THE IDAHO SONGS PROJECT
The mission of the Idaho Songs Project is to collect, interpret and preserve songs written before the radio era (before 1923) about the people, places and events of early Idaho. Such songs provide a unique window into the region's rich heritage. The project began in 2007,when Gary Eller received a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council to collect historically-based songs of the Snake and Salmon River region. Since then, he has compiled about 200 Idaho-related songs predating the coming of radio to the state. These widely ranging songs include somber event ballads, stage songs, hilarious parodies and even operas. The early songs are being preserved in written and recorded forms that are accessible to present and future generations, and in public performances. Please click on Early Idaho Songs to see an annotated bibliography of early Idaho songs. Click on Songs of the Month List to hear and read about selected early Idaho songs. Click on Nashville abstract to read about the paper that was presented at the International Conference on Country Music in May, 2008 about Idaho roots music. Click on Recordings and Books to learn how we preserve early Idaho Songs.
The project is continuing and people with knowledge of such songs are urged to contact Gary Eller by phone at 208-442-8844 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gary Eller also is a member of the Speaker's Bureau of the Idaho Humanities Council. To read about his program, click on Gary Eller's Speaker's Bureau Program. He is available on request through the Council to share historically-based Idaho folk songs. The Speaker's Bureau provides support for presentations on a variety of other subjects to Idaho organizations. Details are available through the Humanities Council website or 208-345-5346.
The Idaho Humanities Council (IHC) is a state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Some work in 2007also was sponsored in part by the Owyhee County Historical Society and some of the 2008 work was co-sponsored by IHC and the Museum of North Idaho. Currently an IHC grant is sponsored by St. Gertrudes Historical Museum in Cottonwood.
Copyright 2011. This page was last revised on August 16, 20112