches and links to longer reports, field notes and interviews. The musicians are grouped by fieldwork project. Within each project, the artists are sorted by last name. More to be added.

Indiana Hoedown: Traditional Music from the Hoosier State

DrDosido's first big project, 1979 to 1980. Funded by grants from the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana Committee for the Humanities. My file cabinets today still contain handwritten and typed copies of interviews, notes, and biographical sketches written down forty years ago. These have now been summarized, scanned, and linked here, in part. More to be added.

James Elliott Acree

IH033 Indianapolis - January 16, 1980. Ballads and folksongs, sung unaccompanied.

Mr. Acree grew up near Glascow, in Metcalf County, Kentucky, and came to Indiana in 1920. He has lived in Indianapolis since 1930. I was led to Mr. Acree by Marti Pizinni, a member of the Central Indiana Dulcimer Society. Repertoire list.

Alles Family Band

IH009 Roanoke - September 29, 1979. Barn dance at Alles's barn

Dale Alles - caller. His children are the band: Janet - clarinet, Cathy - tenor sax, Mary - accordion, Barb - accordion, - Denny - electric guitar, Joe - electric guitar & banjo, & Pat - drums.

Handwritten field notes and an interview summary.

IH064 Roanoke - July 19, 1980. Barn dance at Alles's barn

Dale Alles - caller. Same band, add Mrs. Alles - electric bass.

These biweekly dances are held on Saturday nights from June through September and attract a large crowd of teenagers and young people. Dale Alles and his wife aimed to recapture the spirit of the weekly square dances held at the Hoagland Hayloft in the 1940s and '50s. Dale performs singing calls. He claims "The kids got their music from their mother. She's a Geels: a cousin of Francis, Joe Geels's daughter. I've got ten kids and they've all played something sometime." (See Francis Geels below under IU Folklore.)

Dillard Armstrong

IH013 Dunkirk - October 28, 1979. Bluegrass session.

Dillard Armstrong - fiddle and vocals; Ritchell Bowden - mandolin and vocals; Collins Cisco - guitar and vocals.

These three men are members of a bluegrass band called Collins Cisco & the KY Grass. It is unusual for the three to get together without the other two: Avery Perry-banjo, and Earl Cantrell-bass. In fact, the band rarely gets together at all to practice. They work up new material as a group just before they go on stage at a festival. Often, one member will have a new song which he wants to do. The others have to pick it out on the spot after hearing it started off. This recording session illustrates how new material is picked up by ear by the musicians.

The band plays together through the summer festival season, and takes the winter off. During the winter, Collins leads a country music band in which he plays guitar and sings. He also calls square dances: singing calls only, no patter calls. They play regularly on Saturday nights at a dance hall in Winchester, Indiana.

Collins Cisco lives and works in Dunkirk. It was in his house that this session was recorded. The group also gathered in the living room to listen to their new LP record which had just arrived. The album includes songs written by Collins’ wife, Elaine. One of her originals is the title song of the album, Down Home Fever. Also on the album is an example of an unrehearsed tune that was started and picked up spontaneously by the whole band: What a Friend We Have in Jesus. They hadn’t planned to put it on the record, but when they heard the tape, they thought it sounded good enough to be included.

Most of the band members are originally from Kentucky. They have all moved north for jobs. Ritchell, Earl and Avery live around Anderson, Indiana. Dillard lives in Bryan, Indiana in Jay County. He works in a print shop in Fort Wayne, over 40 miles away.

Dillard didn’t take up the fiddle until he was out of the service. His first experiences playing were with a large dance band that played more popular music than country music. Dillard turned to bluegrass in the 1960s. He said if he had to do it all over again, he would go about learning the fiddle in a different manner, presumably starting with country music rather than urban pop music. Nevertheless, he is a frequent winner at fiddle contests in the area, especially at the one held at the Jay County Fairgrounds in Portland. There he seems to be considered the hometown favorite.

George Berger

IH025 Fort Wayne - December 13, 1979. German songs, polkas and waltzes.

George Berger - accordion & vocals; Dan Berger - trumpet.

Currently, George leads a band called the Freudemachers: or the Happy-makers, as George translates the name. His son Dan plays keyboards, another son plays drums, and two of their school friends (they are all out of high school) play trumpet and bass. George used to lead a band of musicians his own age, the George Berger German Band. For many years they were a fixture at the Heidelberg Inn in Huntington, Indiana, where they played on weekends.

George was born to German parents in Yugoslavia in 1939. They moved to Austria near the end of the war, after the Allies took Yugoslavia. In the early 1950s, they tried to move back, but met other Germans in Vienna who told them anti-German feeling was very high. Though they were used to some prejudice, they were told the was no point in trying to resettle in Yugoslavia. So in 1953, the Berger family moved to the U.S. George was fourteen years old at the time.

George began playing the accordion in Europe. He formed a band soon after arriving in North America. For a time, he play jobs with both a Macedonian band and a Greek band in Fort Wayne. With his own band, he tried to play something for everyone in his audience. If he would see someone come in that he knew was a Hungarian immigrant, he would play a Czardas. His specialty was old German waltzes and songs that older people like, especially those of German descent. They also played American music.

The George Berger German Band relied on sheet music and some hand-written scores. They liked to play requests. His current band, the Freudemachers, plays from memory and by ear. They are not as good at playing requests. Currently, they play for dances and polka festivals in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. George’s favorite venues are the Fort Wayne Sport Club and a German club in Dayton, Ohio. At both of these venues, the people sing along in German, especially on German army songs.

Homer Birge

IH046 Lebanon - April 17, 1980. Ballads and folksongs, sung unaccompanied.

Born in Kentucky, Mr. Birge came to Indiana with his family at the age of six, "and I've been around Boone County ever since." Known as a singer, he also plays harmonica and jawharp.

"There was five or six of us boys who always run around together. And we were all pretty good singers. There were two brothers. Their name was Jim Newkirk and John Newkirk. And they was good singers. And we would take an old Model-T Ford, and we'd all get in that and we'd go out to the Dunbar Park, west of Thorntown there, you know. We'd set out there and sing, you know. Neither one of us could play music. But we could sing. We'd all set there and. That's the way we just entertained ourselves."

Glessner "Toad" Bradley

IH023 Servia - November 30, 1979. Fiddle tunes.

Toad Bradley - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar

Mr. Bradley was born in 1932 near Salyersville in McGoughlin County, Kentucky. He came to northern Indiana in 1949.  He fronted a country band for twelve years "because they didn't know what bluegrass was around here." After some time away from music, he started playing bluegrass several years ago (see Ray & Canton Moore).

NB This recording session was cut short because of equipment failure.

Jack Childress

IH058 Wabash - June 17, 1980. Clawhammer banjo.

Jack Childress - banjo & vocals; Dave Poe - guitar; Charlie Whirl - bass; and Paul Tyler - fiddle.

Jack Childress was born in southeastern Kentucky. He moved to Wabash, Indiana in 1959 while still a young man. For most of his working life he has been employed at a local factory. But he has also worked steadily as a musician on the side. Currently, he is a member of Yesterday’s Grass, a bluegrass group in which he plays “flat-top” guitar. That group was preceded by the Tri-County Travelers, a group in which Jack played some old-time clawhammer banjo.

This session was devoted to old-time tunes played in a clawhammer style. Jack doesn’t get to play old-time banjo on stage at bluegrass festivals, but he does take his banjo with him to play in jams with old-time fiddlers like Francis Geels of Decatur. Jack also plays clawhammer style in in banjo contests and occasionally accompanies a fiddler in a fiddle contest like that held each year by in Portland, Indiana.

Julian Cramer

IH030 Martinsville - January 8, 1980. "Terre Haute ragtime" on mandolin.

Julian Cramer - mandolin & guitar; Ernie Cramer (brother) in attendance.

Donald Duff & the Duff Family Band

IH026 Lebanon - December 15, 1979. Fiddle tunes, bluegrass and gospel songs.

Donald Duff - fiddle; Lawrence Duff  - guitar, harmonic & vocals; Don Payton - banjo & vocals; Donnie Payton - dobro; Mrs. Lawrence Duff - electric bass; Carolyn Duff - piano.

Donald Duff (b. 1931) spent most of his life on his family farm outside of Lebanon. He began playing the fiddle at age 12, and played in a number of bands through the end of the 20th century. He performed at the first Indiana Fiddlers Gathering in at the Tippecanoe Battlefield Memorial in Battle Ground in 1972, and was a regular at that annual festival.

I recorded him in his home, where he had assembled the then current version of the Duff Family Band. It featured his brother--and farming partner--Lawrence, as well as the Paytons, a father and son team from Lebanon. Mrs. Carolyn Duff also played piano for a few duets with her fiddling husband. Handwritten interview transcript.

Steve Duray

IH057 Fort Wayne - June 17, 1980. Concertina &' piano accordion.

This young man of Slovenian descent agreed to come to the studios of WIPU-FM and play a selection of German, Polish and Slovenian-style polkas.

