Kamiah Springs (songwriter and date unknown).

This classic event ballad appeared in the 1939 publication "Idaho Lore" by Vardis Fisher, one of Idaho's most notable writers. Fisher had funding in the 1930s from the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progess Administration of the New Deal to document folklore of Idaho. We have been unable to determine whether the ballad describes a real event of 1879 as the lyrics indicate, or to determine the exact location of the springs mentioned in the title. Several local opinions have been given to us on the latter point. Shayne Watkins, a wonderful singer/multi-instrumentalist from Deary in the Kamiah region, performs the rendition here. Shayne also composed the melody since none was given in Idaho Lore. Indeed, it is possible that "Kamiah Springs" was a lyrical - not musical - ballad.

Imnaha March and Two Step (Anna B. Williams, 1902). Sean Rogers performs this lovely instrumental published by Anna B. Williams in Asotin, Washington in 1902. Although the Imnaha River and the small town of the same name are on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon, we include the song in the Idaho Songs Project because the two east and west sides of the great canyon are culturally and physiographically so similar. The composition suggests that the songwriter had classical training. The song was found in the collection of the Wallowa County Historical Museum in Joseph, Oregon. The sheet music indicates "To Bessie Vollmer Clarke, New York" and "Price 50c".


© 2006-9. This page was last updated on September 2, 2009.