Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Gray Cat on a Tennessee Farm" / "Happy Land" / "Waterbound" / tab and video clips for Clayville jam session Saturday, Feb. 1 ** UPDATE x1 ** CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER

UPDATE Thursday, Jan. 30, 5 p.m.: This one looks like it could be a bad one. NOAA-Lincoln is now issuing the following winter storm watch for central Illinois:




< SNIP >


It doesn't sound like anything we want to take a chance on. So I'm calling off our Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music jam session for Saturday.

But we have our Prairieland Strings dulcimer club sessions Tuesday, Feb. 4, and Thursday, Feb. 20 (weather permitting). Everyone from the Clayville sessions is also welcome at the Prairieland sessions. I'll keep an eye on the forecast (since they're calling for snow Tuesday as well) and get out a notice on next week's session over the weekend.

* * *

Blast email I sent out tonight to the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music list, slightly edited for Web publication with YouTube clips added …

Hi everybody --

Our monthly Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music jam session is coming up this week, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 1, in the barn at Clayville Historic Site. At last month's workshop we had a good turnout, especially considering the weather, and a great time going over some jam session basics and playing tunes like "Five Pounds of Possum (in My Headlights Tonight)." A big hat tip to Mike Anderson for stopping by! I was really impressed by how quickly everyone picked up the tunes, and how much fun we had playing together on different instruments. "Five Pounds" will be back by popular demand at Saturday's jam.

In fact, we'll be building on a couple of the things we did at the workshop. … Ip> I need to ask a favor! I can't find my list of names and email addresses from the workshop (this is really embarrassing), so please help spread the word about Saturday's session by word of mouth, especially to anyone who was there last month. Feel free to forward this email to anybody who might be interested, too. My contact information is in the signature below the three stars at the bottom of the message.

Speaking of Mike Anderson, there's still time to register for the discounted rate of $145 for his Winter Weekend mountain dulcimer workshop Feb. 21-23 in Chilichothe. Details at http://www.dulcimerguy.com.

Information on our tunes for Saturday below:


The tune I want to highlight Saturday has gotten to be kind of a mountain dulcimer standard, but it's a classic old-time string band number called "Gray Cat on a Tennessee Farm" by Uncle Dave Macon of the Grand Ole Opry. … Dulcimer tablature, with the melody in standard notation and suggested guitar chords above the notes is available on the Dogwood Dulcimer Association of Pensacola, Fla., website at


To get to the tab for "Gray Cat," click on "Tab/Music Sheets" on the left, and when the TUNE BOOKS directory appears, click on the link that says "Click on Tunes -- alphabetic order." It's in the second column. The web address is …


… but it's a PDF file and you may want to go through the directory if it's balky downloading it. It's in the left-hand column of the TUNE BOOKS directory.

Some clips of "Gray Cat on a Tennessee Farm," as performed by:

Uncle Dave Macon. Uncle Dave was a former vaudeville and medicine show hoofer who joined the Opry in the 1920s and is widely considered its first star. His words to "Gray Cat," even though they're hardly ever performed anymore, are classic.

A dulcimer club. The Silver Strings Dulcimer Society of Garden City, Mich., gets it up to speed at their variety night:

A mountain dulcimer soloist. Randy Adams, who has adapted his own style and is taking the dulcimer in new directions. His only comment on the YouTube clip: "Uncle Dave!!" It's all he needs to say.


I decided to highlight "Gray Cat" this month when I was looking for the tab for "Five Pounds of Possum," which is also on the Dogwood Association website. There are a couple of other very cool jam tunes, too, "Waterbound" and an old camp meeting song called "Happy Land." You can find them in the same TUNE BOOKS directory as "Gray Cat" and "Five Pounds of Possum." I post clips of both to the blog, too.


An old camp meeting tune from the 19th century, a favorite at all-day singings from The Sacred Harp and other shape-note tune books. Two versions below.

Sacred Harp singing at Liberty Church in Henagar, Ala. If you haven't heard it before, this is traditional four-part a cappella choral singing. The nonsense syllables you hear at the beginning -- fa sol, la fa sol sol and so on -- represent different notes of the scale and help singers remember the tune. The little girl beating time in the middle of the square is leading the song.

Athens, Ala., Dulcimer Jam Group. From their series of videos -- Mountain Dulcimer Lesson Series. "These videos are intended to get you used to playing along with a group," they explain.

"Athens," by the way, ain't pronounced too good down there. They say it like some town in Greece, or Georgia, or somewhere like that.


A fine old southern Appalachian string band tune, performed below by a band called String Theory from Athens, Ga., on WUGA-FM radio and TV. (See note on pronunciation of "Athens," above.) Tab is also available in the Dogwood Dulcimer Association directory (left-hand column, down at the bottom). The B part is a little different from the version we'll play. Everywhere I've been, it's played differently. But the A part, the part with the lyrics, is always the same. A fun tune.

Pete Seeger, May 3, 1919-Jan. 27, 2014

Iconic folk musician Pete Seeger, who kept performing as recently as last year's Farm Aid concert, died Monday at the age of 94. Today's New York Times deftly summed up his career: "For Mr. Seeger, folk music and a sense of community were inseparable, and where he saw a community, he saw the possibility of political action." The music and the sense of community and the promise of political action were inseparable. Adds the Times:

In his hearty tenor, Mr. Seeger, a beanpole of a man who most often played 12-string guitar or five-string banjo, sang topical songs and children’s songs, humorous tunes and earnest anthems, always encouraging listeners to join in. His agenda paralleled the concerns of the American left: He sang for the labor movement in the 1940s and 1950s, for civil rights marches and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the 1960s, and for environmental and antiwar causes in the 1970s and beyond. “We Shall Overcome,” which Mr. Seeger adapted from old spirituals, became a civil rights anthem.

As much as the banjo, Seeger's instrument was the audience.

Honing a skill he learned at labor rallies during the 1940s, he was a virtuoso of sing-alongs. He was still at it at the age of 90, as shown here with Bruce Springsteen during President Obama's 2009 inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial:

From the New York Times obit:

Mr. Seeger was a mentor to younger folk and topical singers in the ‘50s and ‘60s, among them Bob Dylan, Don McLean and Bernice Johnson Reagon, who founded Sweet Honey in the Rock. Decades later, Bruce Springsteen drew the songs on his 2006 album, “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions,” from Mr. Seeger’s repertoire of traditional music about a turbulent American experience, and in 2009 he performed Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” with Mr. Seeger at the Obama inaugural. At a Madison Square Garden concert celebrating Mr. Seeger’s 90th birthday, Mr. Springsteen introduced him as “a living archive of America’s music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along.”

And this:

During the McCarthy era Mr. Seeger’s political affiliations, including membership in the Communist Party in the 1940s, led to his being blacklisted and later indicted for contempt of Congress. The pressure broke up the Weavers, and Mr. Seeger disappeared from commercial television until the late 1960s. But he never stopped recording, performing and listening to songs from ordinary people. Through the decades, his songs have become part of America’s folklore.

“My job,” he said in 2009, “is to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world, and if used right it may help to save the planet.”

Even as he aged and many of his causes lost ground, Seeger never gave up hope. The obit concludes:

Mr. Seeger kept performing into the 21st century, despite a flagging voice; audiences happily sang along more loudly. He celebrated his 90th birthday, on May 3, 2009, at a Madison Square Garden concert — a benefit for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater — with Mr. Springsteen, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Joan Baez, Ani DiFranco, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, Emmylou Harris and dozens of other musicians paying tribute. That August he was back in Newport for the 50th anniversary of the Newport Folk Festival.

Mr. Seeger’s wife, Toshi, died in 2013, days before the couple’s 70th anniversary. Survivors include his son, Daniel; his daughters, Mika and Tinya; two half-sisters, Peggy, also a folk singer, and Barbara; eight grandchildren, including Mr. Jackson and the musician Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, who performed with him at the Obama inaugural; and four great-grandchildren. His half-brother Mike Seeger, a folklorist and performer who founded the New Lost City Ramblers, died in 2009.

Through the years, Mr. Seeger remained determinedly optimistic. “The key to the future of the world,” he said in 1994, “is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.”

Monday, January 27, 2014

Last service at Zion Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1908-2014

Zion Lutheran Church (ELCA), 6307 - 4th Ave., in Brooklyn's Bay Ridge neighborhood, held its last worship service yesterday, Jan. 26. At one time New York City was home to the second-largest Norwegian community in the world, between Oslo and Bergen. Most of them lived in Brooklyn, and many lived in Bay Ridge, located near the Gowanus Canal and almost literally in the shadow of today's Verrazano Bridge.

Zion Lutheran Church [Google street view from *NYC-AGO website]

Zion was founded in 1908 as one of several Norwegian neighborhood parishes in Brooklyn. But as Norwegian-American families moved out of Bay Ridge, they were replaced by a multicultural inner-city neighborhood of Chinese, Italian and more recently a variety of Middle Eastern ethnicities. And, as happens with so many inner-city churches, Zion's congregation dwindled away over the years.

Founders of the church were my grandfather, Pastor Johan Ellertsen, and ___________. The picture at left below shows him in 1908, the year Zion was founded and three years after Norway became an independent nation [note flag in picture]. He remained at Zion until ____, when he left to take parishes in Minnesota and Massachusetts, and returned to Zion in the 1920s to officiate at the Norwegian-language services until his death in 1939.

Several of my cousins, Pastor Ellertsen's grandchildren, accompanied by several of their children and grandchildren, were able to attend the service and to sing a chorale, "Now Rest Beneath Night's Shadow" [Nun ruhen alle Wälder] with words by Paul Gerhardt to a melody by Heinrich Isaac.

Click here to hear it sung as a congregational hymn in German by the Große Kreuzgemeinde [Greater church of the Holy Cross] choir of Hermannsburg in Lower Saxony; here as arranged by Bach and performed by the St.-Johannis-Kantorei choir in the Baltic coast city of Rostock; and here for background posted earlier to this blog about the secular song "Innsbruck, ich muß dich lassen" on which the chorale melody is based.

My cousins have given me permission to post their pictures and descriptions of the event in this space, including one of Pastor Ellertsen's descendants who were able to gather for the occasion, including grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-grandchildren, at left below, and one of his grandchildren, at right below. Four other grandchildren in Minnesota, Illinois and Norway were unable to attend.

"Yesterday was such a moving experience at Zion," my cousin Christine said in an email. "As John mentioned yesterday, our grandparents were there at the inception of the church and their family was there at its closing – like bookends. We have been given a rich legacy!"

I think the pictures hint at that legacy. I think they also show more Norwegian sweaters than I'm accustomed to seeing at the same time in the same place!

From an email my cousin Anne sent Monday (today) to family members:

We knew the church that John’s grandfather founded in Brooklyn was going to close, but the pastor gave us only a week’s notice that the final service was yesterday. John scrambled to let everyone know. Before the service folder was printed, John had corralled a choir of relatives to sing a chorale. We converged on Bay Ridge from NY, NJ, and PA in a snow squall. John found a stairwell where we could run through the music. Sounded good there!

Johan Ellertsen (John’s mother’s father) founded the church 105 years ago. I had him with me, tucked in my pocketbook – actually a picture from Cousin Peter on the tablet. Someone found a link with a living person, a woman whose parents were the second couple to be married by Rev. Ellertsen in the new church. All during the long service, I was very aware of this man none of us had ever met. Surely he would have been pleased with his living legacy. He had been a cantor in Bergen, a musical man with a beautiful voice. At the front of the church singing the anthem were three of his grandchildren with spouses, three great granddaughters, and several great greats. There were six great great grandchildren there, not all singing with our little family choir.

I’m not sure what brand of Lutheran this church ended up, but they had a ritual I’d never seen before. They put water in the baptismal font, blessed it, and had the bishop sprinkle the congregation with the water. Surely that’s as close to holy water as a Lutheran could get! It was meant to be a visual reminder of our baptism, and it wasn’t something that was done at regular services. At the end of the service there were prayers for various things such as the candles, communion set, formal record book of the congregation, etc. Everyone felt compassion for the 16 people who would be looking for a new church home, but the service was not maudlin.

We were invited to stay for the buffet meal afterwards. We tucked ourselves off to the side where we could observe the family reunion going on. This was a last gathering of many people who had belonged to that church through the years. Our kinship was merely historical. We noticed many Norwegian sweaters, showing the connection to Europe in a graphic way. …

I'm not sure it has much relevance here, but a letter follows that I wrote to Pastor Diane Wildow last week. Perhaps a researcher studying the history of immigrant congregations will Google into it in future years and find something in it of interest:

Yesterday I learned that Zion will be closing at the end of the month. I wish I could attend your final worship service since my paternal grandfather, Pastor Johan Ellertsen, was a co-founder of the church, but I am unable to do so on short notice. Please know, however, that you and the members of your congregation are in our prayers at this time of sadness and transition.

