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Music Issue Jukebox

Neat sounds made by people who aren't alive anymore


(click on song titles to listen)

Inim hama, "My Husband." (4/21/1897)
Ethnographer Alice Fletcher recorded this track in her home in Washington, D.C., on April 20, 1897. Harry Hayes is the solo singer, although Chief Joseph sang as well on other songs in this collection. The track, as with the next four, are from Dr. Loran Olsen's 2001 collection Qillóowawya: Hitting the Rawhide--Nez Perce Serenade Songs. "Hitting the Rawhide" songs were played on the night before the men in a village left for battle, and in many cases, the men in the village actually snuck out during the singing. To listen to Dr. Loran Olsen's complete collection, take your CD player over to the Idaho Historical Library and Archives (2205 Old Penitentiary Road) or order a copy from the Northwest Interpretive Association

"Song of the Chief's Daughter" (4/28/1897)
Alice Fletcher recorded this song eight days after recording "My Husband."

Hit tilaapca (1907)
When ethnographer Herbert Spinden visited the Nez Perce village of Lapwai in 1907, he brought an Edison wax cylinder recording machine and made 37 recordings of Nez Perce rituals and songs. These are the first musical recordings made in Idaho.

Warrior's Serenade (1907)

Warrior's Serenade 2 (1907)

The Sam Morris Collection

While the songs from the Sam Morris Collection are technically public domain, we are choosing to respect the Nez Perce Tribe's wishes and not publish them online at this time--though that might change in the coming weeks. For the time being, to listen to these incredible tracks, which are louder, more visceral and stranger than anything recorded by the any ethnographer, visit the Idaho State Historical Library and Archives or order a copy from the Northwest Interpretive Association.

Durang's Hornpipe
This popular 18th century dance tune from the album Songs of the Lewis and Clark era, was according to the liner notes penned by a German dwarf by the name of Hoffmaster for the John Durang, also known as "the first American Dancer." University of Missouri professor Dr. Howard Marshall, one of the researchers who helped create the album, along with Vivian and Phil Williams. To order the full album, visit

Soldier's Joy
Prepare for a three-fiddle attack by Dr. Howard Marshall and Vivian and John Williams. The tune that has been a fiddle standard since the 18th century, and has gone by the names "The King's Head," "Payday in the Army" and other names. From the album Songs of the Lewis and Clark Era.