Grant Rogers’ family loved music. As many families did at that time, they enjoyed singing around the piano. His father, Delbert, also did some fiddling, though it appears he wasn’t particularly skilled at it. His mother Ethel, however, was an accomplished piano player who also clogged and played an instrument they called a concertina (melodian).
The hills and valleys of Delaware County and the surrounding Catskills area in the early 1900s were filled with old-time musicians. Grant Rogers would have known and played music with many of them. Fiddler Leslie Scofield from the Masonville area recalled many of them by name, village, and instrument.
Many present day musicians of the Catskills region carry on the legacy of traditional music.
Fran and Leona are the nieces of Grant Rogers.
People being interviewed either played traditional music around the time of Grant Rogers or are descendants of those musicians.
Interviews are being conducted with present-day musicians who were influenced by the playing of such performers as Grant Rogers and/or who continue the traditions of the music of his time. Other transcripts include events and conversations related to this project.
I. PRINTED MATERIALS
Bennett, Beatrice. The Den, 1787-1888. Deposit, N.Y.: Courier Printing Corp., 2006.
Bennett, Beatrice Grotevant. Reminisce of a Lost Village, Rock Rift, NY. 1800-1955 (Sequel to Walking Through Time in Rock Rift), 2013.
Bennett, Beatrice. Walking Through Time in Rock Rift: Delaware County, New York. Music, pp. 61-64, reference to Grant Rogers and Fishers; pp. 63-64 Fishers with photos. Courier Printing Corp., Deposit, NY, 1998.
Bronner, Simon J. Old-Time Music Makers of New York State. Syracuse University Press, 1987. Grant Rogers information, photos, and music pp. 132-143.
Cazden, Norman, Herbert Haufrecht and Norman Studer. Folk Songs of the Catskills. State University of New York Press, 668 pp. 1983.
Horne, Bill. The Improbable Community: Camp Woodland and the American Democratic Ideal. Copyright 2016 by Bill Horne. ISBN: 978-0-9710337-1-9. Library of Congress Control Number: 2016942622.
Jamison, Phil. Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics; Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance. University of Illinois, 2015.
Norris, Linda. Good Times: Delaware County’s Community Album. Riverhill, Treadwell, NY, Copyright 1997. Photos and quotes about music in Walton area, e.g. block dances pp. 34-35, community bands and concert bands, pp. 36-43.
Paton, Sandy. “Grant Rogers, Songmaker of the Catskills.” Liner notes for Grant Rogers LP record. Folk-Legacy Records, Inc., Sharon, Connecticut 06069, 1965.
Richie, Fiona and Doug Orr. Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia. University of North Carolina Press, 2014. General history of traditional music in America, especially Appalachia.
St. Onge, Wes. History of St. Onge Family. Esp. pp 5, 29, 31-33, 36, 75, 84. Family book owned by Wes St. Onge.
Scheer, Ginny. "The Improbable Community: Camp Woodland and the American Democratic Ideal," by Bill Horne. Review of the book from Kaatskill Life, Winter 2017.
Scofield, Leslie. “Memories of Old Time Musicians And Their Music,” pp. 142-149, (especially p. 147 for reference to Rock Rift and Grant Rogers) in Tompkins The First 200 Years published by Tompkins Town Board, Perry Shelton, Supervisor. Printed by The Deposit Courier, Deposit, NY, July 2007.
Shelton, Perry. Tompkins, the First 200 Years. Published by Tompkins Town Board, 1980. Printed by The Diposit Courier, Deposit, NY, July 2007.
Sive, Mary Robinson. Lost Villages: Historic Driving Tours in the Catskills. Copyright 1998 by Mary Robinson Sive. Delaware County Historic Association, Delhi, NY.
Studer, Norman. Two-page excerpt from an unpublished article “Boney Quillen of the Catskills” 1951, about the Rogers family and musicians of Delaware County. Available in the Norman Studer collection of unpublished papers at the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collection and Archives at the Universtiy of Albany, Albany, NY.
Studer, Norman. A Catskill Woodsman: Mike Todd's Story as told to Norman Studer. Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, NY., 1988.
Studer, Norman. “The Cannonsville Story.” Notes Prepared by Norman Studer in 1957. (One-page summary of notes on tapes made in preparation for a documentary film titled “Kinfolks” showing the folklore and folk history of various regions of the country. The Catskill episode was called “The Cannonsville Story.” The film was to be released in 1958 by Jules Victor Schwerin.) Available in the Norman Studer collection of unpublished papers at the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collection and Archives at the University of Albany, Albany, NY.
Zandt, Helen. Memories: Delaware County’s Community Album, and Memories 2. July 2007.
