Miner Melodies: Pioneer Music of the Boise Basin

Miner Melodies: Pioneer Music of the Boise Basin The gold rush in the Boise Basin attracted people to the region from virtually every walk of life. Included in this population were a number of professional musicians. Attracted to the area by high salaries and abundant playing opportunities, these pioneer musicians found employment in the saloons, dance halls and theaters of the region. Many, such as John Kelly, were considered artists of the highest caliber. Kelly was a violinist who had toured the east coast with Ole Bull in 1844 and often received twenty dollars simply for playing a request. Amateur musicians were also participants in the musical culture of the community during the height of the rush, and after the professionals had moved on, the amateurs kept this same culture alive and vibrant. In his research, McIntyre has sought out the surviving descendants of pioneer musicians who participated in this culture. His slide presentation focuses upon the role that musical culture played in the mining communities of the region and also upon the lives of its participants.