Fritz Ehrhart

IH032 Fort Wayne - January 12, 1980. German dance band.

Fritz Ehrhart - cordovox (accordion); John Tsakas - trumpet; George Rongos - drums; Carl Ehrling - bass.

The Fritz Ehrhart Band  has been playing regularly for dances at the Sport Club, a German cultural club, for a number of years. Another local band that plays there regularly is led by accordionist Adam Fink. One member of the Sport Club told me that people prefer the latter’s band because of better musicianship. However, he prefer’s Fritz’s band because they play more old German songs. (George Berger’s band fits in this same category, but they play the Sport Club less often.)

The Sport Club is a new building that features a bar, comfortable seats, and a ballroom with wooden floor: plenty of space for dancing. The facility also hosts banquets and meetings. Many people who attend like to sing along in German. One particular favorite is a mixer dance in both march and waltz time. The dance was announced and then performed with no teaching. The dancers knew exactly what to do. More people were on the floor for this number than for any of the other polkas or waltzes.

IH068 Monroeville - August 12 1980. Button box accordion.

In his band, Fritz plays the Cordovox, a large electrified instrument that is a cross between a piano accordion and an electric organ. At this session, Fritz played the a smaller and older 3-row button accordion. The ‘3' refers to the rows of buttons on which the right hand plays the melody. As on the piano accordion, the left side features rows of buttons that play chords.

Fritz learned the button-box accordion as a youngster growing up in Mannheim, German. He learned as part of a children’s accordion band. They learned from a special type of music notation that showed when the bellows are to be pushed and when to be pulled. (On this type of button-box, a button sounds different notes on the push and pull.) Much of Fritz’s repertoire is remembered from his days in the accordion band. He no longer needs to look at the music. But he can also pick up pieces by ear.

Fritz performs two different repertoires, depending on which instrument he is playing. In public appearances with the band, he plays well-known polkas, waltzes and popular song melodies. When he plays the button-box for his own enjoyment he plays the songs that he learned in Germany. He can play on both instruments some German songs that are well-known in the Fort Wayne area, such Schnee Valser and Oh Susanna Schottische. His personal preference is for his button-box repertoire, but he feels that his dancing audience wants more familiar German and American pieces.

Francis Geels

IH001 Decatur - June 21, 1979. Fiddle tunes.

Francis Geels - fiddle; Helen Loshe - guitar; Esther Mowrey - bass

Recorded at the Geels home, just west of Decatur, for WIPU-Fort Wayne: engineer-Matt Johnson.

Francis Geels is a well-known square dance and contest fiddler who has played with a number of dance bands in Northeastern Indiana and Northwestern Ohio. Since he began fiddling at the age of 11, back in the late 1930s, he has mostly played with a family band that included his father and several brothers and sisters. The Geels Family Band is still together, playing for weddings, parties, and community dances. For this session, I had asked Francis specifically for fiddle tunes, especially the older tunes he knows. We decided to not use the whole family band for the session. His sister, Helen Loshe, played guitar, and another sister, Esther Mowrey, played the bass. Both sisters can play either instrument, and both can chord the piano, though they don’t use piano much anymore. The bass was an electric bass (they also use a stand-up bass) and the guitar was a vintage Gibson acoustic with a pick-up. It was not plugged in for this session. Francis used two fiddles from his collection of about 20. (He does all his own repairs, and likes to restore old broken fiddles.) At dances, he also uses a pick-up on his fiddle, but did not for this evening. The band knew they were being recorded for a radio program. They were excited, but also a bit nervous. Other members of the family had gathered for the event. They seemed proud. We were received with hospitality and friendly welcome. Mrs. Geels and several of their children sat quietly through the whole session. Esther’s husband, \\Bill, and Helen’s husband, Art, were more involved: requesting tunes and talking about barn dances and other related events. The band warmed up before we started recording, playing st Anne’s Reel (repeated later) and an old tune. We asked them to repeat the old tune, and started the tape.

Final Report: Francis Geels and his sisters, Helen and Esther, along with another brother, John, make up the Geels Family Band that plays for square dances, wedding receptions, and parties in the area. In public, they mostly play songs like Red River Valley and Wabash Cannonball for the singing calls that most square dance callers in that area prefer. Francis also enters a number of local fiddle contests where he can play some of the fiddle tunes–“hoedowns”–he prefers. The purpose of this session was to record just fiddle tunes. The band also sings country songs, many of which they learned from old radio shows like the National Barn Dance on WLS in Chicago. In the late 1940s and early ‘50s, Francis appeared weekly on the radio in Marion and Fort Wayne on shows like the Indiana Hayride on WFTW in fort Wayne. Some of the bands he played with were the Sycamore valley boys, the rhythm sons, and Joe Taylor and the Indiana Redbirds.

IH019 Decatur - November 13, 1979. More fiddle tunes.

Francis Geels - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar; Melissa Trier (Fort Wayne Philharmonic) in attendance

Dan Gellert

IH035 Elkhart - January 17, 1980. Fiddle and clawhammer banjo.

Dan Gellert - fiddle & banjo. Handwritten interview transcript.

Elearnor Gianikeff

IH028 Fort Wayne - December 20, 1979. Interview.

I recorded a long conversation with Elearnor Gianikeff, and her husband Bill, about the Macedonian community in Fort Wayne. Eleanor was an avid folk dancer. She invited me to a Christmas dance at her church and introduced me to band leader, Bill Skimos. Her son, Leon, was said to be the best of the younger generation of Macedonian musicians. In the early 1970s, Leon moved to Canada in protest of the American war in Vietnam, and eventually settled in Toronto. Leon got his start with Bill Skimos. Bill, in turn, had apprenticed with Elia Calcoff (see below in Found Recordings). Handwritten interview transcript.

David Hall

IH017 Monticello - November 17, 1979. Fiddle tunes.

David Hall - fiddle; Mike Flowers - guitar; Marvin Flowers - bass. Handwritten interview transcript.

David Hall was born and raised in Winchester, Kentucky. Both his grandfather and his father were fiddlers, but Dave did not try to play the fiddle himself until he was in the Navy. Much of his repertoire is derived from that of his father and grandfather. He also learned the standard bluegrass repertoire, especially tunes played by Kenny Baker, and some tunes that have originated in the circle of modern contest fiddlers.

After he got out of the Navy in the early 1950s, Dave settled in northern Indiana. He has played in a variety of country and western bands, including, most recently, a band from Lafayette. Currently he plays in the bluegrass band, the Wildwood Flowers. They have recently recorded an album. Two members, Mike Flowers and his father, Marvin, accompanied Dave at this session.

Frank Hall & Bob Herring

IH042 Bloomington - February 21, 1980. Interview.

Fiddlers for the Easy Street String Band

John Hasse

IH041 Bloomington - February 20, 1980. Piano ragtime.

Folklore graduate student and producer of Indiana Ragtime: A Documentary Album.

Adlie Hedges

IH014 Portland - October 19, 1979. Fiddle tunes.

Adlie Hedges – fiddle and vocal; Tom Lyons - guitar and vocal.

Adlie Hedges was born and raised in Arkansas. His family used to come to Indiana every summer to work as migrant farm laborers in the tomato fields of northern Indiana. In 1948, when Adlie was fourteen years old, his family stayed. He began to fiddle two years later, learning from other migrant farm workers from Arkansas. He also learned some tunes from his father, who played the banjo and the guitar. His father would pick the tunes out on guitar and Adlie would learn them on fiddle.

Adlie played for a number of years in country and western bands, playing electric guitar and singing. He was only recently begun playing the fiddle again. At the time of this recording, he was playing in the Shady Grove String Band, but has decided to leave that group and form his own band. He would prefer to play what he regards as a “true old-time style.” He prefers traditional bluegrass and old-time fiddling to ‘progressive bluegrass’ or ‘newgrass’ or the urban folksong sound of the Shady Grove String Band.

Tom Lyons is a native of Portland, Indiana. Although not a southerner, he shares Adlie’s preferences for the old-time music of the South.

Other tunes in Adlie’s repertoire, but not recorded, include: Trouble Among the Yearlings (from a Tommy Jackson record), Back Up and Push, Orange blossom Special, Soldier’s Joy, Sailor’s Hornpipe, and Jackson’s Hornpipe.

Dallas Henderson

IH061 Indianapolis - July 8, 1980. Banjo tunes and songs.

Dallas Henderson - banjo; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Dallas Henderson plays the banjo in a variety of pre-bluegrass picking styles. Mainly, he picks up on the strings with two or three fingers. He also plays in a downpicking clawhammer style, which he calls “knocking.” His brother, Hershel, is also a banjo picker. His son, Paul, sings in a gospel group. Dallas also sings a variety of old songs, both sacred and secular.

Edgar Hursey

IH034 Ligonier - January 16, 1980. Fiddle and banjo tunes.

Edgar Hursey - fiddle & banjo; Paul Tyler - guitar & fiddle. (NB: Mr. Hursey played the 5-string banjo with a pick.)

