Pohly, Linda L. Books

Dr. Linda Pohly received her Ph.D. in music history from Ohio State University. She currently teaches at Ball State University in the Music Department.

Singing Farm Women of Rural Indiana (1934-2009): A Depression Era Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
2012 0-7734-3051-2
In this book the author depicts the lives of rural farm women who travelled through the countryside singing songs. The choral group has lasted over seventy years and this catalogues through archival material, interviews, and scrapbooks kept by the women themselves, the life of this Depression Era Program. What began in the 1930’s has grown out of obscurity into an inter-state travelling music organization inspiring many offshoots.

It is about the role music can play in someone’s life and the camaraderie and social interaction that come with ensemble participation. It is also about the life experiences that can come through travelling and singing. This book catalogues the lives of choirs who travelled through Indiana farmland during the Great Depression to raise people’s spirits in tough times. Most of the work has been preserved through scrapbooking among the families that were involved. There is also a lengthy discussion of the influential minister Al Stewart who was instrumental in organizing the choruses.