A musical tribute to the Upper Peninsula

Courtesy photo

SCOTTVILLE – Escanaba based historian Bill Jamerson will perform a program of songs and stories about the Upper Peninsula with music at West Shore Community College on Monday, Aug. 15, at 11 a.m. in the MBT Conference Room of the Administrative and Conference Building.

With guitar in hand, Jamerson tells stories and performs original songs about iron miners, schooners, ski jumpers, pasties, thimble berries and the Finnish people. Many of the stories he tells are based on interviews with long-time residents he has met over the years. The songs range from heart-warming ballads to foot stomping jigs and appeal to both children and adults.

Jamerson will perform “The Flying Bietila’s” a song about six Finn ski jumping brothers from Ishpeming. “Born to be a Miner” tells the story of a youth growing up in Negaunee during the Great Depression. “Thimbleberry Jam” is about two brothers who visit their grandmother’s boarding house. “Saturday Night Sauna” is about a Finnish tradition.The song “Wizard Oil” is the story of the medicine shows that visited Upper Peninsula towns and “E.C. Roberts” is a traditional song about a schooner that docked at Escanaba to load up iron ore.

“The Ontonagon Herald” calls Jamerson “The Upper Peninsula’s troubadour” and says the songs and stories he tells are as entertaining as they are important, as honest as they are fun.They are about people both ordinary and extraordinary and include stories of wit, charm and strength.

Jamerson has written a novel about the Civilian Conservation Corps, produced 11 Public Broadcasting Service films on Michigan history and recorded many songs on Michigan history.

For more information about his performance, visit Jamerson’s website at billjamerson.com.

Leave a Reply