Born in 1917, Edgar Hursey was an active dance musician after the war. "Oh yeah, two or three little bands. We'd play for dance. Oh , there was a time when square dances got a lot more popular . . . and then this one bunch I played with, we played a lot of these night clubs around here. they Elks and Eagles and Moose and Legions and all. . . . There were five of us. We played together. We had an accordion and drums. But we played a lot of . . . what we called round dances. . . . Part of them didn't have any name. That one we had we called "Tune Butchers." . . . Most of us was around Ligonier here . . . Our card, it had a cleaver and note, you know, "Cutting it up!" and we did."

"I learned this one old tune from my Grandad, and I'd played it for years and I didn't know what the name of it was. So I was up in Albion playing one night and I said, 'Here's an old tune my Grandpa used to play. I don't know what the name of it is." When I got done, an old fellow--must of been 80s--sitting there, and he come over and said, 'You kidding? You don't know the name of that?' And I said, 'No, I never heard it." And he said, 'Why that's Wabash Gal.' And he said he'd been a caller, and there was an old fiddler that lived south of Albion there and he'd play the fiddle and this man had done the calling. And he always opened up the dances. Started the dances with that, with that song."

The Johnsons

IH051 North Manchester - April 22, 1980. Bluegrass.

Dave Johnson - banjo & vocals; Bruce Johnson - mandolin & vocals; Melody Johnson - bass & vocals; Jeff White - guitar & vocals.

Performance at a Ground Round restaurant in Fort Wayne.

The Kastorians

IH050 Fort Wayne - April 20 1980. Greek dance music.

Pete Tsouklis - clarinet; Tom Pappas - trumpet & electric bass; Tom Sarikos - accordion; Pete Saricos - drums; Norman Kourtis - electric guitar & tenor sax.

Based in Crown Point, this Greek/Macedonian band traveled from the Calumet Region to play for a dinner dance sponsored by the Philip of Macedon Society at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Wayne. Political concerns makes Greek and Macedonian identity fluid and ambiguous. When playing for a Greek audience, Pete Tsouklis calls this band the Kastorians, after Kastoria, a major city in the Macedonian province of Northern Greece. If the band is playing for an avowedly Macedonian event, the band is called Kostur, the Macedonian name for the same city.

At this event, I ran into a Greek/Macedonian musician, George Rongos, who played with the Fritz Ehrhart German Band (see above). He claimed that all Macedonians are simply Greek. Earlier, I had interviewed a distant cousin of his who asserted that he was in fact Macedonian. In spite of the politics, traditional village music from Northern Greece and the Macedonian Republic in former Yugoslavia has been vital in numerous communities in Indiana and the Midwest.

William Bernard Lee

IH016 Unionville - November 8, 1979. Fiddle tunes.

Bernard Lee - fiddle & guitar; Bill Hardy - guitar, vocals & fiddle.

Bernard and Bill have been playing together for ten or fifteen years. They have worked with various other musicians in bluegrass and square dance bands. Jack Weddle, from Nashville, Indiana, is a square dance caller and tenor banjo player they have worked with often. They have played regularly for dances at the Brown County State Park and at Bill Monroe’s Brown County jamboree in Beanblossom.

Bernard, who does most of the fiddling, is a native of Carroll County, Alabama. His parents were friends with Willie Narmour, a well-known country fiddler who recorded in the 1930s as Narmour & smith. Bernard plays two of the tunes for which this duo was famous: Carroll County Blues and Avalon Quickstep. He learned these tunes from a recording his parents had.

Bernard moved to southern Indiana in the early 1950s, after he got out of the service. He now lives in rural Brown County and works at the RCA plant in Bloomington. He often sits in on guitar with another area dance band, the Beamon Wille Band.

Bill Hardy is a native of Monroe County, Indiana. He also works at RCA. His son Brian is a bluegrass banjoist with the Elm Street Ramblers.

Bernard and Bill wanted to meet at the collector’s home in Unionville for the recording, possibly because it was a central point between their two homes. Bernard’s wife also came along to listen.

Ebert "Mac" McClain

IH065 Danville - August 9, 1980. Fiddle tunes.

Ebert "Mac" McClain - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Born in Shelby County in 1913, Mac McClain settled in Danville after his service in World War II. He was a farmer, agricultural inspector and county building inspector who found time to play a lot of music. His father was a fiddler, who played standards like Raggedy Ann, Arkansas Traveler, Irish Washerwoman, and Lili Marlene, as well as such local tunes as Wild Horse and Clover Blossoms Waltz. But Mac wanted more than the old-time style he associated with his father. He embraced modern sounds and flourished in fiddle contests throughout his career.

As a young man, he played shows and radio broadcasts with a number of local country bands, including the Lonesome Bill Jones Show--their theme was "Drink my coffee in an old tin can"--and the Green Valley Boys. The latter group included Charlie Frye (guitar), Avery Austin (bass), Noel "Red" Lovett (mandolin & lead guitar), and Mac on fiddle. He rubbed shoulders, and occasionally played with other regional country artists: Monte Rivers & the Utah Trailers (Brown County Jamboree), Tommy Pritchitt of Lebanon (allegedly on the WLS National Barn Dance), Pete French of The Haymakers (also a DJ on WHAS in Louisville), Fiddlin' Red Herron (from WLW-Cincinnati and WIBC-Indianapolis), and Guy Blakeman (Renfro Valley Barn Dance). He also knew Homer "Slim" Miller of Lizton, Indiana, who became a star in Chicago on the National Barn Dance before moving to the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.

Noble Melton

IH015 Indianapolis - October 30, 1979. Fiddle tunes.

Noble Melton - fiddle; Don Melton (son) - guitar; Terry Bellner - banjo; Mac Bellner - guitar.

Noble Melton is a native of Crawford County, Indiana. It was there that he learned to fiddle as a young man. He learned tunes from local players like Grit Smith and Lester White, and from listening to the radio broadcasts of Clayton McMichen on WHAS in Louisville. McMichen and his band, the Georgia Wildcats, frequently played for dances in Birdseye, Eckerty, Marengo, and other small towns in Crawford and surrounding counties.

Noble moved to Indianapolis in the 1930s to take a job with General Tire. After more than thirty years of factory work, he retired in the mid-1970s, and became very active as a fiddler. He greatly expanded his repertoire through tune books (Kerr’s violin collections) and recordings. He is in constant demand to play for dances and concerts in the Indianapolis area. In order to have a band to accompany him, he has trained a number of young folk music enthusiasts, most connected with Central Indiana Dulcimer and Folklore Society, to play old-time fiddle music.

The session concluded with interviews with Mac Bellner, Noble and Don Melton: handwritten transcript. Other tunes on Noble’s tune list, but not recorded here, include: Down Yonder, Raggedy Ann, Rickett’s Hornpipe, Sugar Tree Stomp, Waldo (from a Lyman Enloe record), Irish Washwoman, and Mississippi Mule (also known as Too Young to Marry). He also knows some polkas and schottisches, and added that when he played for dances as a young man, he played songs like Just Because and Alabama Jubilee.

Ray & Canton Moore

IH039 Servia - February 2, 1980. Bluegrass session

Ray Moore - fiddle & guitar; Canton Moore - mandolin; Glessner "Toad" Bradley - fiddle; Jack Chaffen - banjo; Crystal Moore - bass; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Born in McDowell, Kentucky, the Moore brothers came to Indiana with their family in 1942. As a young man, Ray fronted a country band for about 15 years as guitarist and lead singer (e.g. "the warbler"). Eventually he added fiddle to his repertoire. At some point, the brothers began to play for square dances, with Ray on fiddle. Then: "It was my brother-in-law and another fellow. We started our second bluegrass group together, and we got a wild hair that we were going out on the road and make it. Like to starve to death until we come back home." (Toad Bradley added: "That was 1966.")

Through the 1960s, the audience for bluegrass grew in Indiana, as it did elsewhere. They give Bill Monroe his due for building up bluegrass in the southern half of the State, but claim credit for themselves and the Northern Indiana Bluegrass Association for establishing the music in the northern half. The Association sponsors a twice-yearly festival in Angola that attracts a large attendance. (See also Bluegrass Jam at the Bandstand.)

Obie & Ossie

IH066 Fulda - August 10, 1980. Fiddle tunes and German songs.

Herb Obermeyer - fiddle; Oscar “Butch” Kunkler - guitar & vocal.

Herb and Oscar–aka Obie & Ossie–are neighbors in the Spencer County town of Fulda, at the south edge of a two-county area in which there is a high proportion of people of German descent. Oscar’s family immigrated to this country several generations ago. Oscar, his wife, and Herb all speak with notable accents that differ from Anglo-descent Hoosiers living in the vicinity.

Herb plays fiddle and Butch plays guitar and sings a repertoire heavy in German songs. They play together only occasionally, usually for an anniversary or church dinner. They have performed at the nearby Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, where they were presented as playing examples of early American music.

