Songwriters

Since Larry Long introduced us to Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song, our songwriters have been recruited from the communities of Spearfish and Custer, South Dakota, and the Black Hills area.  All have worked to help the students “be true” to the spirit of the elder’s life, and give a glimpse into what lies in the elder’s heart.  Here are the songwriters who have helped make this project possible with links to the songs they helped our students write.


Larry Long introduced us to Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song in 1999. He is a professional songwriter and community activist who lives in Minneapolis. He is a Folkways recording artist and is recognized internationally for working with children to bring understanding and reconciliation to communities. larryl@larrylong.org http://www.communitycelebration.org/

“Spearfish is Home To Me”
Honoring Linfred Schuttler, Mrs. Reinhert’s 3rd Grade Class, ©1999
“Wonderful, Beautiful Life”
Honoring Hazel Repass, Mrs. Cooper’s 5th Grade Class, ©1999
“Don’t Let Anything Bring You Down”
Honoring Louise Smock, Mrs. Christensen’s 4th Grade Class, ©1999
“Through the Land of Chief Red Cloud, Together We Go”
Honoring Oliver Swanson, Mrs. Crofutt’s 5th Grade Class, ©1999


Hank Fridell is a retired educator who has helped schools in Spearfish and Custer, South Dakota carry on the Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song work of Larry Long. Hank is a songwriter and performing musician. hankfridell@gmail.com     http://hankandmarianne.com/

“There’s Nothing Stopping You”
Honoring Honoring Jim Whitlock, Mrs. Merchen’s 4th Grade Class, ©2001
“Sometimes Something Happens”
Honoring Walter Higbee, Mrs. Kellogg’s 5th Grade Class, ©2002
“We Are Here To Be Here For Each Other”
Honoring Arianna Calesso, Mrs. Deichert’s 5th Grade Class, ©2003
“It’s Made All the Difference for Me”
Honoring Liz Haanstad, Mrs. Kellogg’s 5th Grade Class, ©2004
“I Can”
Honoring Elaine Doll-Dunn, Mrs. Tiffany’s 4th Grade Class, ©2005
“Questions I Have Asked on My Way”
Honoring Jerry Manlove, Mrs. Wilkinson’s 5th Grade Class, ©2006
“I Can Help You”
Honoring Dorothy Foreman, Mrs. Wilkinson’s 5th Grade Class, ©2007
“I’ve Served, I’ve Served–I’m Chuck Mateer”
Honoring Chuck Mateer, Mrs. Fennell’s 5th Grade Class, ©2008
“Root for the Yankees”
Honoring Charles Schad, Mrs. Schlup’s 4th Grade Class, ©2008
“Dreams”
Honoring Jim Winter, Mr. Trandem’s 5th Grade Class, ©2009
“What I Still Know is True”
Honoring Rosie Ridley, Mrs. Dahl’s 4th Grade Class, ©2009
“My Dream”
Honoring Marty Mahrt, Mrs. Miller’s 5th Grade Class ©2010
“Many Need Our Help”
Honoring Linda Hughes, Mrs. Tiffany’s 4th Grade Class ©2010
“I Like….”
Honoring Elaine Perry, Mrs. Christensen’s 4th Grade Class ©2011
“I Care About People”
Honoring Tom Freece, Mrs. Merchen’s 4th Grade Class ©2012
“Caring, Kind and Full of Love”
Honoring Shirley Povandra, Mr. Abell’s 5th Grade Class ©2012
“Flying High”
Honoring Mary Ann Kortmeyer, Mrs. Reiners’s 5th Grade Class ©2013
“Tommi Chi”
Honoring Tom Allen, Mrs. Engelhardt’s 5th Grade Class ©2014
“Marilyn’s Great Big Quilt”
Honoring Marilyn Rosenau, Mrs. Gillespie’s 5th Grade Class ©2015
“I’ve a Wonderful Life”
Honoring Margaret Crago, Mrs. Scharf’s 5th Grade Class ©2016
“The Kids Call Me Mae Mae”
Honoring Mae Kleiman, Mrs. Somer’s 4th Grade Class ©2017


Marianne Fridell is a retired educator and performing musician. handm@gwtc.net http://hankandmarianne.com/

“Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New”
Honoring Georgia Jensen, Mrs. Schlup’s 4th Grade Class, ©2001
“Make Your Own Fun”
Honoring Jessie Williams, Mrs. Tiffany’s 4th Grade Class, ©2002
“You’ve Got to Wake Up, Ready to Go.”
Honoring Arne Koski, Mrs. Damuth’s 4th Grade Class, ©2003
“Grandpa Fudd”
Honoring Elmer Meyers, Mrs. Gillespie’s 4th Grade Class, ©2004
“Come Fly the Skies with Bill”
Honoring Bill Povandra, Mrs. Bakeberg & Mrs. West’s 5th Grade Class, ©2005
“Just Like a Fairly Tale”
Honoring Ruth Gossen, Mrs. Brunner’s 4th Grade Class, ©2006
“Dreams Just Don’t Happen”
Honoring Ned Westphal, Mrs. Brunner’s 4th Grade Class, ©2007
“Let’s Take a Walk in the Woods”
Honoring Dorothy Delicate, Mrs. Anderson’s 4th Grade Class, ©2008
“That Marvelous Math Man”
Honoring Everett Follette, Mrs. Gillespie’s 5th Grade Class, ©2008
“Be Thankful”
Honoring Marge McColley, Mrs. Anderson’s 4th Grade Class, ©2009
“Ringing in the Memories”
Honoring Doris Shipley, Mrs. Hayes’ 5th Grade Class, ©2009
“A Call From the Heart”
Honoring Bill Savery, Mrs. Bradeen’ 4h Grade Class, ©2010
“100%”
Honoring Bill Young, Mrs. Black’s 4th Grade Class, ©2010
“Darleen Young Song”
Honoring Darleen Young, Mrs. Reiner’s 5th Grade Class, ©2011
“Never Quit”
Honoring Frank Leal, Ms. Dahl’s 5th Grade Class, ©2012
“He’s an Airman Through and Through”
Honoring Stan Seymour, Mrs. Tiffany’s 4th Grade Class, ©2012
“Laid Back and Relaxed”
Honoring George Martin, Mrs. Gillespie’s 5th Grade Class, ©2012
“Our Angel”
Honoring Marge Baldwin, Mrs. Bradeen’s 5th Grade Class, ©2013
“We Believe in You”
Honoring Steve Parker, Mrs. Janvrin’s 5th Grade Class, ©2013
“Don’t Come Empty Handed”
Honoring Marguerite Cullum, Mrs. Bradeen’s 5th Grade Class, ©2014
“These Are the Days”
Honoring Bill Dunbar, Mrs. Merchen’s 4th Grade Class, ©2014
“You Only Have One Life to Live”
Honoring Charlene Hartman, Mrs. Hartman’s 5th Grade Class, ©2015
“My Life’s Calling”
Honoring Dr. Warren Golliher, Mrs. Scott’s 5th Grade Class, ©2015
“To Yourself Always Be True”
Honoring Fred Romkema, Ms. Schuler’s 4th Grade Class, ©2016
“Badlands Commercial and Mako Sica”
Honoring Badlands National Park, Mrs. Trandem’s 4th Grade Class, ©2016
“All About Russ”
​ Honoring Russ Arnold, Mr. Parson’s 5th Grade Class, ©2017​


Leslie Speirs is a music educator and performing musician. lspeirs@spearfish.k12.sd.us

“Grandma’s House”
Honoring Wilma Knutson, Mrs. Dahl’s 5th Grade Class, ©2001
“Make a Difference”
Honoring Dick Ruddell, Mrs. Barnes’s 5th Grade Class, ©2002
“The Life of a Stockman”
Honoring Vince Crago, Ms. Gillick’s 5th Grade Class, ©2003
“Cows! Cows! Cows!”
Honoring Richard Sleep, Mrs. Cooper’s 5th Grade Class, ©2004
“A Passion for Life”
Honoring Kay Jorgensen, Mrs. Merchen’s 4th Grade Class, ©2005
“Pat is a Positive Lady”
Honoring Pat Ohnemus, Mrs. Kellogg’s 5th Grade Class, ©2007


Cory Tomovick is an educator and performing musician. ctomovick@hotmail.com http://www.myspace.com/corytomovick

“Simple Things”
Honoring Bertha McMacken, Mrs. Hansen’s 5th Grade Class, ©2003
“I Love History”
Honoring Jessie Sundstrom, Mrs. Black’s 4th Grade Class, ©2006
“What Ed Sedlezky Does”
Honoring Ed Sedlezky, Mrs. Black’s 4th Grade Class, ©2007
“Dreams Are Possible”
Honoring Les McClanahan, Mrs. Black’s 4th Grade Class, ©2008
“Re-Joyce”
Honoring Joyce Hazeltine, Mrs. Black’s 4th Grade Class, ©2010
“Find Another Way”
Honoring Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Mr. Arseneault’s, Mrs. Diedtrich’s and Mr. Swedlund’s 8th Grade Classes, ©2016


Scott Simpson is an educator and performing musician. dsimpson@tie.net

“Wakinyan Akicita”
Honoring Sam DeCory, Mrs. Little’s 5th Grade Class, ©2001
“Flora Lee”
Honoring Flora Lee, Mrs. West’s 4th Grade Class, ©2002
“The Best Gift” (with songwriting assistance provided by Sheryl Simpson)
Honoring Merlyn & Shirley Aman, Mrs. Little’s 5th Grade Class, ©2002
“Shoes, Cars and Happy Days”
Honoring Ed Furios, Mrs. Merchen’s 4th Grade Class, ©2007
“Mr. Frawley Listens Well”
Honoring Hank Frawley, Mrs. Merchen’s/Miss Sparks 4th Grade Class © 2010
“Don’t Quit!”
Honoring Bob Moye, Mrs. Damuth’s 4th Grade Class, ©2011
“Work to Change What You Are Able to Change”
Honoring Beverly Buchholz, Mrs. Kellogg’s 5th Grade Class, ©2012
“Larry Bell!”
Honoring Larry Bell, Mrs. Christensen’s 4th Grade Class, ©2012
“Clean Mind and Body”
Honoring Will Garnier, Mr. