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National Sampler: Nevada
Audio and Video Samples, Notes, and Images

The audio recordings are in mp3 format. The Donald Campbell video requires free RealPlayer External link software. Other videos are available in MPEG or multiple formats (RealPlayer, MPEG, and Quicktime).

Track 1. "Powder River" Jack H. Lee. "The Bucking Bronco." Duncan Emrich Recordings of "Powder River" Jack H. Lee and Others. 1942. [AFC 1965/018] select to play[mp3]

Duncan Emrich was the head of the Center's archive from 1945 to 1956. He made frequent trips to the American west, and was especially drawn to Nevada, where he often conducted interviews in local saloons. The archive has recordings made by Emrich during his collecting forays to Virginia City, Nevada, in 1942, 1949, and 1950. During his 1942 visit to collect mining and cowboy songs, he recorded "Powder River" Jack H. Lee, a locally renowned cowboy singer, whose fame in several western states dated back to the 1920s. This recording of Mr. Lee was made on September 4, 1942. It is a version of "The Bucking Bronco," a song is sometimes known as "The Cowboy's Hat." The song appeared under the latter title in N. Howard Thorp's 1921 book "Songs of the Cowboys." The author claimed that the song was written ca. 1878 by Belle Starr, an infamous woman outlaw of the Indian Territory. Rights and permissions.

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Les Stewart on his horse
Rancher Les Stewart, Ninty-Six Ranch, Paradise Valley, Nevada. Photo by Carl Fleischhauer, 1980. From the Paradise Valley Folklife Project.
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Track 2. Film: "Buckaroo Theodore Brown Parts a Cow from the Herd." [MPEG]

In this video exerpt from a film made by fieldworkers William H. Smock and Carl Fleischhauer in 1979, (with narration added by rancher Les Stewart in 1982), Mr. Brown demonstrates the technique he uses to isolate a cow from the herd on a trail drive.

Track 3. Film: “Feeding Cattle in Winter.”  [MPEG]

In this video excerpt from a longer film made by Les Stewart in about 1945, (with narration added by rancher Les Stewart in 1982), Stewart describes the techniques and benefits of cattle feeding in winter using horse-drawn equipment.

Track 4. Film: "Horsehair Rope." [MPEG]

Filmed in 1978, researcher Richard Ahlborn interviews Les Stewart while the rancher demonstrates how to make a horsehair rope (see overview below).
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Men in western dress standing round a tent with saddles and gear.
Historic photo of a buckaroo camp, possibly at Grayson Ranch, Paradise Valley, Nevada, no date. Buckingham family photo. From the Paradise Valley Folklife Project.
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Tracks 2, 3 & 4. Selected films from the Paradise Valley Folklife Project. 1979-1982: From 1978-82, the American Folklife Center conducted an ethnographic field research project in Paradise Valley, Nevada. The Paradise Valley Folklife Project employed a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, who documented traditional life in Humboldt County's Paradise Valley, a cattle-ranching area located in the rugged high desert region of north-central Nevada. The researchers particularly focused on the work of "buckaroos," as cowboys are commonly called in the region, and on the operations of the Ninety-Six Ranch, a cattle ranch owned and operated by Leslie J. Stewart. Mr. Stewart was a dedicated rancher and keen observer, who began documenting local events and daily ranch work with his motion picture camera in 1945. Drawing on research from the Paradise Valley Folklife Project, and featuring the abundant documentation from Ninety-Six Ranch, AFC developed an on-line presentation entitled "Buckaroos in Paradise: Ranching Culture in Northern Nevada, 1945-1982," from which these three samples are drawn. Tracks 2, 3, and 4 used by permission of Mr. Leslie J. Stewart.

Track 5. Louis Gibellini. "Interview." Italian-Americans in the West Project Collection. 1989-1991. [AFC 1989/022. IAW-BO-A001] select to play[mp3]

In 1989, the American Folklife Center launched a field research project that focused on the cultural traditions of Italian Americans in the western United States. Teams of professional folklorists documented numerous aspects of Italian-American folklife at sites in California, Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Nevada. The Nevada documentation focused on mining and ranching communities in the eastern and central parts of the state. In this oral history excerpt, recorded on November 4, 1989, in Eureka, Nevada, Louis Gibellini (1907-1996) tells folklorists Blanton Owen and Andrea Graham about his days as a miner. Used by permission of Mrs. Janelle Gibellini Dietrich. Rights and permissions.

