Country Music in New England/Clifford R. Murphy Collection
Scope and Contents
In this series of six interviews, Clifford R. Murphy interviews New England country music musicians. Spanning from the 1930s all the way to the 2000s and multiple generations of musicians, these interviews provide an intimate look at country music in New England. As members of a close-knit community, the interviewees talk about each other, including other influential musicians like “Hal Lone Pine” Breau, Lenny Breau, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Wilf Carter, the various bands they were in, performing in festivals and in small-town halls, working on radio and on television, the musician lifestyle, their challenges and successes, and the changes they have witnessed over the years.
- June-August 2005
Conditions Governing Access
For digitized items free from access restrictions, we are working to upload this material (pdfs, mp3s, jpgs) for public access, but it is an ongoing project. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, contact Special Collections (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Conditions Governing Use
Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher. Known restrictions on NA3862.
Language of Materials
NA3373 Denny Breau, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, June 2, 2005. Breau was born May 26, 1952. He talks about his music and about his family who were all musicians; father Harold “Hal Lone Pine” Breau and mother Betty Cody; parents divorced; mother left music and worked in a shoe shop in the Lewiston-Auburn area; three brothers: Lenny, Richard, and Bob; more on Lenny: what he was like as a person, his musical style, movie “The Genius of Lenny Breau”; Denny in the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame; how music scene in Maine has changed; race relations; lifestyle of musicians; influences (Beatles and folk music); writing music; being on the road; musical training; family; Rusty Rogers/The Pemaquid Cowboy; drinking.
Text: 61 pp. transcript Recording: mfc_na3373_cd0969_01, mfc_na3373_cd0970_01 89 minutes Photos: P09901
NA3374 Herbert LeBlanc, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, August 20, 2005, in his camper van in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. LeBlanc, a country musician, grew up in Nova Scotia and played with a band called Les Tymeux De La Baie. LeBlanc talks about his early family life; fiddling family; “Bienvenue a Clare” (”Welcome to Clare” on Sounds of Nova Scotia); favorite country musicians; Hawkshaw Hawkins; Hal Lone Pine; Betty Cody; Gene and Florence Hooper; how he became interested in playing; Don Messer; The Clare Tones (band); his family; yodeling; Johnny White; Gary Hall Hallida. Includes performance by The Good Tymes Band (Track 1) and several performances by Herbert LeBlanc with his guitar throughout Tracks 2 and 3.
Text: 10 pp. transcript Recordings: mfc_na3374_cd0971_01 - mfc_na3374_cd0971_03 38 minutes Photographs: P09905 - P09918
NA3375 Kathleen M. Clark, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, June 1, 2005 at her home in St. Albans, Maine. Kathleen is the widow of country music star Yodelin’ Slim Clark and used to perform with him as “Dr. Kathy.” Clark talks about Slim: meeting him; what he was like; his love of painting, camping, hunting, fishing and performing songs; recording music; working with WABI radio and television; performing in New England; bluegrass festivals; his son Wilf; how his heart surgery affected him; Dick Curless; Rusty Rogers; Kenny Roberts; Johnny White; Wilf Carter; his first wife Celia; Hal Lone Pine; Betty Cody; Gene and Flo Hooper; yodeling; becoming a Catholic; his family; Jewel Clark; Walkway of Stars (Country Music Hall of Fame); Western Music Hall of Fame; biggest hits; pitching for Boston Braves; Mike Preston; Georgia Mae; Larry Sullivan.
Text: 28 pp. transcript Recording: mfc_na3375_cd0972_01, mfc_na3375_cd0973_01 75 minutes
NA3376 Gene Hooper and Flo Hooper, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, August 18, 2005, Machias, Maine (at the Hoppers’ home). Gene discusses how he became interested in country music; Jimmie Rodgers and Singing Brakeman; Dennis Breau; Hal Lone Pine Breau (Lone Pine Mountaineer); western dress; Ray Couture; radio; being a disk jockey; education; Depression; family; radio shows; recording; Hank Snow; Hawkshaw Hawkins, alcoholism; Doc Williams; playing in Canada and in New England; old radio transcriptions; fellow New England musicians (Dick Curless, Ken Mackenzie, etc); Paul Roberts. Flo discusses working with Hal Lone Pine and Betty Cody (her sister); her family; music in her home; performing; country music shows; yodeling; Betty; Flo’s family.
Text: 70 pp. transcript Recording: mfc_na3376_cd0974_01 - mfc_na3376_cd0975_01 97 minutes Photos: P09902 – P09904
NA3377 Russell “Rusty Rogers (the Pemaquid Cowboy)” Kempton and Patty Kempton, interviewed by Clifford R. Murphy, June 4, 2005. Rogers, also known as the Pemaquid Cowboy, talks about being young amateur performer with Gloria Simmons; going to Mexico to learn Spanish-style guitar; working with the Downeasters; working the Down Homers; Bill Haley; getting fired from Esther King and the Pals of the Golden West; Bud Bailey; Jimmie Cal; types of audiences; Slim Sullivan; Roy Rogers; Sons of the Pioneers; an average day; Cousin Emmie and Gene Autry; Kenney; first wife Lil; Georgia Mae and her roller skating act; Slim and Kathy Clark; being the Connecticut weightlifting champion; Ernie Hackwood; making records; father; performing on cable TV and taping over 40 shows; Patty Kempton (promoter/agent); negotiations for Rockland festival “Lost in the Island of Love; Guy Campbell; Kenny Roberts.
Text: 72 pp. transcripts Recording: mfc_na3377_cd0976_01, mfc_na3377_cd0977_01 95 minutes
NA3862 Paul “Paul Roberts” Metivier, interviewed by Cliff Murphy, July 13, 2005, by telephone. Metivier, born in 1915 in Dorchester, Massachusetts, talks about his stage name Paul Roberts; being a hillbilly yodeler; his song “There’s A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere”; Bob Miller (Shelby Darnell); hillbilly music being renamed country music; learning to yodel; doing a triple yodel; performed with his wife Ann; other singers (Yodelin’ Slim Clark, Smilin’ Ernie Lindell, Johnny White, Montana Slim , etc.); his song “She Taught Me How To Yodel”; how to yodel; his 10 songs; profits; winning amateur contests; doing stage shows with his wife in Maine; radio broadcasts. RESTRICTED.
Text: 21 pp. transcript, 2 pp. field notes (in CF folder)
Existence and Location of Originals
Located at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress: AFC 2012/047 https://lccn.loc.gov/2013655211.
Materials Specific Details
Audio files are the primary source material. Transcriptions are the transcriber's best effort to convert audio to text, but should be considered secondary to the audio.
This series of interviews resulted in the book New England Country and Western Music: Self-reliance, Community Expression, and Regional Resistance of the New England Frontier (Brown University, 2008) by Murphy.
- Guide to Country Music in New England/Clifford R. Murphy Collection
- In Progress
- Thomas Libby
- May 2018
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Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository
5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States