Posts Tagged ‘Performing Arts’

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pete Seeger Tribute Planned For May 2nd

Pete Seeger and Clearwater Dona-Crawford-autunm_040-300x225Over 45 years ago, Pete Seeger used music to help with many social causes and he became deeply involved with the environmental movement. From his cabin near the Hudson River Pete Seeger traveled the world collecting music, writing songs and sharing other people’s music.

Seeger believed strongly in the power of song to bring people together and embolden them to create community and to heal. He saw that his beloved Hudson River was struggling for survival and felt that if people had intimate contact with the water and the land, they would want to help heal it. So he and his wife, Toshi, spearheaded an effort to build river sloop to take folks out to sail it – to feel the wind and the water, to sing and to solve big problems one song at a time. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Second Weekend of Saranac Lake’s Daffest

IMG_6423Spring is finally here and Saranac Lake has thousands of daffodils starting to bloom as proof. The first weekend of the springtime Daffest tradition flew by with its “Try Mine” Pastry contest and Daffest Derby race, and now the final weekend approaches and all sorts of spring activities are on the docket.

My family always enjoys this ritual of spring. Mud season is a tough time. We don’t want to damage the fragile hiking trails, but we still want to explore outside. An easy fix is walking through Saranac Lake Village to see all the daffodils just starting to bloom. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Johnny Prindle: The Joy of Laughter

JP 01A HeadThe recent loss of Robin Williams, whose death felt deeply personal to many who never actually knew him, reminded me of a North Country entertainer who shared a somewhat similar fate long ago. Although the man’s passing was not by his own hand, it was the suddenness of his “not being there” that was stunning and difficult for many thousands of fans. For like Williams, he had brought decades of laughter and great joy into their lives.

Johnnie Prindle was born in Plattsburgh, New York. The year? His gravestone says 1845; several census records say 1846; his marriage and death certificates say 1847. And age was only the first of many vagaries regarding his life in Plattsburgh. Little has been written about him, but two books purporting to provide the basic facts of his life are rife with errors. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Depot Theatre Announces 37th Season

Depot TheatreComplete with classic songs from the 60’s, zany romantic comedy and toe-tapping honky tonk, the Depot Theatre has announced its 2015 main stage lineup.  “The Bikinis” opens the season on July 10. A non-stop celebration of classics like “It’s In His Kiss,” “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” “Heat Wave,” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” punctuate the story of a girl band’s 20-year reunion.

The opening musical is followed by “New York Water!”, a quirky, off-kilter adult romantic comedy. The story documents Albert and Linda’s relationship from their first fearful meeting in New York City through to the Midwest and on to the left coast as they search for meaning, happiness, and success. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cabin Fever Series Continues With Alex Smith

AdirondackMuseum_CabinFeverSundays_AlexSmith2With upcoming presentations in Blue Mountain Lake and Glens Falls, the Adirondack Museum’s “Cabin Fever Sundays” series continues to present explorations of Adirondack history, music, and culture. Still to come are a wide variety of engaging topics, from the behavior of wolves in the wild to the experiences of Abenaki families in the Adirondacks.

In the upcoming installment of the series, folk musician and Long Lake local Alex Smith will perform his contemporary rendition of mountain music, inspired by the Adirondacks. “Mountain Folk Music” will begin at 1:30 pm on Sunday, March 15, at The Hyde Collection, 161 Warren St., in Glens Falls. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Everything Groovy At Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

20150207_224326The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is rolling into its second full week of events.  At Pendragon Theatre’s performance of “Saranac Lake Sings the 60s” on Saturday, some 35 musicians took to the stage for a sold-out performance that showcased the development of Rock N’ Roll, highlighted the huge acts of the 60s while demonstrating the impact music had on that generation and generations to come.

Thanks to demand for an encore performance, Pendragon  has opted for a second show on February 11th.  Tickets can be purchased at the theatre’s website or by calling (518) 891-1854. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Holls Inn On Fourth Lake (Part II)

1915a 638k_Pratt charles carolineIn 1896, Charles O’Hara had come from Glenfield and built Inlet Inn along the channel from Fifth Lake on land purchased from David Frank Sperry in 1897, operating it as a boarding house.

In November 1907, O’Hara purchased the Arrowhead from Albert C. Boshart and operated both hotels.  But on the morning of September 23, 1913, the hotel originally established in 1893 on the shores at the head of Fourth Lake by Fred Hess, renamed in 1898 the Arrowhead by William Moshier, burned to the ground.  While determining whether to rebuild, O’Hara leased the Eagle Bay Hotel for the 1914 and 1915 seasons. » Continue Reading.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Dan Berggren: Live In Olmsteadville, 1975

Harry WilsonDan Berggren returned from the army to his Adirondack home 40 years ago. The Pub in Olmstedville – now the Owl at Twilight – is where Dan sang his first Adirondack song.

It was about his grandfather Harry Wilson. Dan wrote the song while stationed in Frankfurt, Germany; a studio version appears on the 1985 album Adirondack Green.

