Plains Folk MP3 Page

Plains FolkTM MP3 Page

Made available here are MP3 sound files recorded by Tom Isern. These are home recordings. No producer or engineer was involved. So don't expect studio quality sound, but the recordings are serviceable. There are three sets of recordings here.

  1. Plains FolkTM essays, each about 500 words, or 4 minutes
  2. Traditional folksongs of the Great Plains
  3. Original songs by Tom Isern
Original material or performance, as noted in the tables below, is copyright to Plains FolkTM or to Tom Isern. Listeners are welcome. Broadcast or commercial use of the material here proffered is prohibited. Parties who download files for personal or educational use are asked to make a contribution to the collection development fund of the NDSU Institute for Regional Studies, thus benefiting the public and the students of North Dakota State University by bolstering the collections for historical research.

MP3 Files Available*
SetItemDescriptionTimeCopyright Plains FolkTM (PF) or Tom Isern (TI)
Plains FolkTM EssaysPlum ButterNative plums on the plains, and the joys of plum butter4:19Text PF 2000 Recording TI 2003
Calendars, Senses, and Sensitive GuysWhy it's worthwhile to make sauerkraut and think about our grandmothers4:04Text PF 2000 Recording TI 2003
Good Art in Foster CountyReflections on the Foster County Centennial murals, Carrington ND5:28Text PF 2000 Recording TI 2003
Class BOn the virtues of small-town high school basketball3:45Text PF 2000 Recording TI 2003
Pinochle Night in OriskaMaking a difference at the Oriska Bar & Grill4:02Text PF 2001 Recording TI 2003
Mammoth SavannahA logical alternative to the Buffalo Commons3:53Text PF 2000 Recording TI 2003
Turkey & LefseTradition and metaphor at Waldheim Lutheran Church5:27Text PF 2002 Recording TI 2003
Traditional Folksongs of the Great PlainsPrisoner's SongSung everywhere on the plains--most singers learning it from Vernon Dalhart on the radio (as did my mother)2:42Recording TI 2003
Red River ValleyThe original, politically incorrect version (please remember the vocabulary comes from Manitoba in the 1860s)3:24Recording TI 2003
Original Songs by Tom IsernTable & Tavern SongA tribute to Hunter's Table & Tavern, Rhame ND2:50Words & music TI 1997 Recording TI 2003
Hazel's HandsBased on the ballad book of a hired girl, Hazel Bennett, in the 1920s4:04Words & music TI 1998 Recording TI 2003

*Additional files added as time permits. Check back!

Guidelines for Donations by Users
Who should donate?Anyone who downloads files for personal or educational use, unless you're some sort of deadbeat.
How much?Suggested minimum donation: $1 per file. More, if you really like them, or if you want to support the Institute.
How?Make out the check to "NDSU Institute for Regional Studies." Mail it to John Bye, Institute for Regional Studies, NDSU Libraries, Fargo ND 58105-5599.
What happens to the money?The Institute uses it to buy microfilm, publications, and other research materials that become part of the permanent collection, available for use by the public and by students. These are materials pertaining to life in North Dakota and on the northern plains.