Herb Obermeyer at times plays with other musicians in the area. Oscar, also known as Butch, has mostly quit playing in public. He used to play for dances and weddings with a variety of bands. Since the late 1960s, he feels that his music, both German songs and square dance music, have become less-appreciated than before. In his opinion, Rock and Roll has displaced older styles of music.

In the early 1960s, Oscar played guitar and sang on two custom-made LPs that featured a band called the Spaasmachers. The band was led by fiddler Joe Altman of St. Meinrad, and featured mostly German music. The records were limited edition LPs produced at the Abby in St. Meinrad’s in honor of the town’s centennial. (See Joe Altman.)

Helen Reynolds

IH044 Monroeville - February 29, 1980. Piano.

A lifelong church musician, Helen was my first music teacher. She and my mom were second cousins. Helen's father Pete Franke played in a community band in Hoagland in the early years of the 20th century.

Vic Rigsby

IH012 Cromwell - October 25, 1979. Solo fiddle and bluegrass banjo.

Vic Rigsby – fiddle, banjo, and vocals. Handwritten interview transcript.

Vic Rigsby (b. 1927) moved to Salem, Indiana in 1939 from Zag, near West Liberty, Kentucky. He learned to play music, first on mandolin, then on fiddle and banjo after hearing the music played at home by his father, Henry, and Henry’s brother. His father tried to get Vic a job on an Indianapolis radio station while he was still a teenager. Vic claims they hired Little Jimmie Dickens instead. And while Vic did become a semi-professional musician, for most of his working life he has been employed by a utility company in Fort Wayne.

Vic’s early career in Northeaster Indiana was as fiddler in a county music and square dance band, Ray Kaiser & the Country Gentlemen, and with one of the first bluegrass bands in the area, the Barrier Brothers, a group that came up from Tennessee. One of the first bands that he led was a group that included his son, Vic, Jr., before the latter’s death in an automobile accident. Vic currently leads a group called Vic Rigsby & Endangered species.

Vic’s main instrument is the fiddle, but he also plays banjo and guitar. He teaches, sells, and repairs banjos in a shop behind his house, the Banjo Barn. He also has several fiddle students.

Vic has been called “the premier bluegrass musician in northeastern Indiana, but he also has a good knowledge of the old-time music that predates bluegrass. The impetus for this session came when Vic and the collector were judges for the Old-Time Fiddlers’ Contest at the Indiana State Fair in 1979. There, Vic remarked that there were a number of good old fiddle tunes that never seemed to get played any more, such as Grey Eagle. The first tunes recorded at this session were tunes Vic placed in this category. The second tape features banjo tunes that Vic plays in a style he considers uniquely his own, that is, it is not the same as the popular Scruggs style considered standard for bluegrass.

It is interesting to note that Miss McLeod’s Reel is singular in Vic’s repertoire. It is a tune he learned to play after he moved to Indiana. He did not recall hearing it played back in Kentucky. Vic learned it from Almand Smith of Seymour, Indiana around 1939.

Henry Rigsby

IH021 Ligonier - November 29, 1979. Clawhammer banjo.

Henry Rigsby - banjo; Vic Rigsby - guitar & vocals; Clella Rigsby - vocals.

Henry Rigsby (b. 1906) brought his wife, Clella (b. 1906), and children to Indiana in 1939. They came from Zag, Kentucky, near Liberty. Zag is now a ghost town as nearly all the inhabitants moved north. Vic is the oldest of Henry and Clella’s thirteen children. There are also over 50 grandchildren and over 20 great-grandchildren. Most of them live nearby in northeastern Indiana.

Back in Kentucky, Henry would play music nearly every evening at home with his brother, Arthur. Henry claims Arthur was the better banjo picker of the two. They both also played mandolin. After Henry moved to Indiana, he quit playing music, for he had to work long hours to support his family. Now he has more time to play again. (He was 73 years old at the time this recording was made.)

Some of Vic’s brothers and sisters also played, but Vic is the only one who kept up with music. He has led a variety of bluegrass bands. Vic was concerned that he play the right chord for his father’s tunes. Henry did not seem to think that all of the chord changes were necessary. Vic claims he is the only one who can properly back up his father’s playing. He describes the style as not quite frailing or clawhammer, but as something unique.

Sandy & the Keynotes

IH052 Fort Wayne - May 10, 1980. Square dance at the parish hall of St. Louis Catholic Church in Besancon.

Sandy - accordion, vocals, caller; Dave Johnson - electric guitar; & others.

Satkamp Family

IH067 Stendahl - August 10, 1980. Country songs and German dance tunes.

Wayne Satkamp - fiddle, electric guitar & vocals; Barbara (wife) - guitar & vocals; Charlie (son) - electric mandolin & vocals; Lisa (daughter)  -tambourine, drums & vocals; Hugo (father) - drums.

The Satkamps live on a farm outside of Stendahl in Pike County, just on the edge of a several county area, centered on Dubois County, with a high proportion of residents of German background. The Satkamps are of German descent. Hugo and Barbara speak German. Wayne does not, though he sings several songs in German. His father had to teach him the words.

Wayne’s preferences are for country music, especially in the style of Hank Williams. His son Charlie is interested in learning more bluegrass music. Wayne taught his wife and children to play and organized the family band. They play at a variety of community functions, including socials at their church, St. Paul’s, a protestant church in Huntingburg. They play every other Wednesday night at a senior citizens dance held at the Youth Center in Huntingburg.

The senior citizens dances feature mostly waltzes and other round dances, but several square dances are performed each night. Hugo does the calling, unless another older local gentleman, who likes to call, is present. The style of square dancing performed in this area is more like the “big circle squares” danced in the South, as opposed to the four-couple sets found and dances in Central and Northern Indiana. When Hugo calls, Lisa plays the drums.

Ken Smelser

IH056 Paoli - June 10, 1980. Fiddle tunes.

Ken Smelser - fiddle; Mary Ruth Riley - fiddle; Brad Leftwich - banjo uke; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Hugh Sowers & Herman Fox

IH010 Fort Wayne - October 11, 1979,

Herman Fox - concertina; Hugh Sowers - f; Orville Gonser - electric guitar & vocals; Charlie Fudge - electric guitar & vocals; Bob Giant - electric guitar.

Hugh & Herman perform with The Entertainers at the Rudisill Avenue Senior Center. Herman and Hugh are octogenarians. The three guitarists are at least ten years younger.

IH011 Arcola - October 12, 1979.

The band assembled in Hugh's kitchen. After a couple of hours of playing, the three guitarists left, and Hugh and Herman played a few lesser known pieces. (See also IH302 below.)

Clay "Pete" Smith

IH018 Winnemac - November 11, 1979. Country songs and fiddle tunes.

Pete Smith - fiddle; Audrey Smith - guitar & vocals; Larry Edmundson - tenor banjo & vocals; Teresa Edmundson - guitar & vocals; Lisa Edmundson - vocal.

The band plays “hoedown” fiddle tunes featuring Pete, and country songs, some of which were composed by Larry. This session was recorded in the Edmundson farmhouse between Winnemac and Star City. Larry, a truck driver, is teaching his children to play and sing country music. His oldest daughter, Teresa, is already a full member of the band when it plays out for occasional jobs at the local Moose Hall. Lisa, age twelve, is being groomed to join the band when she reaches her sister’s age of sixteen. A younger brother is hoping to become the drummer in the future.

Pete and his wife, Audrey, have been playing with Larry for about two years. They go to the same church, and when Larry found out that Pete was a fiddler he invited him over to make music. Pete, now in his 70s, was a professional musician for the better part of 25 years, with the Hoosier Cornhuskers and other bands that barnstormed on radio stations in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They made a full-time living from personal appearances.

The first eleven tunes were recorded as a simulated live public performance. The band played through its PA system, even though we were in a small living room. They had planned to also use an electronic rhythm machine, but it malfunctioned. After they finished their set, Pete began to play fiddle tunes, most of which the band had never heard before. They had some difficulty following these unfamiliar tunes. Everything after the twelfth item was recorded acoustically. The PA system was turned off.

IH020 Star City - November 27, 1979. Interview and fiddle tunes.

Pete Smith-fiddle & interview; Paul Tyler-guitar.

The interview covered Pete’s 25-year career as a musician in the Hoosier Cornhuskers, the Prairie Pioneers, and the Ozark Varieties. During that time, he broadcast over radio and television stations in four states, made numerous personal appearances in the local areas, and traveled the fair and variety show circuits. Besides playing the fiddle, Pete did comedy in the character of Grandpap. Typescript transcript.

Clay Smith grew up in Pulaski County, Indiana in a family of fiddlers. Both of his grandfathers fiddled, as did one grandmother, several uncles and his father. His mother’s father, as a young man, walked all the way to Indiana from Kentucky, undoubtedly bringing some tunes with him. He got his performing start performing in a "boys" band sponsored by an undertaker in Logansport. It was there he met an important influence, Charlie Dunn, an old fiddler who lived in Logansport. Many of the tunes that Pete got from Charlie have never had names, as far as Pete knows. To perform them on the radio, he had to make up names for them. (See Perry on Lake Erie.)