While I have rarely visited New York City and don’t remember ever attending services at Zion, I feel like it is part of my heritage and in some way I am a product of its ministry – even though two generations have passed by now and I am living a thousand miles away in Illinois.

My father, Birger W. Ellertsen, was baptized at Zion in 1913 and grew up in parishes of the old Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod in the Midwest and in Brooklyn. But his career took him to rural Tennessee as a young man, and there he stayed for 50 years. Therefore when I was growing up, there were no Lutheran churches we could attend; however, we joined an Episcopal church with a similar liturgy, and I grew up listening to LPs of Bach organ preludes and Reformation chorales along with 10-inch vinyl recordings of the St. Olaf Choir.

More importantly, when I joined a Lutheran church rather late in life – as my mother moved to Illinois after my father’s death – I began to recognize that some of the more important attitudes and ethical standards I grew up with had their origin in Luther’s Small Catechism. In a sense, joining a Lutheran church was like a homecoming. (In more ways than one! Several members of our congregation in Springfield are Norwegian-Americans from Iowa and the Dakotas, and at times we sound like the news from Lake Wobegon.) In the meantime, I am reacquainting myself with the rich heritage of Lutheran hymnody.

When Dad died in 1997, he left me his copy of Bestefar’s [Norw.: grandfather's] 1913 Lutheran Hymnary. When I retired from college teaching, I wanted to find out more about it, and that led me by degrees to researching the musical heritage of Scandinavian immigrants in the Midwest. We had more Swedes than Norwegians in our part of the country (and I married a Swede from northern Illinois), so now I am learning about the old Swedish-American Augustana Synod and its contributions to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well. I have begun to demonstrate a musical instrument called the psalmodikon that 19th-century pastors used to teach four-part harmony singing, and I am working up a proposal on Lutheran immigrant hymnody for a historical symposium here in the state capital. I think there is a story here that needs to be shared more widely.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m convinced that Zion Lutheran Church has touched people’s lives in incalculable ways over the years, not only in the neighborhood you have served in Brooklyn but also very indirectly at times, as in my case. I am grateful that Zion is part of my heritage, and I am sure it will continue to enrich people’s lives in ways that none of us can even begin to imagine for many years to come.

Again, you and the congregation at Zion are in my thoughts and prayers.

According to the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists the organ at Zion was built in 1937 by Geo. Kilgen & Son of St. Louis. Located in the back of the sanctuary, it can be seen in the picture immediately above. Details in another picture, not included here, show a hymnboard for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany displaying Nos. 250, 7[?]3. 668, 451, 474 44[7?] and 229.

[* I obtained the Google street view photo at the top of this post, along with details about the organ, from the American Guild of Organists' website at http://www.nycago.org/Organs/Bkln/html/ZionNorEvLuth.html.]

I Googled into this Yelp review while I was looking for photos of Zion: It was posted Nov. 14, 2013, by Yelp user Bree S.: "I have volunteered here on several Saturdays when they hold the Soup Kitchen to feed the homeless and hungry. Let me tell you, you will not find more compassionate people than here in this church. Gene, Mary, the pastor, and everyone else involved are incredibly kind and caring. Returning back to volunteer after quite a while, I felt completely welcomed and like I revisited my long lost family. The staff knows the names of the people who come to eat and always welcome them with a smile. They are incredibly generous. Before everyone eats, Gene holds a prayer and asks the people if they have anyone in particular they would like to pray for. Also, the kitchen always has extra food to hand out for the more needy. Lastly, I would like to say that volunteering here has definitely changed my perspective on life and how I care for other people. Volunteering at the Zion Luthern Church has made me a more benevolent and selfless person and I thank them for that."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mark Gilson -- Swedish tunes on mountain dulcimer


Mark Gilson plays American old-time, Irish, some northern European hummel music and Playford's English country dances -- especially Swedish dance tunes and marches. See his "Swedish Tunes on the Mountain Dulcimer," Mel Bay's Dulcimer Sessions Aug. 2006. http://archive.dulcimersessions.com/aug06/swedish.html

