Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Little Songs From The Prairie

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – A music historian is kicking up some prairie dust with a CD of songs referenced in American author Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books.

Dale Cockrell, a 19th century music historian, has put together songs Laura sang and her Pa, Charles, played on his fiddle in the anthology, Happy Land: Musical Tributes to Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Songs like “Sweet By and By” and “The Girl I Left Behind Me” were recorded to appeal to a modern audience, but to get a sense of what Pa’s fiddling style would have sounded like, Cockrell tracked down the world’s first-known fiddle recording.

The 30-second clip, recorded in 1923, comes from a man who was five years younger and born in the same area of New York as Charles.

Cockrell says, “That’s as close as we’ll get to Pa Ingalls’ playing.”

Cockrell believes that music had such an impact on Wilder’s life that the title of her book, Little House on the Prairie, was a parody of the 19th century song “Little Log Cabin in the Lane.”

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