Songs of the Lake and the Forest: A Michigan Folk History | Jonathan Gabhart | TEDxMacatawa | Summary and Q&A

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October 20, 2023
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Songs of the Lake and the Forest: A Michigan Folk History | Jonathan Gabhart | TEDxMacatawa

TL;DR

Alan LX, a young archivist, preserved 400 old lumbering songs from Michigan in 1938, showcasing the work and lives of lumberjacks, miners, and sailors through music.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Who was Alan LX and what was his mission in Michigan?

Alan LX was a young archivist sent by the Library of Congress to Michigan in 1938 to preserve old lumbering songs. His mission was to record as many songs as possible before they were forgotten.

Q: What kind of songs did LX collect in Michigan?

LX collected songs from lumberjacks, miners, and sailors in Michigan. These songs depicted the challenges and experiences of these professions, set to familiar tunes or new melodies.

Q: Why were the lumbering songs important to Michigan's history?

The lumbering songs provided insight into the lives and work of lumberjacks during Michigan's early statehood. They represented a form of entertainment, but also a deeper human connection among the workers.

Q: How did LX preserve the lumbering songs?

LX used a vinyl recording rig to cut the songs onto vinyl records. He collected 400 songs in total, interviewing various individuals who remembered the old tunes.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • In 1938, the Library of Congress sent Alan LX to Michigan to preserve old lumbering songs.

  • LX collected 400 songs over three months from various individuals in Michigan.

  • The songs depict the hardships, adventures, and triumphs of lumberjacks, miners, and sailors in Michigan's early statehood.

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