Hummels are zither-like instruments, usually with two or three fretted strings and several more strings which were parallel but unfretted and could be plucked for chords or strummed as drones. In Denmark, the instrument was called a humle. (One must remember that in the 1600's a substantial part of Denmark was under Swedish rule.) The word "hummel" derives from the German word 'hummelchen', a type of bagpipe named for a bumblebee, so one can picture the buzzing drone reminding one of the bee's hum. In Norway, the langeleik is a similar instrument but the frets are dramatically raised from the fret board. The earliest known langeleik dates from 1524. The bodies of most of these Scandinavian zither-family instruments are long and box-like, although there are some examples of more recent hummels with a heart-shaped body - just as contemporary dulcimers come in various different shapes. In addition, the Swedish "guitar" or cittra also shares the quality of having some of its strings fretted, with the majority of them unfretted. The cittra is still used in the music of Uppland which is also home to the nyckelharpa, a keyed fiddle which has much in common with hurdy-gurdies and makes extensive use of drones. These world repertoires of music which make such common use of drones always feel very natural on dulcimer.

And this, on modes:

I play most of my Swedish music in a GDD tuning, although I find ADD works better for certain tunes. The Swedish minor modes do not comfortably fit into Dorian or Aeolian scales, and other modal pieces often are played with neutral thirds on the fiddle. When they are reinterpreted by fixed pitch instruments, there is a tendency to switch between major and minor modes in such a way that makes them impractical on a diatonic dulcimer. Therefore, most of my Swedish and Norwegian repertoire is limited to the pieces in major (Ionian) or raised 4th (Lydian) tunings. The latter is more common in Norwegian tunes, but sometimes occurs in Swedish music from the border regions.

http://www.markgilston.com http://www.markgilston.com

14 CDs -- directory at http://www.markgilston.com/content/recordings.html http://www.markgilston.com/content/recordings.html

Dulcimer Hambo (2012). Purchase online from CD Baby!

Dulcimer Hambo is a beautiful collection of 27 lovely Swedish dance and processional tunes brilliantly realized on solo mountain dulcimer by virtuoso player, Mark Gilston.

The track list for Dulcimer Hambo includes: Dulcimer Hambo (My Hambo Has Fleas) 3:47 | Gånglåt från Rättvik 2:38 | Svingedans efter Mårten Sjöbäck 2:02 | Säckpipslåt från Norra Råda 2:37 | Polonäs från Sexdrega 2:56 | Gavels Ella (hambo) 2:52 | Gånglåt från Vigelsjö av Sten Blomström 2:45 | Polska efter Zuaw 2:30 | Norrbommens Polska efter Hjort Anders 2:08 | Slängpolska efter Byss-Calle 2:51 | Mora Långdans 1:24 | Mållongen av Gunnar Östergårds (hambo) 3:18 | Minne från Rommehed (polkett) 2:10 | Mungalåten 3:29 | Vals efter Tjäder Jonas 1:59 | Snurran (snoa) 2:46 | Steklåt från Särna 2:09 | Ten Crowns Polska 2:10 | Schottis från Haverö 1:57 | Polska efter Båtsman Däck 3:05 | Brudmarsch efter Florsen i Burs 2:03 | Polska från Åre 2:34 | Schottis från Idre 1:49 | Hambo på Logen 3:16 | Skålarna 3:56 | Vendelpolskan 2:20 | Långdans från Sollerön 2:04 | Total Running Time: 70:09


Troll Road (2005). Purchase online from CD Baby!

This wonderful listening album features Swedish and Norwegian "spelsman" music played in traditional style on concertina and dulcimer with guest musician, Tom Gibney on fiddle.

The track list for Troll Road includes: Gänglät efter Olle Gustafson-Solne 1:46 | Slängpolska frän Enanger 3:27 | Brudsmarsh frän Leksands 1:52 | Polska efter Back Far 3:22 | Skänklåt från Dalarna 2:36 | Byggnaân (The Building) 4:06 | Barkbrödslater (Bark Bread tune) 3:15 | Troll Road (schottis) 2:38 | Skinnbracka med Lukku (hambo) 4:16 | Trollspolska (från Boda) 1:39 | Tom's Tune 1:58 | Schottis från Lindome 3:08 | Polska från Malung efter Sjunger Lars 1:53 | March from western Dalarna after Kalle Almlöf 1:52 | Schottis från Bingsjö 2:58 | Senpolska från Stöde 2:39 | Vandringen i Världen 3:21 | Springleik etter Ola åsen 2:45 | Polska från Föllinge (gammelvänster) 3:28 | Lekken Has Jo (springleik) 1:46 | Troll Ring (ringlander) 3:09 | Gammelvänster från Oviken 2:15 | Total Running Time: 61:19