These tapes were recorded in the kitchen of Pete’s home in Star City. I first heard about Pete from his brother-in-law, Charlie Fudge. Charlie plays with The Entertainers in Fort Wayne.

Ken Stonebreaker

IH022 Albion - November 29, 1979. Fiddle tunes.

Ken Stonebreaker-fiddle and Paul Tyler-guitar.

Ken was born and raised in Battle Ground, Indiana. As a young man just out of high school he moved to California to take a job. This was during the Great Depression. The reason he got the job was that he had been a star basketball player in high school, and the California firm offered him a job in order to get him to play for their basketball team.

Ken began playing the fiddle as a young man. Both his father and his father’s brother, Jim, were fiddlers. Ken thought Uncle Jim was the superior player. Ken has recently been entering fiddle contests in northern Indiana. The revival of interest in fiddling that has led to more contests has given Ken a reason to practice and work on his fiddling. His wife, however, does not seem supportive, as Ken has trouble with his time and does not always perform very well. His practice has paid off, though, for he performed at this session better than I had heard at previous contests and festivals.

Beamon Wille Band

IH059 Bloomfield - June 21, 1980. Square dance at the Linton Armory.

Mark Oliphant - caller; Beamon Wille - fiddle; Richard Raper - fiddle & mandolin; Herb Thacker - guitar; & others.

Harold Zimmerman

IH037 Fort Thomas, Kentucky - January 28, 1980. Fiddle tunes.

Harold Zimmerman - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Multi-Artist Events

Portland Fiddle Contest

IH005 Portland - August 25, 1979.

Fiddle Contest held at the Jay County Fairgrounds in conjunction with the Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Association’s 14th Annual Reunion. Collector-Paul Tyler; Recorded by WPGW-Portland from their live broadcast of the program.

The first contest was held at about the third or fourth reunion. It was started by organizer Woody Turner to help attract a larger crowd to the reunion, and has become the biggest attraction of the weekend. This year’s crowd was possibly the biggest ever, with around 8,000 people in the grandstands.

The master of ceremonies, for the fifth year in a row, was Sam Devincent, music librarian at WOWO-Fort Wayne. (Sam is leader of Nancy Lee & the Hilltoppers, longtime mainstays at WOWO.)

Prize winners; Honorable mention to Rick Hamilton and Dorothy Colby; Third place to Dillard Armstrong from Bryan; Second place to Robert Leidigh from Napoleon, Ohio; and First place to Lowell Logan from Muncie.

Hoagland Oktoberfest

IH007 Hoagland - September 15, 1979. Polka festival under a big tent.

Saturday Bands: The Barons (Detroit) and the Maumee Valley Polka Band (Napoleon, Ohio).
The latter includes Mart Dickmander - accordion & leader; Andy Werner - drums; Craig Beecher - electric bass & caller.

IH008 Hoagland - September 16, 1979.

Sunday Bands: The Imperials (Toledo, Ohio) and the Vandenberg Orchestra (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

Handwritten transcript of an interview with event organizer, Norvin "Snorty" Bultemeier.

Bluegrass Jam at the Bandstand

IH024 Wabash - November 21, 1979.

Bill Hayes (owner) - banjo; Jim Cornell - banjo; Ray Moore - fiddle & vocal; Crystal Moore - vocal; Jerry Miller - guitar & vocal; Jesse Hall - autoharp; Paul Philipy - vocal; & others.

IH031 - January 11, 1980.

Bill Hayes (owner) - banjo; Dave Johnson - banjo & vocal; Melody Johnson - guitar & vocal; Kenny DeMarcus - guitar & vocal; Paul Philipy - vocal; & others

Fiddlers Day at Harmonie State Park

IH055 New Harmony - June 21, 1980.

Ebert "Mac" McClain - fiddle; Stephanie White - fiddle & vocal with Terry White - guitar & vocal; Hector Phillips - fiddle with Tony Rothrock - guitar & harmonica; Theodore Weatherford - poetry & harmonic; Teresa Broadwell - fiddle & vocals with Billy Thatcher - guitar, bass & vocals; Dillon Bustin - vocals & emcee; Brian "Hawk" Hubbard - fiddle; Paul Tyler - fiddle.

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Indiana Hoedown: Found Recordings

The big surprise of this first fieldwork project were the historic recordings that I located. The owners of these recordings were generous in sharing them. Originals or copies were donated to the Archives of Traditional Music.

Joe Altman & the Spaasmachers

IH072 St. Meinrad - circa 1960. LP dubs - custom recordings made at St. Meinrad Abbey.

Joe Altman - fiddle & vocals; Oscar "Butch" Kunkler - guitar & vocals; & others.

Oscar Kunkler collection.

Blackhawk Valley Boys

IH047 Fort Wayne - circa 1948. Radio transcription discs.

George Arthur - guitar & vocals; Pete Fall - tenor banjo & vocals; Donald Lake - accordion & vocals; & others.

Donald Lake collection. Correspondence regarding donation of recordings to the Archives of Traditional Music.

Elia Calcoff Orchestra

IH060 Fort Wayne - circa 1950. Macedonian dance music.

Elia Calcoff - clarinet; George Kandillin -accordion; Kiril Rouseff - trumpet; George Toschoff - trombone or drum(?).

The Elia Calcoff Orchestra is credited as the first Macedonian dance orchestra in the United States. Mr. Calcoff immigrated to Indiana in the 1920s and took up farming. Around 1950, St. Nicholas Bulgarian (later Macedonian) Orthodox Church sponsored the recording of seven two-sided 78rpm phonograph disks of traditional Macedonian dance tunes. The recordings session allegedly was held in the studios of WOWO-AM. Disc labels. Macedonian Tribune article. Fort Wayne newspaper article.

The Down Homers

IH003 Fort Wayne or Hartford, Connecticut - circa 1948. SESAC transcription discs.

Everett "Shorty" Cook - steel guitar & vocals; Lloyd Cornell - guitar, fiddle [?] & vocals; Kenny Roberts - guitar & vocals; Guy Campbell - lead guitar; (later) Slim Coxx - fiddle

Shorty Cook collection.

IH045 Fort Wayne - March 15, 1980. Interview with Everett "Shorty" Cook.

One notable story from the interview is that when the Down Homers left Fort Wayne in the late 1940s, Kenny Roberts chose to stay at WOWO, where he had achieved some fame as a yodeler and songster. The band advertised in Billboard for a replacement. Bill Haley showed up to answer the advertisement, and went to Connecticut as a Down Homer. Interview transcript.

Hoosier Cornhuskers

IH043 Fort Wayne & Jacksonville, Illinois - 1950-58. Radio airchecks.

Recordings of the Hoosier Cornhuskers (1950) and Barbara Price & the Golden River Boys (1954) from WOWO in Fort Wayne. Also from the Prairie Pioneers/Ozark Varieties (1958) from Jacksonville, Illinois. Tape log. Bob Homan collection: correspondence.

Interview transcript from a 1980 interview with Pete Smith (see IH020 above).

Steve Jugloff

IH083 Fort Wayne - circa 1977. LP - Son of Electric Macedonian.

Steve Jugloff - keyboard synthesizer.

IH053 - May 12, 1980. Interview.

Interview with Steve Jugloff.

Homer Lovell

IH049 Winchester - 1942-59. 78s - home recordings by Joe Fannestock of Greenville, Ohio.

Forty discs donated to the Archives of Traditional Music by Doris Lovell, Homer's widow. ATM Tape Index Sheets.

Nancy Lee & the Hilltoppers

IH004 Fort Wayne - 1967-79. Radio air checks of The Little Red Barn on WOWO.

IH006 Fort Wayne - circa 1950. Radio transcription discs.

Agnes "Nancy Lee" Devincent - guitar & vocals; Sam Devincent - accordion & vocals; Jack Carmen - fiddle; Roy Hanson - bass & mandolin.

Sam Devincent collection.

Hoosier Hop

IH048 Fort Wayne - circa 1948. Radio air checks of the Hoosier Hop on WOWO.

Donald Lake collection. Tape log.

Bill Skimos Band

IH070 & 071 Fort Wayne - circa 1977. LPs - Balkan Folk Music and Balkan Folk Music 2.

Bill Skimos - clarinet; Steve Jugloff - keyboards; George Bellio - drums; Nick bliznoff - trumpet; Kosmas Skembos - saxophone; Billy Skembos - percussion.

Joe Taylor & the Red Birds

IH002 Fort Wayne & Chicago - 1948-49. 78s by Joe Taylor & the Indiana Red Birds.

IH054 Fort Wayne - 1956-59. Radio air checks of Country Talent Time.

Includes Slim Adams & the Rhythm Sons, Country Squires, and Charlie Walters & the Trail Riders, as well as the Indiana Red Birds. Typescript summary.

