Sandy & Caroline Paton

With Lee and Mary Haggerty, Sandy (1929 - 2009 ) and Caroline Paton in 1961 founded Folk-Legacy Records in Huntington, VT with the initial aim to make “available to the discerning public good field recordings of authentic traditional artists.” Both Patons have long participated as singer/musicians themselves in folk revival circles, and in 1967 moved Folk-Legacy Records to Sharon, CT. They have produced over 120 recordings of folk and folk-related contemporary singer-songwriter music, including many CD reissues. Early LP releases included Edith Fowke’s Canadian collecting from Marie Hare (New Brunswick, 1962) and Tom Brandon (Ontario, 1963), and notably for the eastern Adirondacks, Lawrence Older (1964) and Sara Cleveland (1968). Sandy Paton, an active New England field collector during the 1960s and ‘70s, reel-to-reel tape recorded Older in 1963 and Cleveland in 1966. The precedent, significance and impact of the Older and Cleveland albums for recognition of “roots” traditional Adirondack folk music as a continuing heritage deserves emphasis; for the first time, on well-produced phonograph recordings that included detailed booklet notes, gifted living Adirondack traditional performers could be heard singing--and in the case of Older, also fiddling--material from their own repertoires.

Under a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, Sandy Paton also produced and wrote extensive notes for Brave Boys: New England Traditions in Folk Music, a contribution to the LP series “Recorded Anthology of American Music, Inc.” (New World Records, 1977). Using field recordings from the 1960s and ‘70s, most of them from Paton’s own efforts, this compilation is unique in its educational coverage of the heritage and singing inclusion of both Older (“The Jam on Gerry’s Rock”) and Cleveland (“Fair Fannie Moore,” “Three Men They Went A-hunting,” “Give an Honest Irish Lad a Chance”).