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stig Wallin, Die Schwedische Hummel available on line (also an article on the nose flute -- Mike Anderson's fans take note)! ** UPDATED 1x ** w/ links to Mike's Winter Weekend in Chillicothe

Wallin's book is 123 pages long, with pictures, for those of us who have limited knowledge of German, beginning at p. 106 and transcriptions of Otto Malmberg's tunes at the very end. It's downloadable from a Wordpress blog called Ethnomusicology for all of our music at


The website describes itself as: "Some good reading suggestions on the subject of ethnomusicology. Old and new. To those of you with similar material – share." (http://allourmusic.wordpress.com/about/). Journal articles and monographs, mostly in Russian (well, a Cyrillic language at any rate), with several in Swedish, German, Polish and English. One on "the Baltic Psaltry," which I take without reading it to be the kantelle and similar northern European folk zithers.

Multi-instrumentalist Mike Anderson's students and fans no doubt will be interested in Ernst Emsheimer and Cajsa Lund, Björnflockpipa och nässelpipa: Två traditionella folkliga blåsinstrument. It's not a word that has come up yet in the teach-yourself-Swedish book I'm working through this winter, but I'm pretty sure a nässelpipa would be a nose flute.

So, with apologies to Shakespeare, how's this for a bitterly cold January morning?

What's in a name? that which we call a nose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

Speaking of Mike Anderson, his Winter Weekend mountain dulcimer retreat is coming up next month ... Friday evening, Feb. 21; all day Saturday, Feb. 22; and Sunday morning, Feb. 23. It's $155 for intensive lessons with Mike and nationally regarded players Linda Brockinton (intermediate) and Maureen Sellers (novice) -- discounted to $145 if you register in the coming week, before Friday, Jan. 31 -- more information on Mike's website at


Chillicothe is on the Illinois River 15 or 20 miles north of Peoria (depending on whether you take Ill. 29 up from downtown Peoria or follow the bypass around on I-474 and Ill. 6 to Ill. 29 at Mossville). Some of us have stayed at the Super 8 motel on Ill. 29, and there are others in the area (to find motels, Google keywords "Chillicothe IL motels" and click on the map).

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Backgrounder on Augustana Synod in MetroLutheran -- how is a religious denomination like a '57 Chevy?

Pre-story on 2012 meeting of the Augustana Heritage Association at Gustavus Adolphus. Headline: "Augustana Synod to re-gather 50 years after LCA merger." MetroLutheran is a monthly publication in St. Paul-Minneapolis.

Quotes the Rev. Wayne Peterson, pastor at St. Barnabas Lutheran Church (ELCA), Plymouth, Minn. “If we know our past, we know more about who we are in the present. … Knowing our family roots is important for our self-identity.” It adds:

The Augustana Synod thrived for 102 years and in 1962 merged with three other Lutheran church bodies to form the LCA. Twenty-five years later, the LCA became part of the ELCA.

Augustana’s influence through merger was substantial, according to Peterson. “Augustana had an outsized portion of social ministry,” he told Metro Lutheran. “While it only had about seven percent [in attendance] of the newly-formed LCA, it brought something like 30 percent of the social ministries,” he continued.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Ecumen — a collection of nursing homes and senior living centers — have their roots in the Augustana Synod, Peterson explained.

“The Augustana Synod had both a theological conservativism and [a commitment to] social action,” said the Rev. Michael Edwins, a retired pastor from the Augustana tradition. “The pietism, which helped to found the Lutheran Bible Institute, was outgoing, so there was no hesitation in admitting the sinfulness of the world, but there was hope because people who were sinful weren’t seen as bad; they just needed to be cared for.”

Also some good atmospherics on why 2012 was the last biennial meeting of the AHA:
The 2012 gathering will be the last, according to Peterson. “I’m 57 now and was seven years old when Augustana went out of business,” he said. “Most folks [in attendance] will be in their 70s and 80s.”

