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Dear Old Illinois to be reprinted in July - August 2014

Posted by Gaye Harrison on Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pickaway Press recently announced that Dear Old Illinois: Traditional Music of Downstate Illinois (compiled and edited by Charleston native Garry Harrison, and Jo Burgess) will soon be available for purchase again.  Pickaway Press is compiling an email list, for those who would like to be notified of the publishing date, at   The book and accompanying 3 CD set of field recordings will be available at  in the next month or two.

From 1970 into the mid 1980’s, Garry Harrison and his brothers and friends made field recordings of tunes during visits with senior-aged musicians in central and southern Illinois.  A National Endowment for the Arts grant, written by Dean Vaughn Jaenike of the College of Fine Arts at Eastern Illinois University, made it possible to preserve these tunes which are now housed in the Library of Congress and at the Tarble Arts Center at Eastern.

According to the Old-Time Herald, in an Oct., 2012 article dedicated to Garry Harrison’s memory, “Harrison was widely known as a leading authority on the music of his native region.”  First  published in 2007,  Dear Old Illinois includes 750 pieces from what are considered the two most significant collections of traditional music of downstate Illinois:  songs from the David S. McIntosh collection, and tunes from the Garry Harrison collection.

“This is really a superb collection of field recordings. What a treasure trove of beautiful and interesting tunes. I have something of a mania for field recordings and have a pretty large collection, but there is nothing quite like these Illinois pieces. It compares favorably with the rich traditions of Eastern Kentucky and Central West Virginia, but with nuances and melodic figures all its own. This is the best and most important work to appear in a long time. Everyone who loves fiddle music must own these CDs and book." -- David Allen, traditional banjo/fiddle player, Pig Ankle String Band, Dallas,TX

2 comments on “Dear Old Illinois to be reprinted in July - August 2014”

Gaye Harrison Says:
Saturday, July 5, 2014 @7:03:43 AM



JanetB Says:
Saturday, August 8, 2015 @10:25:29 PM

Thanks for this information. I hope it will be a discussion topic on a forum here when it does get published, which I gather will be very soon, so that more people will become aware of it.

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