II. RECORDINGS/DVDs of MUSIC
Ballads and Fiddle Tunes, Grant Rogers. Kanawha 313, 1969. Kanawha Records, P.O. Box 7791, Jacksonville, FL, 32210.
Folk Songs of the Catskills: A Celebration of Camp Woodland. Cob's Cobble Music 1005. Produced through the estate of Herbert Haufrecht. C. 2001 Cob's Cobble Music, Box 638 Mystic CT 06355. (860) 443-2711, firstname.lastname@example.org. www.geoffkaufman.com.
Grant Rogers, Ballad Singer. Kanawha 308, 1967. Kanawha Records, P.O. Box 7791, Jacksonville, FL, 32210.
The Cannonsville Story (From the Film “Kinfolks”). LP Produced by Jules V. Schwerin. With Robert Gregory, storyteller and Grant Rogers, musician. Folkways Records. Source Archive: Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. CD Copyright 2004 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings/1957 Folkways Records. Catalog # FW 03852/ FS 3852.
Frank Fisher Sr. and Boys. Tape recording of Fisher Brothers’ music 1959 and 1979. Owned by Francis “Loppy” Fisher, source Marty Fisher. Transferred to CD. Permission granted by Marty Fisher.
Edwin St. Onge. Family CD owned by Wes St. Onge. Square-dance tunes, 1979 and 1986. Permission granted by Wes St. Onge.
Grant Rogers, Catskill Mountain Songmaker. Recorded and with notes by Sandy Paton, CD-27, Copyright 2002. Folk-Legacy Records, Inc., Sharon, CT. LP originally issued by Folk-Legacy in 1965 as Grant Rogers of Walton, New York, Songmaker of the Catskills.
Indian Summer: The Cannonsville Story" is a film set in a mountain valley being emptied of its inhabitants so that it can be flooded into a reservoir to supply water for the growing population of New York City--a drama familiar for many in the Catskills in upstate New York. The folklore of the community is conveyed in storytelling, song, and fiddling at a Sunday "jam session," where neighbors wandered in and out and music was made for hours on end. Robert Gregory and Grant Rogers are among local folks seen in the movie. Pete Seeger and Mike Seeger composed and performed the music for the soundtrack, [singing and playing fiddle, five-string banjo, guitar, twelve-string guitar, chalil (bamboo flute), harmonica, pump organ and drum.] Produced by Norman Studer and Jules V. Schwerin in the late 1950s.
A copy of the film may be borrowed (or with a donation, purchased) from the William B. Ogden Library. The somewhat related CD titled The Cannonsville Story may also be borrowed. (See entry above.)
Rainbow Quest with Pete Seeger, Episode 13: Grant Rogers and Norman Studer, 1965. DVD. [RAINBOW QUEST was a series of television programs produced by Pete and Toshi Seeger and Sholom Rubinstein in 1965-1966 in order to show the enormous diversity of folk music worldwide. The 38 programs that made up the Rainbow Quest series contained a wide assortment of songs, dances, instruments and humor. Pete Seeger hosted and participated in each episode by singing, playing and trading songs with his guests. In Episode 13, Rogers performed six numbers (four songs and two fiddle tunes) and Pete played along with him.]
III. VIDEO CLIPS CREATED FOR THE GRANT ROGERS PROJECT
“Amid the Rivers and the Streams.” Video of Jay Ungar and Molly Mason playing the waltz in their October 2016 concert at the Walton Theatre. A series of photos taken by Robbie Jean Rice appears behind the performers. Ungar and Mason wrote the waltz in honor of the surroundings and people of Walton, NY, and of Grant Rogers, who was a friend and mentor to Jay.
Grant Rogers, Fiddle Master of the Catskills. Jessica Vecchione, 2016. Features Grant Rogers’s voice, Leona Poulin and Fran Watson interview excerpt, and Rogers playing “Larry O’Gaff” and “Rogers’ Hornpipe.”
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason with Walton Central School Students created by Walton Central School teacher Clarence LaParr and media students, October 14, 2016. Features Ungar and Mason working with string students to practice the tune “Amid the Rivers and the Streams” and the mini-concert given to all music students.
Mile Twelve Bluegrass Band Workshops. Slide video created by Jim Richardson, February, 2017. Photos of workshops at Delaware Academny, Delhi; Walton Central Schools; and William B. Ogden Library with background music from Mile Twelve Bluegrass Band.
Rainbow Quest with Pete Seeger, Episode 13: Grant Rogers and Norman Studer, 1965.
RAINBOW QUEST was a series of TV programs produced by Pete and Toshi Seeger and Sholom Rubinstein in 1965-66 in order to show the diversity of folk music worldwide. Pete Seeger hosted and participated in each episode by singing, playing and trading songs with his guests. In this episode (13), Rogers performed six numbers (four songs and two fiddle tunes) and Pete played (and sang) along with him.