Pa’s Fiddle: Charles Ingalls, American Fiddler will be released in late summer 2010.
The autobiographical Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) are rich in references to music, with 127 songs embedded in the narratives. In fact, there may be no books of comparable standing that document frontier America family music-making so thoroughly. The source of most music-making was Charles “Pa” Ingalls, a born entertainer who missed few occasions to sing and play his fiddle, an instrument that accompanied the Ingalls family through times good and bad and came to symbolize the endurance of the family unit in a threatening frontier world.
Courtesy of the Little House books, Pa Ingalls is perhaps the 19th-century American fiddler about whom we know most. We know the names of many of the tunes and songs he played, where he played them, for whom, and often why he chose them.
This recording, which draws from the instances when Pa is chronicled playing his fiddle alone, aims to place him among the first rank of old-time fiddlers whose music is foundational to so much in American music.