University of New Hampshire Library
About Ralph Page
Ralph George Page (1903-1985), a lifelong resident of New Hampshire, was born in Munsonville on January 28, 1903 and died on February 21, 1985 in Keene. Known as "the dean of contra dance callers," Page was for almost 40 years a central figure in the history of traditional music and dance in the United States as organizer, band leader, caller, author, and recording artist. In addition to weekly dances and dance camps, Page was a founder of the New England Folk Festival Association and served as its president for many years.
In 1977, Ralph Page received the Granite State Award given to prominent citizens of New Hampshire. This award acknowledged not only his talents as a dance teacher, caller, and musician, but also his contributions to community life both as a selectman for Nelson, NH from 1932-1938 and as president of the Cheshire County Historical Society for 15 years. In 1980, Callerlab, an international square dance organization, honored Page with their Milestone Award at a Miami Beach ceremony.
For a fuller biographical sketch, consult the Ralph Page manuscript collection.
Ralph Page recorded over 20 different 78rpm disks on Michael Herman's Folk Dancer label. An LP, Southerners Plus Two Play Ralph Page, containing eleven of Ralph's original tunes, was released in England by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 1969.
He also wrote five books on contra dancing:
Also: Contras As Ralph Page Called Them, compiled and edited by Roger C. Knox. Ithaca, N. Y. : R.C. Knox, 1990.
About Northern Junket
Northern Junket magazine was a labor of love for Ralph Page: from April 1949 until July 1984 he single-handedly produced a total of 165 issues in fourteen volumes, doing everything from editing the copy to affixing the stamps and carrying the finished, mimeographed copies to the post office. Far-reaching in scope, each issue contains a forthright editorial, directions and tunes for squares, contras and folk dances as well as folk songs, recipes, riddles, tongue- twisters, old wives' tales, and other folklife traditions.
About the Ralph Page Collection
The collection comprises books, pamphlets, periodicals, dance camp syllabi, sheet music, films, recordings, printed musical arrangements, notebooks containing music and instructions for various types of dances, and a manuscript collection including correspondence dating from the early 1940s, personal notebooks, daily calendars, scrapbooks, numerous manuscripts (including an unpublished and unfinished mystery novel), dance calls & instructions, folk festival, camps, and dance programs, typescripts of early books on dancing, and photographs.
Use and Reproduction
The materials on this web site have been made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. For these purposes, you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) materials from this web site without prior permission, on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies (see copyright statement below). Although we do not require you to contact us in advance for these purposes, we do appreciate hearing from teachers, students, and researchers who are using our resources in interesting ways (please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org).
About the digitized version of this collection
The digitized version of Northern Junket was developed as a project of The Digital Library at the University of New Hampshire and was produced with funding from a bequest made in the name of Jean and Ted Sannella. The images were made from the original issues, and retain the original misspellings and punctuation. Some pages were difficult to scan, due to the quality of the originals.
People who worked on this project:
The pages in this collection were scanned with a UMAX PowerLook 2100XL color flatbed scanner, with Adobe Photoshop on a Dell Optiplex PC. The images are 24-bit color 300dpi JPEGs.
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