About LaRena Clark


About LaRena LeBarr Clark – Ian Bell

LaRena Clark was a folksinger in every sense of the word. She absorbed a huge repertoire of traditional and (once) popular songs from her parents and neighbours. She wrote her own songs about the things and places that interested her. She performed all those songs within her own community and, thanks to the 1950-60s folk revival, she performed them for audiences at folk festivals in Canada and the United States. She also recorded about a dozen lps of her songs.

LaRena LeBarr was born in 1904, near Pefferlaw, Ontario, not far from Lake Simcoe. Her father and grandfather were hunters and guides, who often worked further north. Both they and LaRena’s mother were singers with good repertoires, and in a world with no radio or phonograph, their songs formed the core of the family’s home entertainment.

LaRena was married three times – lastly to Gordon Clark, and during her first two marriages she bore six children. In 1961, while living with Gordon near Ottawa, she met folksong collector Edith Fowke, who recognized her for the great talent and resource that she was. Edith recorded many of her songs and arranged to have her perform at a number of folk festivals and other venues.

She pursued this new career on her own as well, releasing 10 lps recorded in the radio station in Orillia. She was truly an early “indie” artist. The recordings on this website are from these sessions. LaRena died in 1998.

Her amazing repertoire ranged from ancient British ballads to locally composed songs from the Canadian bush, and the popular songs of 19th century North America - including a lot of Civil War era material.

LaRena is a great traditional sing to learn old songs from. She sang unaccompanied, but she sang in tune, and in time, with great diction. The other thing that sets her performances apart from many folk field recordings is…she practiced.

I acquired a set of burned CDs of the old lps a few years ago and tracked down LaRena’s great grand-daughter Anne, who gave me permission to use them.

Edith Fowke and Jay Rahn produced a wonderful book about LaRena called “A FAMILY HERITAGE - The Story and Songs of LaRena Clark” – University of Calgary Press, 1994.

The year I have given for all of LaRena's songs is the year she recorded them. The songs are much older than that. (mostly 19th century)


Details

Title About LaRena Clark
Subject On the Farm & In the Bush Social Life & Love Reference Material Songs of LaRena Clark
Year 1904
Locale Central
Keywords

Images



We have recorded sound files, sheet music, images and text
that can be found by browsing the following topics or through a keyword search below.

To find media about a subject select from the drop down menus below and click the "Search Library" button.


Do you wish to contact us or have something to share? We welcome input from our users.

Contact Us

About The Ontario Traditional Music Library

Browsing the ONTRAD Library

Donors & Contributors


Click on a subject to browse a list of media related to the topic


Social Life & Love

On the Farm & In the Bush

Reference Material

Ontario Fiddle Hit Parade

Other Music, Dance & Entertainments

Politics & Conflict

Lakes & Rivers

Songs of LaRena Clark

Manuscripts and Collections


Jack Hayes Tunes

Grenville Hall Collection

Choral Music

John Buttrey Manuscript

G.W. Bennett Manuscript

Allen Ash Manuscript

 

SHARE OUR MUSIC
SHARE YOUR MUSIC
MAKE SOME MUSIC
HELP US GROW

Help us with a donation to keep us growing

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT



Ontario Traditional Music Library

Please contact us with your questions and suggestions

Copyright © 2016 · All Rights Reserved · Powered by Businesslore