Robert Andresen Collection, 1976-1994


Robert Andresen (1937-1995) was a leading force in documenting, performing, and promoting old-time music in the Upper Midwest. The Minnesota native was an avid collector of traditional recordings, a composer of traditional-sounding songs, a recorder of old-time musicians, a writer of many articles about traditional music, and a teacher of traditional music. In the 1980s, he hosted Northland Hoedown, a radio show aired over KUMD-FM, Duluth, Minnesota. He was instrumental in many musical releases featuring some of the leading players in the Upper Midwest, including Norwegian fiddler Leonard Finseth, Finnish fiddler Sulo Hackman and the Plehal Brothers, radio stars of the live music era. Andresen was born in Minneapolis and raised on a farm in Outing, Minnesota. After high school, he studied graphic design and worked for more than twenty years at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich graphic company. He was a skilled guitar player who drew upon his love of bluegrass and Scandinavian music to become an innovator, adapting Scandinavian accordion and fiddle tunes for the guitar. Throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, Andresen played in an old-time band called the Wildwoods, comprised of his first wife Joanne, and her relatives Dale and Dorie. He also sat in with several famed old-time musicians from throughout the Upper Midwest. With his second wife, Gale Perry Andresen, he helped found the Lake Superior Old-time Fiddle Contest. He died of cancer on March 10, 1995. — From the Northland Hoedown: Robert Andresen Collection web site