Lawrence Older was a relaxed, direct and engaging performer who spent the majority of his life working in the woods. His songs and fiddle tunes were mostly from his family tradition and are representative of the local melodies and the rich musical tradition of America’s northeastern states.
In 1976, filmmaker Jack Ofield produced Adirondack Minstrel, a 20-minute, color, 16-mm film that profiled Older, his music and the influences on his music from his family and the Adirondack region. Cinematography was by Richard Francis, sound and editing by Harvey Kopel. The copyright is held by Bowling Green Films, Inc., with distribution by Pacific Productions.
Musician and family friend George Ward commented about the film: “Folklorists grumbled that the Ofields had romanticized Lawrence in this film. He, however, loved it. And now that he's gone, I'm thinking it is probably the best film that was ever done of him...certainly in terms of production quality. Glad it has migrated into the digital world!”
This stream was made from a newly restored print made with a film preservation grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation. To see other folk culture films, go to www.folkstreams.net .
For a contemporary review of Adirondack Minstrel, see William Thatcher’s “Review of: Adirondack Minstrel (Bowling Green Films).” Folklore Forum 10(2): 78-79.