Arland Hultgren, Luther Seminary retired professor with roots in the Augustana Synod, said that most people think of Augustana like a ‘57 Chevy. It went out of business at the boom time of the Christian Church in the U.S., with congregational growth, strong youth programs, and a dynamic missionary presence, and so they have very positive memories. But the synod didn’t have to go through the turbulent changes of the 1960s, with assassinations, movements for civil and women’s rights, and the like, that affect today’s church bodies.

Granquist concluded, “Augustana went into merger at a time when all church bodies had a sense of self. People were loyal in a different way than today. There was a communal pride that led to support of church colleges, seminaries, and social service agencies.”

Peterson wonders whether the church today can regain the kind of loyalty that Augustana engendered so that 50 years after its end, people still meet to ask questions about the future.

Mark Granquist, quoted above, is a church history professor at Luther Seminary.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Springsteen, Jimmy Fallon skewer "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam"

Bruce Springsteen made a guest appearance on Jimmy Fallon's late night TV show last night parodying New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's bridge scandal to the tune of "Born to Run." Christie says he's the New Jersey singer's biggest fan, but it's more evidence Springsteen doesn't return the compliment. Here's the YouTube clip of Fallon, who has considerable talents as a mimic and parodist, and Springsteen:

Bruce Springsteen & Jimmy Fallon: "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam" ("Born To Run" Parody)

Details on NBC 10 Philadelphia, which covers most of southern Jersey:

Jimmy Fallon got some help from one of the most famous people to come from the Garden State for his latest bit mocking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's traffic jam scandal. Music legend Bruce Springsteen joined Fallon onstage to perform a new version of "Born to Run," featuring lyrics about getting stuck on the George Washington Bridge.

The two, who were both sporting The Boss' signature "Born in the U.S.A." look, used music to address revelations that Christie's aides orchestrated lane closings on the world's most heavily trafficked bridge, apparently as political payback to a local mayor. …

But the New York Daily News reported some in the studio audience in New York City may not have appreciated the humor:

By the end of their parody, Fallon and Springsteen had the audience laughing and cheering, but maybe not everybody shared the sentiment on the "Bridgegate" scandal — towards the end, it sounded like they may have garnered a few boos.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/bruce-springsteen-jimmy-fallon-sing-chris-christie-bridge-scandal-article-1.1580143#ixzz2qUCGipak.

Later (Monday, Jan. 20). “I let Chris Christie know we were doing it. And I said, ‘The silver lining is Bruce Springsteen says your name,’” Fallon said … “I haven’t heard back yet,” Fallon added. According to Politico, which picked up the quote from the Chicago Tribune, Christie "told Yahoo in an interview published Monday that he didn’t watch the parody, but that he wasn’t angry about it and got a direct message from Fallon on Twitter saying it was all in good fun."

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Fake it till you make it! (workshop Jan. 18 at Clayville)

Jam session tips for beginners —

If you have a dulcimer, or a guitar, banjo, fiddle or any other musical instrument you haven’t touched in years – or one you got for Christmas or picked up at a craft fair but haven’t learned to play yet – the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music offers free workshops called “Fake It Till You Make It: Getting to Know Your Instrument and Playing in a Group” at Clayville Historic Site, on Illinois 125 at Pleasant Plains.

And we always have our "academy jams" from 10 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of every month. Most of us were beginners ourselves very recently, and we especially welcome beginners.

Each two-hour "Fake It Till You Make It!" workshop session will focus on basic jam session etiquette; how to learn a tune by hearing where the notes and chords are on a dulcimer; how to get the most out of online videos; and how to use the “three-chord trick” in order to play along with the group on songs you don’t know yet. While the workshop is designed especially for beginning mountain dulcimer players who want to learn how to play with other instruments, all instruments are welcome, and all skill levels are welcome. It's part of the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music, and we're not about the fine points of technique as much as sharing our knowledge and making music with each other.

The first workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 18. Plans are to offer it again later in the year … updated schedules will be posted to the website at http://clayville.org/. Pete Ellertsen of Springfield, who facilitates the sessions, has studied mountain and hammered dulcimer at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Western Carolina University, Common Ground on the Hill, Mike Anderson’s workshops and Winter Weekend in Chillicothe. Loaner dulcimers are available.

Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music

10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Creolization and Creativity" -- Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Mélange, hotchpotch, a bit of this and a bit of that is how newness enters the world. It is the great possibility that mass migration gives the world, and I have tried to embrace it." Salman Rushdie, (qtd. Ericksen, "Creolization" 223).