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Letter from Woody Guthrie written on a large envelope, 1940.
In this letter author, singer, and songwriter Woody Guthrie describes his travels in Nevada with his uncommon humor (ca. July 1940). Select the image to read the letter. Available in the online presentation Woody Guthrie and the Archive of American Folk Song: Correspondence 1940-1950.
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Track 6. Lorraine Hunt. "Interview." 2005. StoryCorps Collection. [MBY000855] select to play[mp3]

The American Folklife Center is proud to be the repository for the StoryCorps Collection of oral history interviews. Since its founding in 2003, the non-profit, New York-based StoryCorps organization has documented more than thirty thousand interviews. Using specially designed recording booths and specially outfitted mobile recording trailers that travel to cities and towns throughout the United States, StoryCorps invites pairs of people, (usually family members or lifelong friends), to interview each other and tell stories about their lives and experiences.

In this excerpt, Lorraine Hunt is interviewed by her fiancé, Dennis Bono, on December 1, 2005, in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the time of the interview, Hunt was the 32nd Lieutenant Governor of the State of Nevada (1999-2007). In this selection, she talks about her teenage years, her aspirations to become a singer, and about the many celebrities who frequented her family's popular Italian restaurant, the Bootlegger Italian Bistro, as well as her interactions with them. Used by permission of StoryCorps. Rights and permissions.

Track 7. Donald L. Campbell. Video: "Interview." Donald L. Campbell Collection. 2007. Veterans History Project. [AFC/2001/001/17495] [RealPlayer]

In October, 2000, the U.S. Congress passed a law directing the American Folklife Center to collect and preserve oral histories of America's wartime veterans. With this mandate, the AFC's Veterans History Project (VHP) enlisted the efforts of volunteers throughout the nation to interview veterans according to AFC guidelines, and then submit their recorded interviews to the Library for preservation. To date, VHP volunteers have conducted over 70,000 interviews. Select this link for more information about the Veterans History Project and for access to thousands of interviews online.

In this excerpt, Korean War submariner Donald Campbell is interviewed by Susan Gross as part of a joint veterans history project conducted by the Regional Technical Institute and the Daughters of the American Revolution in Reno, Nevada. Campbell talks about his assignment as a torpedo man on the submarine Pomodon (SS 486) as it patrolled the waters between Japan and Korea, and Siberia and North Korea, and he cites evidence of Soviet involvement in the Korean War. This selection is one of several compiled by the Veterans History Project for the online presentation "Submarines: The Silent Service" (on Windows PCs Veterans History Project videos may play better in Internet Explorer). Used by permission of Donald L. Campbell.  Rights and permissions.

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Gary Haleamau
Gary Haleamau performing at the Library of Congress on August 5, 2008. Select the image to go to the video
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Track 8. Gary Haleamau and His Band. Traditional Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar from Nevada. HomeGrown Concert Series. 2008. [AFC 2008/012] [MPEG]

Today there are more Native Hawaiians living in the mainland United States than in Hawai'i. A significant number live in Nevada, drawn there by performance opportunities in local casinos: in fact, the Las Vegas area is sometime referred to by Hawaiians as the "ninth island."  Among the most notable transplants is the renowned traditional Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Gary Haleamau. Mr. Haleamau grew up at the Hu'ehu'e Ranch in North Kona on Hawai'i’s Big Island. He learned how to play ki ho'alu (slack key guitar) from his father, who was a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy). The following performance by Mr. Haleamau and his band was recorded on August 5, 2008, in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress.  His group appeared as part of the American Folklife Center’s "HomeGrown Concert Series," an ongoing public educational series that features the finest examples of traditional performance from throughout the United States. Rights and permissions.

 

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   May 15, 2015
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