Down Home Dairyland


“The Waltz the Devil Danced Himself to Death” by John Hermundstad

Link to Down Home Dairyland

Mills Music Library, Wisconsin Archives
University of Wisconsin-Madison
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

Co-produced by Richard March of the Wisconsin Arts Board and Jim Leary of the University of Wisconsin’s Folklore Program from 1988-1995, Down Home Dairyland (DHD) was a half-hour show on Wisconsin Public Radio. The pair produced nearly 150 programs, with March producing as many more in the latter half of the 1990s after Leary’s departure. Dedicated to traditional and ethnic music of Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, each DHD installment focused on a particular topic. Combining field recorded and commercially produced music with commentary, many shows also featured interviews with regional performers. The first 40 DHD programs are available on CD, together with a Listener’s Guide distributed by University of Wisconsin Press. Of these 40 programs:, Norwegian performers figured in 7: Scandinavian Dialect Songs, Scandinavian Dialect Humor, the Goose Island Ramblers, Tunes of String and Bow, Couderay Jig in the Buckhorn, Wisconsin Instrument Makers, and Women Polka Band Leaders. Several other DHD shows focused on such Norwegian American performers, including various old time fiddlers, guitarist and singer Bob Andresen, multi-instrumentalist and storyteller John Berquist, accordionist Ethel Lerum, and others. Original field recordings, related tape indices, photographs, program scripts, publicity materials, and produced programs are housed in the Mills Music Library, Wisconsin Music Archives.