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Songs Of Idaho Rhapsody
Songs Of Idaho Rhapsody

This program is a presentation of Idaho through spectacular scenery and American music. All the songs are performed by Idaho musicians. Some are tunes you know by heart, others are great old songs, nearly lost to the ages and rarely sung today. All are tunes that have something to say about the country we live in and the wonderful state of Idaho we call home.

Many of the tunes in Idaho Rhapsody are folk tunes. American overland emigrants of the mid to late nineteenth century sung many ballads as they made their way to new country. In the mid-1800s, thousands crossed newly opened territories to seek land, a new life, and fortune by heading west. When they arrived, they were ready to start mining, farming, building new communities. They were ready to begin building new lives for themselves.

Songs meant a link with the lives the travelers abandoned. Singing these "folk songs" was a way of preserving history and sharing stories from one area to another. We find a living musical history of the settlement of America in their songs. Many of these songs were sung over and over again and changed and were added to over the years.
America (My Country 'Tis Of Thee)
Duet Version
Written By Henry Carey
Arrangement By D. Hartz, M. Hartz
Danita Hartz: Violin
Matthew Hartz: Tenor Guitar
This tune, originally, "God Save the King" is anonymous. The theory is that it dates back to the seventeenth century. The lyrics and tune are sometimes credited to Henry Carey in 1744. The tune rose to popularity in 1745, the second year of the Jacobite Uprising. The tune was a kind of anthem for the House of Hanover. It came to be referred to as the National Anthem in the early 1800's.
The tune is sung in America as "America (My Country Tis of Thee)" and was also sung in the German Reich as "Heil Dir in Seigerkranz."

There Is A Place**
Written & Produced By
Cindy Borup & Beth Pederson
Cinde Borup: Vocals, Piano, Synth
Beth Pederson: Harmony Vocals, Guitar
Wayne Smith: Cello
Digitally Recorded & Engineered By Rusty Sabella
This song has appeared in other Idaho Public Television productions. It has become one of the favorites of our viewers. Idaho artists Beth and Cinde lend their considerable talents to this lovely tune.

Oh! Susanna
Written By Stephen C. Foster
Arrangement By R. Kriehn
Matthew Hartz: Violin
Richard Kriehn: Acoustic Guitar
A folk song brought west with the pioneers. Stephen Collins Foster was born on the Fourth of July in 1826 in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. He wrote "Oh! Susanna" in 1846. In 1864 - Stephen Foster died of alcoholism and a fall from his bed in New York City. Shortly thereafter his publishing company published the last song he wrote a few days before his death, "Beautiful Dreamer." During his lifetime he earned only $15,091.08 in royalties from his sheet music. He died with 38 cents in his pocket.
Matt Hartz captures the spirit of this old tune with a new, emotional turn on the fiddle. The strings speak to us as Hartz gently coaxes them to heights of expression, then grabs the notes by the throat and drives them home with passion.

Wayfaring Stranger
Arrangement By R. Kriehn, M. Hartz
Richard Kriehn: Mandolin, Archtop Guitar (Lead), String Bass
Matthew Hartz: Violin, Archtop Guitar (Rhythm)
A spiritual folk song from the South. Music historians believe this to be a very old song with roots in the Deep South. The theory is that this song was on the lips of many as they headed west to new lives.
With a nod to Django Reinhardt, Stephan Grapelli and The Quintet Hot Club de France, this tune is a merry cruise down Idaho whitewater. As the rapids swirl and surge, so does the music. A raucous arrangement by Richard Kriehn and Matt Hartz will have you tapping your toes and laughing as the music rolls on and the rivers take their wild, wet revenge on rafters and kayakers battling the current.

Home On The Range
Arrangement By R. Kriehn, M. Hartz
Richard Kriehn: Acoustic Guitar (Lead)
Matthew Hartz: Acoustic Guitar (Rhythm)
It is part of a long list of songs that would probably make most Americans homesick if they were far away, in a distant land.
According to Joseph Mussulman, writing on the Lewis-Clark webpage (
The author of the words was Brewster Higley, a saddlebag physician and homesteader in Smith County, Kansas, which lies between the Solomon and the Republican rivers, just off overland trail along the Platte River, and more than three generations and 200 miles remote from Lewis and Clark and their "trail." His poem was published in the county newspaper, the Pioneer, in December of 1873.

In 1933, on the eve of his election as the 31st President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt let it be known that the song with the "wistful words and plaintive melody" was his favorite, and for the rest of the decade and well into the 40s it was basic radio fare.

