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Paul F. Wells

[Joseph C. ]

(b Lake Forest, IL, Oct 20, 1935). American Folklorist and folksinger. He was exposed to folk songs by his parents when he was a child and began to play the guitar as a teenager. His interest in folk music deepened during his undergraduate years at Oberlin College (BA 1957). Among other musical activities while in college he hosted a radio program and served as local agent for the Folkways, Stinson, and Elektra record labels. He pursued graduate studies in folklore (MA 1961) and ethnomusicology at Indiana University and began to hone his skills as a performer in parallel with his academic and archival work there. In 1963 he was hired as librarian at the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress (now the Archive of Folk Culture); this marked the beginning of a 35-year career at that institution. He was promoted to head of the archive in ...

Article

Jeff Todd Titon

[Sandy ]

(b White Plains, NY, Sept 4, 1925; d Bangor, ME, Aug 1, 2009). American folklorist, folksinger, and song collector. Ives was educated in English (MA, Columbia) and folklore (PhD, Indiana University), and taught for more than 40 years at the University of Maine. His travels in Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada brought him into contact with the traditions of local song-making and storytelling, particularly among men working in the woods in lumber camps and as guides. Ives’ reflexive studies of New England song-makers from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries show a keen intelligence and generosity of spirit. His eight books concentrated on deceased working-class songsters and storytellers (Larry Gorman, Lawrence Doyle, Wilbur Day, George Magoon, and Joe Scott), and on creativity within traditional forms. He claimed that vernacular literature and song had social and aesthetic values that transcended its sentimentality. His teaching and writing inspired two generations of New England folklorists, and he was active as an educator and public speaker throughout the state of Maine, where he is remembered with affection. He founded the Northeast Archives of Folklore, which later became incorporated into the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine, and which houses thousands of recorded interviews, photographs, and artifacts related to traditional music and lifeways in Maine and the Maritimes....

Article

Nicoletta Demetriou

(b Lefkonoiko, May 5, 1904; d Nicosia, May 10, 2004). Cypriot church cantor, Byzantine music scholar, and folk song collector and singer. He studied Byzantine music with Stylianos Hourmouzios in Nicosia (1921–4). He continued his studies in Byzantine music with Ioannis Sakellarides and Spyros Kapsaskis at the National Conservatoire of Athens, where he also studied Western music (1933–4). In 1935 he was appointed chief cantor (protopsaltis) at Agios Ioannis, the archiepiscopal cathedral in Nicosia, where he remained until the end of his life. In 1934 he became the first person to make commercial recordings of Cypriot folk songs. The ten songs he recorded were issued by HMV in Athens. In 1951 he published Kypriaki Laïki Mousa (Cypriot Popular Muse), the largest collection of Cypriot folk songs up to that time, which contained 83 transcriptions in both Byzantine and staff notation.

As a Byzantine music scholar he published 13 books, which covered different aspects of liturgical chanting. He was also the founder of a Byzantine music school in Nicosia (...

Article

Susan Feder

(b New York, NY, Sept 22, 1899; d Plainfield, NJ, May 23, 1979). American soprano and folklorist. She studied voice in New York with Cesare Stunai, Henry Russell, and Katherine Opdycke, and made her debut in 1929, as Gounod’s Marguerite, with the Quebec Opera Company, Montreal. During the 1930s, while continuing to sing opera in New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere (her roles included Aida, Tosca, and Carmen), she became interested in American folk music and folklore and began collecting songs, particularly from residents of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and the Zuni Indians of New Mexico, about both of which she lectured and wrote articles. Her recital programs (from 1937) ranged from Hopkinson and Billings to MacDowell, Farwell, and Gershwin (often performed from manuscript); she also sang Native American songs in original languages and folksongs from all over North America. A frequent performer on radio, she was the soloist on ...