Frank Wisehart

IH069 Frankfort - circa 1940. 78s - aluminum discs recorded at Wabash College.

Frank Wisehart - fiddle; J. Fritz - banjo; Ethel Wisehart Litton - piano.

These discs were recorded by mathematics professor George Kascallan at Wabash College, using the Speech Department's disc cutter. Mr. Kascallan attended fiddler sessions held occasionally at homes in Lebanon, Frankfurt, and other area towns. He thought Mr. Wisehart was the best fiddler of the bunch. Roy Litton collection. Handwritten transcript of interview and summary of conversation with Roy Litton.

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IU Folklore: Graduate School projects & dissertation research

This list includes contract fieldwork for David A. Brose's Ohio-Indiana Folklife, a summer fieldwork seminar with Dr. Warren Roberts in Dubois County, and independent research that led to my dissertation on square dance and polka traditions in Indiana. Another possible path to my degree was to focus on traditional fiddling in the Midwest. My growing involvement with Lotus Dickey made that an intriguing possibility, and I gladly followed that path after I completed my dissertation and earned my doctorate in 1992.

Adventure Music

IH312 Hoagland - 1985. Square and round dance.

Steve Fenton; Larry Fenton; & others. With callers Al Vachon & Paul Remaklus.

Hoagland Hayloft Reunion. Transcript of set list with square dance calls.

James Atkinson

GL010 Lebanon to Indianapolis - July 23, 1981. Fiddle tunes & piano ragtime.

James Atkinson - fiddle & piano; Barbara Atkinson - piano

Bavarian Brass

IH309 (also IH311) - September 20 & 22, 1985. Polka festival.

Hoagland Oktoberfest. Band from Defiance, Ohio, along Sound of the Sorgenbrecher from Detroit. Transcript of set list with square dance calls.

Millard Barger

GL009 Paragon - July 16, 1981. Fiddle tunes.

Millard Barger - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar

Carl Bischoff

IH301 Decatur - December 26, 1976. Fiddle & zither tunes.

Carl Bischoff - fiddle & zither; Beth Bischoff - organ

Buck Creek Bluegrass

GL044 Hindustan - July 11, 1982. Square dance; bluegrass & country music.

Virgil Fulford - caller; unknown bluegrass musicians from Monroe County. The dance was held in the second floor of a small barn Mr. Fulford built for his prize-winning show chickens. (see Virgil Fulford's Barn Dance.)

Powell Cummings

GL014 Cuzco - August 10, 1981. Fiddle tunes.

Powell Cumming - fiddle; Ken Smelser - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar

Cyprien Dickey

GL038 Paoli - May 19, 1987. Fiddle tunes.

Cyprien Dickey - fiddle; Lotus Dickey - guitar & fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar

Lotus Dickey

GL024 Paoli - November 19, 1981. Concert at IU Fine Arts Auditorium.
Lotus Dickey - guitar, vocals & fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar; David A. Brose - banjo.

GL034 Bloomington - 1986. On Music Down Home (WFIU-FM)
Lotus Dickey - guitar, vocals & fiddle; Bob Lucas - guitar; Paul Tyler - mandolin & fiddle.

GL035 Bloomington & Paoli - 1986 to 1987. Orange County Fiddle Project
Lotus Dickey - fiddle; Paul Tyler -guitar. (See The True Story of Dickey's Discovery.)

Herman Fox

IH302 Fort Wayne - December 27, 1976. Concertina tunes & German songs.

See "That's Still a Good Tune": Herman Fox and His Concertina.

Francis Geels with Geels Family Band

IH305 Decatur - December 29, 1976.

Joe Geels, the uncle of Francis Geels, was a fiddler. Joe and John Geels, Francis's father, played together as the Geels Family Band. As their children became able, each led a 2nd generation of the Geels Family Band. Francis played fiddle with his sisters, Esther and Helen on guitar and bass, brother John played steel guitar, while John the father played piano and more.

Joe Geels's Family Band included his son Carl and perhaps his daughter, now Mrs. Dales Alles (see above). Carl became a popular square dance caller. He was still holding regular dances at Wallen Pines north of Fort Wayne in the 1970s. By then, he was calling to records more often than to live music.

I went to visit Joe Geels in Decatur one wintery day in 1976, and arrived just after an ambulance had taken him to the hospital. He did not return home.

IH306 Fort Wayne - August 27, 1977. Square dance.

Carl "Tuffy" Schaper - caller; Francis Geels - fiddle; & others

Donald & Violet Bohnke's 25th Wedding Anniversary celebration at the UAW Hall in Fort Wayne. Transcript of set list with square dance calls.

Gus's Gang

GL013 Huntingburg - August 5, 1981. Social dance music.

Weekly senior citizens dance at the Huntingburg Youth Center.

Harold Haug

GL021 Ferdinand - September 26, 1981. Fiddle tunes.

Harold Haug - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Lousie & the Country Gentlemen

GL018 Haysville - August 15, 1981. Social dance music.

Evening dance at Haysville Summer Fest.

Maumee Valley Polka Band

IH307 Hoagland - September 18, 1983. Polka festival.
Hoagland Oktoberfest. Band from Napoleon, Ohio, along with Sound of the Sorgenbrecher from Detroit.

IH308 - October 9, 1983. Polkas & waltzes.
Hoagland Grape Fest (fundraising dance for Volunteer Fire Dept. and EMS). Transcript of set list with square dance calls.

IH310 - September 21, 1985. Polka festival.
Hoagland Oktoberfest. Along with The Echoes from Warren, Michigan. Transcript of set list with square dance calls.

Everett "Smoky" Morgan

GL023 Eckerty - 1981. Fiddle tunes.

Smoky Morgan - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Satkamp Family

GL015 Stendahl - August 12, 1981. Social and square dance music.

Weekly senior citizens dance at the Huntingburg Youth Center. (See Satkamp Family above.)

Walter & Brian Seitz

GL016 Dubois - August 15, 1981. Fiddle tunes & country music.

Walter Seitz - fiddle; Brian Seitz - fiddle & banjo.

Ken Smelser

GL012 Paoli - July 1981. Fiddle tunes.
GL026 - November 27, 1981. More fiddle tunes.

Ken Smelser - fiddle; Mary Ruth Riley (daughter) - fiddle; Burl Riley - guitar; Brad Leftwich - banjo & banjo uke; Paul Tyler - guitar & fiddle. (See Variation and the Tune.)

Herb Wenning & Family

GL017 Portersville - August 15, 1981. Fiddle tunes.

Herb Wenning - fiddle.

Maurice "Mousey" Wininger

GL011 Paoli - July 17, 1981. Fiddle & piano duets.

Mousey Wininger - piano; Ken Smelser - fiddle.

Ervin Williams

GL031 Oxford - July 26, 1982. Fiddle tunes.

Ervin Williams - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Joe Witzberger & the Rhythmaires

GL022 Ferdinand - September 26, 1981. Social dance music.

Joe Witzberger - mandolin.

Walter Zuercher

GL020 Berne - September 1981. Accordion tunes; Swiss music box.

Walter Zuercher - accordion.

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Folk Arts Survey of Central & Southern Illinois

Fellow Folklore grad student, Jens Lund, recommended me to Vaughan Jaeneke, Dean of the School of Fine Arts at Eastern Illinois University. I took over the musical component of a multi-year survey. In 1983, I was directed to search for folk musicians in the urban areas of Decatur and Danville. John Holliday was also engaged to record old-time fiddlers in rural areas of Central Illinois. In 1991 and '92, I was contracted again to revisit areas that had been surveyed in prior decades. The original recordings made by Mr. Holliday and myself are at the Tarble Arts Center at EIU in Charleston.
N.B. Field notes from 1983 are written the present tense for that time.

Glen Abbott with Bill Rutherford

GL102 LaPlace, Illinois - September 10, 1983. Square dance.

Bill Rutherford - caller; Glen Abbott - fiddle; Leo Hudson - electric guitar, vocals & rhythm machine.

The dance was held in the community hall in LaPlace ever other weekend from September to May. This square dance is a traditional event with a traditional structure--half round and half square dancing--that has adapted to a new setting and a new social base. The content of the dancing and music is partly new and partly old. The important change is the social base. A dance used to be held for a community that could be defined by locality. Nowadays, traditional dances, such as this one, draw a crowd that is tied together mostly because of their interest in dancing.

Bill Rutherford, from Decatur, calls the old style hoedowns, that is patter calls. He still calls the dances that he learned from the callers in the generation before him. He took their place as the community's caller when they stepped down. He guards a contemporary community of dancers' preference for old style hoedowns over modern styles of square dancing (e.g., singing calls and Callers Lab dances).

Glenn Abbott, from Mattoon, learned many traditional tunes from his father, Jesse James Abbott. But Glenn only selectively preserves the old pieces. he thinks today's listeners want newer, less archaic sounds.

John Barnhart

GL115 Sorrento, Illinois - February 7, 1992. Fiddle tunes.