Thomas Hylland Eriksen. "Creolization and Creativity." Global Networks 3 , 3 (2003) 223–237. Available on line at https://www.academia.edu/5091543/Creolization_and_creativity

[Publication Name: Global Networks -- a Journal of Transnational Affairs]

In the famous opening sequence of The satanic verses , where Saladin Chamcha and Gibreel Farishta fall out of Air India’s London-bound flight 420, later to be fished miraculously out of the Channel, Gibreel improvises an English translation of an old Hindi film song: ‘O, my shoes are Japanese. … These trousers English, if you please. On my head, red Russian hat; my heart’s Indian for all that’ (Rushdie 1988: 5). 1 In a later essay explaining the mission of his instantly controversial novel – burned in Bradford, leading to a fatwa in Tehran, creating a decade-long global stir – Rushdie offers his view of creativity, contrasting it with the cultural purism and fear of contamination he associates with the enemies of The satanic verses . The book ‘rejoices in mongrelization and fears the absolutism of the Pure. Mélange , hotchpotch, a bit of this and a bit of that is how newness enters the world . It is the great possibility that mass migration gives the world, and I have tried to embrace it’ (Rushdie 1991: 394). This view of ‘newness’ corresponds well with the perspectives on cultural dynamics and change developed in Ulf Hannerz’s œuvre for more than three decades, and although anthropological purists have never threatened with anything like a fatwa, Hannerz’s position is more controversial than his congenial style of argument usually betrays. Especially in his work on globalization and cultural creolization from the late 1980s onwards, Hannerz has powerfully argued in favour of a view of cultural creativity that is far removed from any Romantic vision of the lone genius inspired by his Muse and the depths of his cultural heritage. In the networked world of flows and movement described by Hannerz in two influential books (1992, 1996) and in a number of journal articles, newness appears as a result of recontextualization, mixing and ongoing, always provisional mergers of formerly discrete symbolic realms. This article is devoted to an examination of this view of creativity, hinting at its historical origin and contrasting it with a view informed by Romantic thought, which was probably dominant in twentieth century anthropology.

Thomas H. Eriksen on cultural and linguistic creolization in Eastern Oslo [23-min video clip]
Part of a lecture held by Prof. Hylland Eriksen (Univ. of Oslo) at the Centre for Comparative Studies, University of Lisbon, October 14, 2013. http://vimeo.com/79899763

Eriksen is is professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo. Wikipedia:

A considerable portion of Eriksen's work has focused on popularizing social anthropology and conveying basic cultural relativism as well as criticism of Norwegian nationalism in the Norwegian public debate. He has written the basic textbook used in the introductory courses in social anthropology at most Scandinavian universities. The book, "Small Places -- Large Issues" in English, is also used in introductory courses in many other countries, and has been widely translated, as has his other major textbook, "Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives". Eriksen is a frequent contributor of newspaper pieces in Scandinavia.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Obit and bio -- Johan Ellertsen, Aug. 15, 1874-Feb. 1, 1939

Norsk lutherske prester i Amerika, 1843-1915. By Olaf Morgan Norlie, Knut Seehuus. Google eBooks p. 477.

(at right)

Pastors of the Norwegian Lutheran Synods, 1843-1927. Luther College Archives, Decorah, Iowa

Stavanger Mission School 1896 - 1902
Luther Seminary C.T. 1906 - 1908

FATHER Bernt Ellertsen - -
MOTHER Ingeborg Sofie Petersen - -
WIFE Magna Schade 1910


N. S. 1908 - 1917
N. L. C. A. 1917 - 1928

TEACHER Teacher parochial school and precentor Baldwin, Wis., 1902 - 1903
TEACHER Hardis Creek and Beaver Creek Wis. 1903 - 1906
PASTOR Pastor Brooklyn N. Y. 1908 - 1913
PASTOR Hayward Minn. 1913 - 1924
PASTOR Worcester Mass. 1924 - 1927
PASTOR Brooklyn N. Y. 1927 - 1928

Obit at left in Brooklyn Eagle, Feb. 3, 1939, p. 13. Available on line in New York State Historical Photos & Newspapers on the Old Fulton NY Post Card Website

Døpte -- baptismal records -- Utarbeidet av Sarpsborg Historielag 4/12-2002 -- http://sarpsborghistorielag.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/dc3b8pte.pdf