Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Earl Clifton Beck Papers

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Earl Clifton Beck Papers,
Creator: Beck, Earl Clifton, 1891-
Inclusive dates: undated
Extent: .5 cubic ft. (in 1 box, 1 Oversized folder)
Abstract:
The papers include biographical materials of Beck, poems, ballads, and recordings of lumbermen songs.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160
Email: clarke@cmich.edu
Website: http://clarke.cmich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 54729, 68966

Access Restrictions:

Earl Clifton Beck Papers are open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Earl Clifton Beck Papers, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement

The collection is organized into his personal materials and then recordings.


History

Biography:

Earl Clifton Beck was born on April 7, 1891 in Hickman, Nebraska, the son of Cornelius Porter and Louisa (Theade) Beck. He attended the Peru Teachers College in Peru, Nebraska, the University of Nebraska, where he earned a B.A. and M.A., Harvard University, where he earned a second M.A., and the George Peabody College, where he earned his Ph.D. Beck worked as a teacher and administrator in Nebraska public schools, a college training school in Dillon, Montana, Stillman College, Alabama, and as the head of the English Department at Central Michigan University (CMU).

His books include Songs of the Michigan Lumberjacks (1941, 1948, and [sound recording from the Library of Congress], 1960), Lore of the Lumber Camps (1948), They Knew Paul Bunyan (1956), Sounds of the Lake and the Forest, Michigan Folk Songs (1960), and It Was This Way (1963). Copies of most of his books are in the CMU libraries and resource centers. He and some friends formed a singing group which sang lumberjack songs. The recorded songs of this group are in the collection.

Beck married and had two daughters. He died on March 21, 1977 in Farmington Hills, Michigan. (This information is from Michigan Authors, 1980.)


Collection Scope and Content Note

His undated papers include typed copies of shanty-boy type songs, folk ballads, poems, and music that Beck collected, possibly in the 1930s, as well as two cassette recordings of his group singing lumberjack songs.

Two audiodisc recordings (ca. 1960?) of Beck talking about, singing and reciting various songs, and the three 2005 CDs made from the recordings, are also included. The recordings include a spoken introduction to each section by Beck who then sings or recites the songs. Tracks 1 and 2 are from Audiodisc #1 and Tracks 5 and 6 are from Audiodisc #2. Please note that only the CD labeled “Unprocessed Recordings of Earl C. Beck” plays in a CD player. The other two CDs apparently were used to create the playable CD.

Track 1: Ballads: ‘Barbara Allen’ (short and long versions) and ‘Little Mohee’ (11:11); Track 2: Ballads: ‘Barbara Allen’ (long versions) and ‘Little Mohee’ (10:14); Track 3: Miscellaneous chorus; chipmunks (Chip N Dale)? (0:22); Track 4: distorted voices (0:37); Track 5: Lullabies: ‘Little Old Sod Shanty’; Michigan Lumber Jack Songs: ‘Shanty Boy’ and ‘Pete Batiste’ (both recited) (7:37); Track 6: American Cowboy Songs: ‘Railroad Corral’, ‘Old Saddle’ (recited), and Round Up Time This Fall (verses recited, chorus sung) (8:52).

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Beck, Earl Clifton, 1891-
    • Central Michigan University--Faculty.
    • Folk songs--Michigan.
    • Lumbermen--Songs and music.
    • Ballads, English--United States.
    • Michigan authors.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Earl Clifton Beck Papers are open for research. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Biographical Materials (copies from Michigan Authors, CMU catalog, undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Papers (folder 1 of 7), undated
    Box   1 F   3
    Papers (folder 2 of 7), undated
    Box   1 F   4
    Papers (folder 3 of 7), undated
    Box   1 F   5
    Papers (folder 4 of 7), undated
    Box   1 F   6
    Papers (folder 5 of 7), undated
    Box   1 F   7
    Papers (folder 6 of 7), undated
    Box   1 F   8
    Papers (folder 7 of 7), undated
    Box   1 F   9
    History of Michigan lumberjacks (2 cassette tapes), undated
    Box   1 F   10
    Printing Blocks (5 of Beck’s portrait), undated
    Box   1 F   11
    Recordings, (3 CDs made in 2005 from the 2 earlier, circa 1960s? audiodiscs), undated
    F   1  
    2 Audiodiscs [circa 1960?], undated include: Audiodisc #1 Front: ‘Barbara Allen’ (short and long versions) and ‘Little Mohee’ (11:11); ‘Barbara Allen’ (long versions) and ‘Little Mohee’ (10:14). Nothing on back. Audiodisc #2 Front: American Cowboy Songs: ‘Railroad Corral’, ‘Old Saddle’ (recited), and Round Up Time This Fall (verses recited, chorus sung) (8:52); Back: Lullabies: ‘Little Old Sod Shanty’; Michigan Lumber Jack Songs: ‘Shanty Boy’ and ‘Pete Batiste’ (both recited) (7:37), undated