On Top Of Old Smokey
Arrangement By B. Gudmundson
Bud Gudmundson: All Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar
Another very old song, believed to have come from the mountains of Kentucky and brought west with the expansion of the mid-1800's. Bud Gudmundson sings each and every portion of this exceptional arrangement. If when hearing this version you are reminded of close harmonies crafted by The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, it's no accident. Both Gudmundson and Matt Hartz are self-described "Brian Wilson freaks," and the song captures some of the spirit of that California music.

Ol' Man River
Written By Jerome Kern
Arrangement By M. Hartz
Matthew Hartz: Violins, Viola, Acoustic Guitar
Danita Hartz: Violin
The song was written in 1927 for the musical "Showboat". "Ol' Man River" is the song most closely associated with singer Paul Robeson; it was dedicated to him by composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein. The original lyrics penned in 1927 reflect the racism in the culture of the time and were re-written by Robeson to eliminate the racist words and establish a message of determined defiance.

Crying Waltz
Arrangement By D. Hartz
Danita Hartz: Violin
Danita Hartz is as rooted in the traditions of oldtime fiddling as she is in the sophistication of classical performance. This passionate arrangement seems in perfect harmony with the intensity of fire in the program. As the song unwinds and unfolds, the flames devour Idaho wilderness with unbridled hunger. An achingly beautiful waltz, the music from Hartz' fingers penetrates our senses as free burning blazes lay waste to our precious forests.

Amazing Grace
Music By Virginia Harmony
Arrangement By B. Earley
Bill Earley: Bagpipes
This is a traditional version of a song that will probably be forever joined with the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. The bagpipes drone and the stirring melody hit the core of emotions in many who hear this song. We've chosen to accompany the tune with breathtaking images of Idaho, soaring peaks, vast landscapes and stunning vistas. The amazing grace of Idaho is truly all around us, always.

America, The Beautiful
Written By Samuel A. Ward
Arrangement By T. Lowe
Tom Lowe: Keyboards, Electric Bass
Katharine Lee Bates wrote the original lyrics to this song in 1893. She wrote the 2nd version in 1904. Her final version was written in 1913. Her inspiration came from a journey to Pike's Peak.
From Katharine Lee Bates:
"One day some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse."
It first appeared in print in The Congregationalist two years later, and within a few months it was set to music. In 1904, after receiving many requests for use in publications and special services, Katharine Lee Bates rewrote it to simplify the text. She made one additional change in the wording of the third stanza a few years later, to give us the version we know today.
Tom Lowe gives us a simple yet elegant version of a song most people know by heart. His soulful keyboard work gets inside the melody and carries us along through some gorgeous Idaho country.

God Bless America
Written By Irving Berlin
Arrangement By R. Kriehn
Richard Kriehn: Violins, Viola
Danita Hartz: Violin
Rachel Roberts: Cello
Our unofficial national anthem was composed by Irving Berlin, an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for America when he was only five years old. The original version of "God Bless America" was written in 1918 for his Ziegfeld-style revue, "Yip, Yip, Yaphank." However, Berlin decided that the solemn tone of "God Bless America" was somewhat out of keeping with the more comedic elements of the show and the song was laid aside.
In the fall of 1938, war was expected in Europe. Berlin decided to write a "peace" song. He thought of "God Bless America" and made alterations to reflect the current state of the world. Singer Kate Smith introduced "God Bless America" during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day, 1938. The song was an immediate hit.
The many textures of this amazing arrangement are the work of Richard Kriehn. At first you might not recognize the tune through the careful layers of orchestration, but slowly it sneaks upon you and eventually reveals itself in stunning clarity. Kriehn and Danita Hartz lend their considerable talents to bringing this work to brilliant life. An emotional viola in the hands of Kriehn lends a deep resonance and edge of sadness to this familiar song.

This Land Is Your Land
Written By Woody Guthrie
Arrangement By M. Hartz, B. Alkire
Bruce Alkire: Vocals and Five-String Banjo
Matthew Hartz: Acoustic Guitar, Violins, Electric Bass
Originally written as an angry song, "This Land Is Your Land" has become a standard in American music. The song came out on the heels of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." During the 1930's and 40's, Guthrie saw an America that seemed vastly different from the one Berlin wrote about. His song was meant as a sort of answer to Berlin, a song from the point of view of the common people suffering the pain of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.
Bruce Alkire sings and plays this wonderful version on five-string banjo. It's a traditional arrangement with nuances not often heard these days. Alkire's performance is a look back at the roots of American music, a joyous romp through an old favorite.

