Monday, December 26, 2011

Sulo Hackman adds Finnish flavor to the repertoire

Sulo Hackman was born in 1912 on a farm near Duluth.  His father and his mother were both from Finland.  At age 8, Sulo started playing a fiddle made by his father.  His father, Charles, was also a fiddler and corrected Sulo whenever he would not play a tune in the old style.  Sulo and his brothers had a band called the Hackman Orchestra in the 1920's that played all over Northeastern Minnesota.

In the 1930's, Sulo and his wife owned a club in Northeastern Minnesota and brought in many Finnish and Scandinavian bands.  He would often sit in with the visiting bands. After that, his career led him on many paths, from working in a sawmill to being a dairy farmer.   All through this he was a part-time musician.

In his later years his band was called Sulo and The Musiikkats, which is where we get these tunes from.  Thanks to James Leary from the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, for loaning me the tape.

Jalasjarven Polka
A tune made popular in in early 1900's by Viola Turpenin.  Sulo often played fiddle with Viola's accordion.  Viola had a husband from Minnesota and would frequently visit.

Karjalan Polka





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