Here is a live performance of the song recorded in 1975 at The Pub in Olmstedville:  https://soundcloud.com/berggrenfolk/harry

 


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Benny Rolfe: Inspiring the Great Satchmo

6A  BARNewEdisonPhonoDuring his contract with Lucky Strike, which lasted several years, Brasher Falls native Benny Rolfe’s reach was expanded to more time slots and more stations, reaching virtually every part of America. Rival CBS Radio came up with the “Old Gold Hour”, also sponsored by tobacco, to compete with Rolfe’s great success, but it was a tough assignment. A survey of radio programs in 1931 to determine the popularity of orchestras around the world found Duke Ellington in the number two position—second to B. A. Rolfe. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Benny Rolfe: A Pioneer of Radio

5A BAROpensAtPalaisIn the 1920s, pioneer of silent films and legendary trumpeter Benny Rolfe was in great demand. The Amalgamated Vaudeville Exchange gave him office space to organize and produce band acts. The Edison Company signed him as their “ace band attraction” and sought a recording deal.

Benny also scored big at the Palais d’Or, signing a four-week contract to play for the patrons of New York’s most successful restaurant. The Palais announced the new venture with a splash of advertising for “Twelve men, led by the greatest trumpet virtuoso of all time, who has organized more successful dance orchestras than any other man in the music world.”

Performing for the lunch-hour crowd, Benny was an immediate sensation. Edison moved quickly with plans to broadcast the show live on five radio stations. A week later, the Rolfe orchestra was being heard far and wide during three lunch sessions and two evenings. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Benny Rolfe: ‘World’s Greatest’ Trumpeter

4A  BARolfeHatIn 1918, pioneer of silent films Benny Rolfe left Metro Pictures (later MGM) and formed his own Rolfe Productions, quickly scoring a coup by signing Harry Houdini to a film contract. The hugely popular escape artist was featured by Benny in The Master Mystery, a “super-serial” produced in fifteen parts. After viewing the first installment, Billboard reported: “This enthralling picture will be followed eagerly from week to week and will draw like a house afire. Has unlimited advertising possibilities. Grab it quick.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas in Essex, Where Santa Arrives By Ferry

TaylorHaskins_newThere are many ways to spend the holidays, or those few frantic weeks just before, that truly ring in the year with quaint Adirondack charm. Schroon Lake’s Olde Tyme Christmas, Lake Placid’s Holiday Stroll and Christmas in Essex are just three celebrations that are prepared to make everyone’s countdown to Christmas just a little more merry.

Though Friday nights do hold a few scheduled happenings, the main events take place over the weekend for most locations. According to Christmas in Essex Co-Organizer Kenneth Hughes, this year’s festival on December 13th is a mixture of traditional activities and new events.

“Christmas in Essex has been happening for at least 20 years so we have the traditional activities people look forward to, like the Reindeer Run and Pancake Breakfast, but we added some things that are brand new. This is the first year that I’ve been an organizer,” says Hughes. “My other Co-Organizer is Susie Smith.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Benny Rolfe of Brasher Falls: Pioneer of Silent Films

3A RolfeHdlineJolsonIn early 1910, Benny Rolfe‘s latest vaudeville release, The Rolfonians, received high praise from the New York Dramatic Mirror. “B. A Rolfe has given vaudeville several entertaining productions, but his latest, which be has named after himself, and in which he appears, is the best he has yet turned out. The Rolfonians is novel if nothing else, while it is decidedly refined and of a truly high-class order.… Mr. Rolfe is to be sincerely congratulated. The Rolfonians is … so admirably staged, and so entirely harmonious from a musical viewpoint, that it will undoubtedly become one of vaudeville’s most sought for acts.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Vaudeville Star Benny Rolfe of Brasher Falls

2A BARolfeBandHatIn April 1900, the 24-piece Brasher Falls Military Band was organized, with Benny Rolfe as leader. He also served as manager of the Rolfe family business. Life was looking pretty good for the Boy Trumpet Wonder of Brasher Falls.

Within a month, he received an offer of $30 a week ($860 in 2014) to lead the famous military band of Lowville, about 100 miles southwest of Brasher Falls. For the time being, Benny remained in his hometown, performing locally, playing solos in appearances with area town and city bands, and perfecting the laundry business.

But in early January 1901, it was announced that Benny had purchased the Lowville Steam Laundry, and would soon become the leader of Lowville’s popular band. What’s more, his father, mother, and Nellie Morse were all accompanying him and would be welcome additions to the band. After moving some laundry equipment to Lowville, Benny sold the Brasher Falls business and completed the move in April, becoming the most famous bandleader in Lewis County at the grand old age of 21. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Benny Rolfe: Boy Trumpet Wonder of Brasher Falls

1A BARolfe01The community of Brasher Falls, located on the St. Regis River in northern St. Lawrence County, can be described as “in the middle of nowhere,” defined here as about halfway between Potsdam and Hogansburg. No insult intended. Remoteness, after all, is a desirable attribute for many North Country folks, and at just a couple miles north of Route 11, it’s not really the boondocks. It’s a small community, and in 1880 had a population of about 240, making it all the more remarkable that a nationally famous musician and a true pioneer of vaudeville, movies, and radio is a Brasher Falls native.

Benjamin Albert Rolfe was born on October 24, 1879, to Albert Benjamin and Emma (Ballard) Rolfe. Both of his parents were interested in the performing arts, taking part in local theater productions. Both were also musically inclined, providing entertainment regionally as Rolfe’s Full Orchestra, and introducing their young son to the joys of playing musical instruments. » Continue Reading.


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