Johnny Barnhart - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Arlin Dietz with Mervin "Skeet" Evans & Kenny Williams

GL101 Decatur, Illinois - July 18, 1983. Fiddle tunes and country songs.

Arlin Dietz - fiddle; Skeet Evans - guitar & vocals; Kenny Williams - guitar & vocals;.

Mr. Dietz plays he number of traditional tunes he larned orom aural tradition when he was young. He has also built up his repoertoire by playing standard country music fare, and by learning newere pieces from tapes and records. Mr. Evans and Mr. Williams are an uncle and nephew duo who have played country music together for a number of years. They prefer older songs in an acoustic idiom.

Mervin "Skeet" Evans & Linda Dust

GL103 Shelbyville, Illinois - September 7, 1983. Folksongs and country songs.

Skeet Evans - guitar & vocals; Linda Dust - vocals.

Skeet Evans learned many traditional ballads and lyric songs during his boyhood in St. Elmo. He has had a varied but successful career as a profession country singer--interrupted by a near-death experience from a heart attack suffered on stage. Still, it is important to him to preserve the old songs he knows.

Hank & Mike Haynes

** Decatur, Illinois - September 10, 1983. Folksongs and Irish songs.

Hank Haynes - tenor banjo & vocals; Mike Haynes - guitar & vocals.

Hank is a disc jockey on a Decatur radio station. He and his brother mike still sing songs they learned from their grandfather while growing up in Green County, Illinois. Mr. Haynes taught the same songs to his aive sons as they were growing up in Bearsdale. They still sing these songs when the family is all together.

Jim Hoiles

GL111 Greeneville, Illinois - November 24, 1991. Fiddle tunes.

Jim Hoiles - fiddle; Bruce "Swamp" Weiss - guitar & fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Charles Keele

GL108 Westville, Illinois - August 2 & September 12, 1983. Fiddle tunes.

Charles Keele - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar.

He as a solid repertoire of traditional hoedowns he learned in the 1930s when playing at house dances and taverns in Danville and Westville, Illinois, and across the state line in Indiana. He also likes the melodies of popular songs that he used to play for round dances. When he was actively playing for dances, he had a keen awareness for what the people wanted.

Raymond Massey

GL109 Camargo, Illinois - August 1, 1983. Ballads and folksongs.

Plays guitar and fiddle. But he is most interesting for his rich repertoire of old songs and ballads. He only sings and only likes old songs.

Tom McElroy

GL116 Tower Hill, Illinois - February 10, 1992. Fiddle tunes.

Tom McElroy - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar.

Cecil Polley

GL106 Witt, Illinois - August 13, 1983. Fiddle tunes.

Cecil Polley - fiddle; John "Doc" Holliday - guitar. Recorded by John Holliday.

A fiddler with a repertoire learned from his father and grandfather.

Ernest Ringo

GL117 Shelbyville, Illinois - February 10, 1992. Fiddle tunes.

Ernest Ringo - fiddle; Beatrice Ringo - piano.

St. John Missionary Baptist Church

GL104 Decatur, Illinois - July 17 & September 10, 1983. Sunday worship and Saturday choir rehearsal.

Rev. James Rice - preacher; Olivia Glass - piano, organ, choir director.

The choir, the choir director, the pastor and the whole congregation at worship represent the persistence of a number of structural and stylistic traits of Afro-American folk music. The content is often new, but the form and feeling are traditional. this is an event at which music plays such a dominant instrumental role it could be called an artistic performance. but the congregation proclaims that there are other higher reasons for their coming together.

Archie Smothers

GL107 Pana, Illinois - August 18, 1983. Fiddle tunes.

Archie Smothers - fiddle; John "Doc" Holliday - guitar. Recorded by John Holliday.

Also learned much of his fiddle repertoire from his father. He also plays church songs, and is currently active in the Fiddlers Association Movement and fiddle contests.

Andy Symanski

** Westville, Illinois - September 25, 1983. Swing.

Andy Symanski  - fiddle & others.

Mr. Symanski plays pop standards and traditional hoedowns in a style he learned in the late 1930s. His playing is improvisatory.

Robert Valentine

GL105 Monticello, Illinois - July 30 & September 11,1983. Fiddle tunes.

Robert Valentine - fiddle; Paul Tyler - guitar. Jim Smith also played fiddle on the original tape from 9/11/83.

His repertoire is based on the tunes he learned when playing for square dances in the early 1930s. Today, however, he has a keen interets in learning new tunes from other sources.

Bill & Twylla Wadhams with the Tennessee Street Travelers

** Danville, Illinois - September 12, 1983. Gospel.

Bill Wadham - guitar, banjo & vocals; Twylla Wadhams - vocals; Jim Mitchell - guitar & vocals.

They play traditional gospel songs and humns in an upbeat bluegrass style. Their repertoire is about half old songs and half newer compositions. Bill Wadhams, the leader, has an innovative approach to gospel music that is uniquely his own.

various fiddlers

GL110 Central Illinois - 1983. Fiddle tunes.
"Illinois fiddlers" recorded in their homes by John "Doc" Holliday, a contributing fieldwork partner.

GL114 Shelbyville, Illinois - December 14, 1991. Fiddle tunes.
Illinois Fiddlers' Association monthy meeting.

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Ethnic Dance Music in Northern Indiana

This was an independent project, which was undertaken for the Archives of Traditional Music at IU-Bloomington. It was supported by grants from the Indiana Arts Commission in 1986 and 1987.

Balkanske Igre

IH210 Gary - April 19, 1987. Balkan dance music and folk dancers.

John Kuo - dance instructor; Ljupco Milenkovski - kaval, guida & accordion; John Parrish - bass drum; unknown - vocals; with Macedonian Youth Organization Dancers.

Speeches, dance music, folk dance performances at the Macedonian Hall of SS Peter & Paul Macedonian Orthodox Church. Field Notes.

Los Cazadores

IH201 Marion - October 11, 1986. Norteña Mexican dance band.

Miguel Contreras - accordion & vocals; Ricardo Contreras - drums & vocals; Ricardo Bosquez - bajo sexto; Julian Rodrigues - electric bass.

Public dance at Sunset Reception Hall in Fort Wayne. In the second set, the band gave way to another conjunto from Fort Wayne, the Gorionceros [spelling uncertain]. The local group, made up of the Luna brothers (Chano, Fernando & Roma) used the instruments and sound equipment of the headline band. Field Notes.

Drina Orchestra

IH203 Schererville - November 8, 1986. Tamburitza ensemble.

Milan Opacich - prima; Jack Tomlin - tamburitza cello; Nic Rakich - bugarija; Mark Moe Brajak - bass.

Retired Gary fireman, Milan Opacich led a strolling tamburitza quartet as they played for guests at the Old Mill Restaurant in Merrillville, a regular Saturday night gig. Field Notes.

Jerry Kurdys' Polka Party

IH212 South Bend - April 20, 1987. Polka band.

Jerry Kurdys - drums & lead vocals; Tom Williams - clarinet; Gene Mikolajewski - trumpet & vocals; David Levendoski - concertina; Ken Berzai - accordion-organ.

Polish songs and dance music performed for a Dyngus Day celebration at Mike Berta's Bar. The first portion was broadcast live on radio. Jerry Kurdys, the band leader, hosts a regular polka show on a local station, WAMJ (1580 AM). Field Notes.

Neo Kyma (New Wave)

IH213 Chicago & Addison, Illinois - April 24, 1987. Greek dance band.

Louie Zarakas - keyboards & vocals; Bill Ganas - clarinet; Costa "Gus" Dagres - bouzouki & vocals; Pete Gerogianas - electric guitar; Tim Adams - drums.

A band of young Greek musicians based in Addison, Illinois played for social dancing at a folk dance festival at SS Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Merrillville. Field Notes.

Orchestra Balkan

IH208 Gary - March 1, 1987. Macedonian dance band.

Nick Georgifski - accordion; Steve Lozanoski - accordion & vocals; Steve Poposki - electric guitar & vocals; Perry Sperich - electric bass & vocals; Steve Serekus - drums.

Dance for 6th anniversary of SS. Peter & Paul Macedonian Orthodox Church Youth Organization. Field Notes.


IH211 Gary - April 19, 1987. Macedonian dance band.

Stojan Gurovski- clarinet; Joe Gurovski - accordion; Milan Zlatevski - lead vocals; Frank Spirovski - electric guitar; Mike Georgievski - drums.

Social dance at SS. Peter & Paul Macedonian Orthodox Church following the Easter Sunday celebration and performance the Macedonian Youth Organization Dancers and Balkanske Igre (see above). Pelister is from Waukegan, Illinois. Field Notes.

Bill Skimos Orchestra

IH202 Fort Wayne - November 1, 1986. Macedonian dance band.

Bill Skimos - clarinet; Steve Jugloff - accordion; Jim Skimos - keyboard; Nick Bliznoff - trumpet; Tom Bliznoff - bouzouki; George Bellio - drums.