Orange Blossom Special
Ervin T. Rouse & Chubby Wise
Arrangement By M. Hartz
Matthew Hartz: Violin, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass
Louis McFarland: Drums
The Rouse Brothers of Florida are credited as composers of this most popular of all fiddle-train songs. Chubby Wise co-wrote the "Orange Blossom Special", which is a favorite of fiddlers and listeners everywhere. Though the Rouses recorded it in 1939, it was Bill Monroe's 1941 recording that set it on the road to popularity. While a standard of fiddling, and a showcase for musical expertise, it's actually barred from competitive fiddling contests and shunned by many musicians as a cliché of fiddle-based music. With that firmly in mind, Matt Hartz displays his myriad talents with fiddle in hand. At his command the tune's infectious melody becomes a force that blows along the songlines and careens through the measures at a breakneck pace. Seemingly on the brink of control, Hartz brings new color and voice to the familiar notes. Listen once to this song and know that you'll be humming it the rest of the day.

Soldier's Joy/Liberty
Arrangement By M. Hartz, B. Alkire
Matthew Hartz: Violin
Bruce Alkire: Five-String Banjo
A combination of two traditional tunes played through the ages. "Soldier's Joy" is an old Scottish melody heard during the Civil War. While some music historians date it to that era, others believe it to be from the Revolutionary War period.
"Liberty" is actually based on an old English tune called "Heart of Oak." The music to Heart of Oak was by Dr. William Boyce (1711-1779). The British lyrics include the chorus,
"Heart of oak are our ships, heart of oak are our men;
We always are ready, steady, boys, steady!
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again."
The American lyrics follow a similar theme, with a decidedly US patriotic feel,
"Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all,
And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty's call;
No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim,
Or stain with dishonor America's name."

Old Folks At Home/Swanee River
Written By Stephen C. Foster
Arrangement By M. Hartz
Danita Hartz: Violin
Matthew Hartz: Tenor Guitar
More popularly known as "Swanee River," "Old Folks At Home was written by Stephen Foster in the tradition of strong, Southern tunes. Interestingly it is the state song of Florida, adopted in 1935. In the first draft of the song in Foster's sketchbook, he used the Pedee River instead of the Suwannee. It was the most popular song ever published when it came out in 1851. The song is credited with kicking off the tourist industry in Florida during the 1880's. Millions flocked to the Sunshine State from around the globe trying to find solace in the river and idyllic home featured in the lyrics. Amazingly Foster never saw the Suwannee River, never visited Florida. The river was chosen from an atlas to fit the song properly.

"Red River Valley"
Red River Valley
Arrangement By M. Hartz, R. Kriehn
Matthew Hartz: Violins, Acoustic Guitar (Rhythm), Electric Bass
Richard Kriehn: Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar (Lead)
Originally a folk song from New York state, "The Bright Mohawk Valley" was refined by later day folks singers. It's name and locale was eventually changed to "Red River Valley." This song is performed by Matthew Hartz: Violins, Acoustic Guitar (Rhythm), Electric Bass, Richard Kriehn: Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar (Lead).
The arrangement is by Matthew Hartz and Richard Kriehn.

Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Written By Bob Nolan
Arrangement By M. Hartz, R. Kriehn
Matthew Hartz: Violins, Acoustic Guitar (Rhythm), Electric Bass
Richard Kriehn: Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar (Lead)
Louis McFarland: Percussion (Salad Bowls and Cutting Board)
Bob Nolan was born in 1908 and raised in Boston while his father served with the US Amy during World War I. Upon his return from the war, the family moved to Arizona where Nolan's love of the West was born. It is easy to see how the land and the virgin country influenced his song writing.
When listening to this, please note the extensive research and extravagant expenditures that went into crafting the perfect sound of horse hooves. It's the intricate work of Louis McFarland. And salad bowls.

Written By Cinde Borup
Produced By Cinde Borup, Beth Pederson & Rusty Sabella
Recorded & Engineered By Rusty Sabella, Long Bridge Studios
Cinde Borup: Lead Vocal, Guitars, Mandolin
Beth Pederson: Harmony Vocal, Guitar
Sheldon Packwood: Bass Guitar, Harmony Vocal
Charlie Packard: Harmonica
Beth and Cinde again provide us with a beautiful song of the Gem State. It's nearly impossible to hear "Idaho" without unconsciously conjuring images of our magnificent topography. The words glide along with the gentle melody just as Idaho itself spreads wonderfully across the miles.

Amazing Grace
Music By Virginia Harmony
Arrangement By R. Kriehn, M. Hartz
Richard Kriehn: Acoustic Guitar
Matthew Hartz: Violin
The words to the popular hymn "Amazing Grace" were written by a man who was both a slave trader and abolitionist. John Newton earned his living from the slave trade, and yet he was for a short while a slave himself, planting trees in Sierra Leone. A violent storm at sea in 1748 led Newton to his new life as a minister and anti-slavery activist. He captured both his escape from the storm, and his life without God, in his most famous creation, "Amazing Grace."


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