The LeRoy Larson Collection

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The LeRoy Larson Collection documents the traditional dance music of Scandinavians, chiefly Norwegians, in Minnesota with some overlap into western Wisconsin and northern Iowa. LeRoy Wilbur Larson (1939- ) is a musician, composer, musicologist/ethnomusicologist, folklorist, and record producer. Born in Clearwater County, Minnesota, he grew up playing old-time Scandinavian music. In the late 1960s, Larson began making field recordings of Norwegian fiddlers and accordion players, leading to his PhD dissertation, Scandinavian-American Folk Dance Music of the Norwegians in Minnesota (University of Minnesota, 1975). Larson founded the Banjar Records label in 1973, and the Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble in 1974.

The collection includes his field recordings he made to support his dissertation, along with accompanying documentation; several folios of fiddle tunes composed or transcribed by Otto Rindlisbacher; as well as private recordings of musicians including Leonard Finseth.

Image Source:

Cover photo is from the cover of his LP “Banjo ragtime & other classics” on his label Banjar Records, ©1973. Photo is credited to Kallman Studio.