SFMS recommends...

The Song Parlor

A folk-music-oriented radio/streaming audio show by longtime SFMS friend and founder John Patterson.

SFMS is pleased to recommend a biweekly program of folk music hosted by John Patterson: The Acoustic and Eclectic Song Parlor. In the Song Parlor, visitors will hear treasures from John’s inexhaustible folk music collection, as well as news of coming events.

Find the show online at the The Voice Of PA-dot-net and streamed on Saturday nights via WHP (580AM) in Harrisburg.

Direct link to Song Parlor webcasts »
(be patient, and do keep trying if the server is busy!)

For many years, John hosted the local folk radio program The Chords Are Stacked on WITF-FM. Featuring a broad range of folk genres as well as local folk news, the show is still sadly missed by a legion of fans throughout the region. John is also the founder of SFMS and our long-time guiding spirit.

Read All About It...

Here's a letter from John describing the show :

[April 2006] A quick note from Vermont — about a new project that, quite amazingly to me, actually seems to be coming to fruition. Over the past year or so, I’ve had a bunch of long conversations with Charlie Greenawalt, who teaches at Millersville, who used to listen to the Chords Are Stacked (and had outrageously nice things to say about it), and who is involved in launching a new web site called the Voice Of Pennsylvania. Charlie asked whether I might be willing to put together a music program along the lines of Chords that they could put up on their site (and stream on Saturday nights via WHP in Harrisburg.)

To make a long story short (something that, as you all know, I find difficult), I’ve finally agreed to do it. The show will be called “The Song Parlor,” and I’ve agreed to furnish a new two hour program every two weeks for three months. After that, we’ll see where we are. The program will be engineered by Howard Wooden, a lovely guy who plays in a Vermont band called the Woods Tea Company (some of you may know it), and lives in a beautiful Victorian house in St. Albans that happens to be just two blocks away from the gorgeous old brick house (now a bank) where my great grandparents lived during the Civil War. Since another of my dreams is to write a book based on an astonishing group of letters written by my great-grandmother between the 1830s and the 1880s, this all seems like a propitious sign. (In one of her letters, she expressed concern that her son Neo, my grandfather, would come to no good end because he mainly seemed to like sitting around the house all day playing his banjo. She needn’t have worried about Neo. I’m afraid the jury is still out on her great-grandson, though, and I definitely don’t think I can match my grandfather’s banjoistic skills.)

Anyway. Yesterday I mailed off the first program to Charlie — and it should be posted on the website (and streamed on WHP) by 8 pm this Saturday night (April 15). Then, of course, anyone with the technical know-how, the proper internet connections, and sufficient interest can download it anytime. The Voice of Pennsylvania web address is www.thevoiceofpa.net

Will anyone want to bother with this? Who knows. What I do know, is that I had a great time putting the show together! I fumbled around for quite a while before settling on “The Song Parlor” as a title, but now I rather like it. To me, it seems comfortable and inviting, a pleasant place for folks to drop by for a lengthy friendly visit. I also think that, without getting hung up on labels and categories, it leaves lots of room for a wide array of acoustic and eclectic music, old and new, borrowed and blue, traditional and freshly made, from Pennsylvania and around the world. . . . In short, a mix of music as varied and eclectic as the stuff I had so much fun with for years on Chords.

It’s tempting to babble on more about all this, but for the moment, I’ll resist — Greetings to all, and I’ll hope to see you all again soon. . . .

Cheers,

—John Patterson

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Funding Acknowledgments

logos: Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Cultural Alliance of York County, Cultural Enrichment Fund

The Susquehanna Folk Music Society (SFMS) is supported by our members and many generous organizations.

Funding is provided by the Cultural Enrichment Fund and by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, administered locally by the Cultural Alliance of York County.

logo: National Endowment for the Arts logo: Pennsylvania Council on the Arts logo: CUltural Alliance of York County logo: CUltural Enrichment Fund