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Chicago's Place in the History of Country Music & the Folk Revival

Chicago's Place in the History of Country Music & the Folk Revival
June 25, 2023 - 3:00:pm — 5:00:pm
Oak Park River Forest Museum

129 Lake St
Oak Park, IL 60302
United States


Join us on Sunday, June 25 at 3 p.m. for a program with veteran journalist and Oak Park native Mark Guarino about his new book Country and Midwestern: Chicago in the History of Country Music and the Folk Revival.

In Country and Midwestern, Guarino, a 1988 graduate of OPRF High School, tells the epic story of Chicago's influence on sounds typically associated with regions farther south. Guarino reveals a forgotten history of music, migration, and rural culture infiltrating urban communities through radio, the automobile, and the railroad. The Midwest's largest city was the place where rural transplants could reinvent themselves and shape their music for the new commercial possibilities the city offered. Locals will enjoy learning about Oak Park's connection to the Old Town School of Folk Music and the WLS National Barn Dance.

This event will be moderated and also feature a musical performance by Mark Dvorak, a veteran of the Chicago folk scene who has taught at the Old Town School of Folk Music for over 30 years. 

The Chicago Tribune called Mark Dvorak "masterful," and the Fox Valley Folk Festival describes him as "a living archive of song and style." In 2012 WFMT Classical 98.7 FM Midnight Special host Rich Warren named him "Chicago's official troubadour." Dvorak has given concerts in almost all of the United States and has made visits to Finland, Canada and Ireland. To date he has released 20 albums of traditional and original music including 2020s acclaimed Let Love Go On and 2023s Live & Alone. Dvorak has won awards for children's music, journalism and was honored in 2013 with the FARM Lantern Bearer Award from Folk Alliance International. In 2008 he received the Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.

The event is free to all. Autographed copies of the book will be available for purchase.