Long time band leader, Bill Skimos, a local restauranteur, got his start with the Elia Calcoff Orchestra (see above). His band performed regularly at the annual Macedonian Ball sponsored by St. Nicholas Macedonian (formerly Bulgarian) Orthodox Church. The supper and dance were held at the Scottish Rite Auditorium. Field Notes.

Star Serenaders

IH209 Chicago - March 26, 1987. Tamburitza ensemble.
IH214 Highland - May 24, 1987.
IH216 Highland - November 29, 1987. Interview with Steve Deanovich.

Harry Zuvich - 2nd brac & vocals; Jerry Banina - bugarija & vocals; Dave Nanista - 1st brac & vocals; Steve Deanovich - bass & vocals.

This Hammond-based tamburitza quartet performed at the Golden Shell restaurant in southeast Chicago in March, followed by a Sunday afternoon performance at Marvin's restaurant in Highland. Field Notes.

United Serbs

IH215 Hammond & Calumet City, Illinois - May 24, 1987. Serbian dance band.

Dan Danilovich - accordion; Milan Kalaba - accordion & vocals; Rade Ostojic - lead vocals; Rodney Vezmar - electric guitar; George Mihajlovic - drums.

A Chicago-based band played for a social dance at St. Elijah's Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville. The dance followed afternoon performances by several youth folk dance groups. Dan Danilovich teaches folk dancing for the church's youth group. Field Notes.

Vietnamese New Year Celebration

IH206 Fort Wayne - January, 31, 1987. Speeches, songs, music for dancing.

Loi Tran - keyboard, electric bass & drums; Vu Hien - keyboard; Ngo Nguyen - electric guitar; unknown others.

Vietnamese Association banquet at Trinity Episcopal Church. Field notes.

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Folk Arts Survey of Waukegan & Zion, Illinois

In the Spring of 1987 by the David Adler Cultural Center in Libertyville I was hired to undertake a survey of the exurban area of northern Lake County. The fieldwork project was supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. A small follow-up survey was sponsored again in 1990. This fieldwork I sub-contracted to Juan Dies, who was then my summer intern at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Don Adams

GL120 Wadsworth - June 11, 1987. Interview about square dancing and dance calls.

Interview transcript.

Arvid Anderson

EF140 Waukegan - June 12, 1987. Interview about scandinavian music.

An immigrant from Norway, Mr. Anderson was interviewed at the Swedish Glee Club. Field notes.

John Campbell

GL132 Zion - 1990. Blues piano.

Performance and interview recorded at the Adler Cultural Center in Libertyville.

Jerry Emerzian

GL124 Waukegan - October 1, 1987. Armnian music.

Jerry Emerizian - oud; Paul Tyler - guitar. Interview transcript.

Trini Esparza

GL118 Waukegan - May 16, 1987. El Gran Baile with El Conjunto Fortune and Tropical del Valle.

GL122 - August 1, 1987. Backyard wedding reception.

El Conjunto Fortuna: Trini Esparza - bajo sexto; & others. Field notes.

GL133 Libertyville - 1990. Concert and dance at the American Legion Hall.
Los Ecos del Norte: Trini Esparza - bajo sexto; & others. (In the Tradition program notes).

Warren Lauer

GL121 Wildwood - June 17, 1987. Accordion music.

Field notes.

Mellotones Steel Band

GL123 Waukegan - August 9, 1987. Steel drum band.

Field notes from visit to a rehearsal before their performance at the Waukegan Lakefront Festival.

Raymond Podboy

GL119 Waukegan - May 27, 1987. Slovenian accordion tunes.

Interview transcript.

Emil Swanson

GL125 Zion - November 1, 1987. Fiddle tunes.

Emil Swanson - mandolin & fiddle; Blanche Swanson - piano.

Julie Weakley with American-Croatian Waukegan Tamburitzans

GL** Waukegan - May & June 1987. Tamburitza music.

Original recordings held at David Adler Cultural Center in Libertyville. Field notes.

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Adler House In the Tradition series

In 1989, I was contracted again by Doug Miller to the "Series Folklorist" for the In the Tradition concerts, which engaged some of the folk artists I had identified in the fieldwork survey of Waukegan and Zion. Each of the six concerts was held at a small auditorium at Libertyville High School that was equipped with a three television cameras and a switching board. Bill Christopher was engaged as video producer. For each concert, I wrote program notes, interviewed the artists on camera, and emceed the concert. Mr. Christopher, with assistance from Doug Miller and Jennifer Jeffries, edited the concerts footage into eleven community access cable television programs.

Another series was booked in 1991, again using several artists identified in the field surveys. Three of these six events, held at the American Legion Hall in Libertyville, featured a concert followed by a dance (and were not videotaped). After Doug Miller left Adler for Folklore Village in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Stuart Rosenberg and then myself produced several more In the Tradition concerts: two were videotaped, the rest were documented by audio recordings. In 1994 and '95, In the Tradition became a World Music Fest stage at the Adler Cultural Center's annual Festival of the Arts.

Over the decade of its existence, In the Tradition was sponsored by three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and annual grants from the Illinois Arts Council, a State Agency. (More data and Program Notes to be added.)

Andando Solo

GL136 Madison, Wisconsin - May 3, 1991

John Campbell

GL135 Zion, Illinois - April 5, 1991

Liz Carroll & Kevin Carroll

GL128 Chicago - March 18 1989

Ecos del Norte

** Waukegan, Illinois - February 9, 1991. Concert and dance at the American Legion Hall. (This event was not recorded.)

Jerry Emerzian & Sark Antaramian

GL127 Waukegan & Niles, Illinois - March 3, 1989. With Taksim West.

Lotus Dickey & Friends

GL129 Paoli, Indiana - April 7, 1989

David "Honeyboy" Edwards

GL131 Chicago - June 2, 1989

Nicolae Feraru

GL140 Detroit - February 19, 1994

Kiu Haghighi

GL140 Chicago - February 19, 1994

Kevin Henry

GL138 Chicago - June 20, 1992

Rev. Jim Howie

GL129 Randolph County, Illinois - April 7, 1989

Vesta Johnson

GL134 St. Louis, Missouri - March 1, 1991

Karl & the Country Dutchmen

** Chicago - April 20, 1991. Concert and dance at the American Legion Hall. (This event was not recorded.

Jimmie Keane

GL136 Chicago - May 3, 1991

Albert Luandrew - aka "Sunnyland Slim"

GL131 Chicago - June 2, 1989

Taylor McBaine

GL126 Boone County, Missouri - February 3, 1989

John McGreevy & pat Cloonan

GL128 Chicago - March 18 1989

John Meehan & John Williams

** Chicago - 1994. (This event was not recorded.)

Ji Qiu Min

GL134 Oak Park, Illinois - March 1, 1991

Raymond Podboy

GL127 Waukegan, Illinois - March 3, 1989. With Chicago Slovene Button Box Club

Polish Highlanders

** Chicago - March 16, 1991. Concert and dance at the American Legion Hall. (This event was not recorded.)

Yank Rachell

GL135 Indianapolis, Indiana - April 5, 1991

Chirps Smith

GL139 Grayslake, Illinois - September 19, 1992.. (There is no recording of this event.)

Verble Brothers

GL139 Anna, Illinois - September 19, 1992. (This event was recorded on VHS. It has not been digitized.)

Robert & Becky Wernerehl

GL130 Dodgeville, Wisconsin - May 5, 1989

K. Wendell "Wendy" Whitford

GL130 Albion, Wisconsin - May 5, 1989

1994 World Music Fest at Festival of the Arts

GL144 Libertyville, Illinois - September 10, 1994. Polish Highlanders; John Williams & the Chicago Irish All-Stars; Junior Daughterty; Mario Zuleta y sus Vallenatos de Colombia.

1995 World Music Fest at Festival of the Arts

GL150 Libertyville, Illinois - September 9, 1995. Pickled Herrings with guests Trollrike Spelmans; George Jubran & Sargon Mirza; Los Sones de Mexico.

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Adler House Fiddlers Reunion

The final manifestation of In the Tradition was five Fiddlers Reunions held between 1994 and 1999.

Paul Dahlin w/ Chicago Spelmanslag

GL169 St. Paul, Minnesota - March 27, 1999. (Due to technical difficulties, this event was not recorded.)

Francis Geels

GL142 Decatur, Indiana - June 3, 1994.

Bruce Greene

GL152 Grayslake, Illinois - September 27, 1996.

Gary Harrison

GL152 Charleston, Illinois - September 27, 1996.

Lloyd Lalamondiere

GL147 Festus, Missouri - May 5, 1995.

Jim Lansford

GL169 Galena, Missouri - March 27, 1999.

Les Raber

GL142 Hastings, Michigan - June 3, 1994.

Chirps Smith & Friends

GL162 Grayslake, Illinois - November 11, 1997.

Tim Stokes & Ed Fravell

GL147 Buncombe, Illinois - May 5, 1995.

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