It’s a fair bet that many of our US readers were, at one point in their life, readers of the popular children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. If not, odds are that they watched episodes of the equally popular television series based on the books, Little House On The Prairie.
Dale Cockrell, a professor of Musicology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, has founded a company to make the many traditional American songs and tunes mentioned in the Little House books available as sound recordings for modern readers. He is assisted in this work by Nashville mandolinist, producer and Sound Art Recordings president, Butch Baldassari. The company is called Pa’s Fiddle, and the second of ten audio CDs with this theme is due for release on November 14.
This new project is entitled, Arkansas Traveler: Music from Little House on the Prairie, and it includes 18 songs and tunes mentioned in the Wilder books. Credited performers include Mac Wiseman, Riders In The Sky, John Cowan, Bob Carlin, Butch Baldassari, Alison Brown and many others.
Arkansas Traveler will not ship to stores until next month, but it can be ordered online now from Pa’s Fiddle, where audio samples can also be heard online.
The first release in this Ingalls series, Happy Land, has been added to the We The People Bookshelf by the National Endowment For The Humanities. This program delivers a set of age-appropriate classic books to several thousand libraries around the US to foster the reading of great children’s literature. Happy Land was added as a bonus to their fourth NEH Bookshelf program, a collection of literature with The Pursuit Of Happiness as its theme.