About Larry Long
Larry Long has made his life work the celebration of American stories and heroes. Now a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, he has sung at major festivals, concerts and events throughout the country, in Europe, Russia, Brazil and South Africa.
Whether working with youth and elders in towns across Minnesota, helping to develop a folk school in Nogales, Mexico, or singing for Mrs. Rosa Parks on the 45th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Larry Long is a different kind of artist and entertainer. His work among the disparate and sometimes forgotten communities sets him apart. Having traveled the nation and the world for 30 years, Long celebrates the lives of ordinary people in the hundreds of ballads he has written. His songs champion the bravery of the family farmer, Lakota warriors, civil rights workers, and school cooks.
While still in his early 20s, Long wrote a song for farmers fighting a high voltage power line and traveled with a tractorcade of family farmers to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate for fair prices. It was then he met Pete Seeger, who inspired him to start a campaign to clean up the Mississippi River in the 1980s. Long also assembled the first hometown tribute to Woody Guthrie. Through this project, Long discovered a love of teaching. He was soon hired to bring elders into classrooms throughout rural Alabama to develop an intergenerational process called Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™ that mixes oral history, songwriting, and education to help children learn the history of their communities. From this project emerged Community Celebration of Place, an organization that brings children, elders, and people of different backgrounds together to strengthen community and foster reconciliation.
Recently Larry performed at Madison Square Garden for Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Celebration and is presently completing a new sound recording to be released in 2011.
You can find more information about Larry and his work outside of Community Celebration of Place on his website, www.larrylong.org.