The second program in a series at Utah State University recognizes the heritage of westward movement through song. The program, "Pathways and Western Song," is part of the "Pathways to Discovery" program celebrating the centennial of the Merrill Library. The program features folklorist Barre Toelken and historian Robert Parson.
"Pathways and Western Song" will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in the Merrill Library's Tanner Room. The event is free and the public is invited. An exhibit in the library foyer, accompanies the presentation."Pathways and Western Song" reviews two music eras and examines how song expresses lifestyles and values in the Mountain West. Songs of cattle trails and popular 20th-century dance hall music will be the subjects.
Toelken, director of USU's folklore program, will discuss some of the older, traditional cowboy songs associated with cattle drives. He said this examination is not a look at how cowboys entertained themselves, but rather, shows the poetic articulation of how the people worked and how they related to the land.
Parson, director of the Utah History Fair that is part of the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies and assistant archivist in USU's Special Collections, will focus on 20th-century dance hall music, looking at cowboy and western life through more contemporary music.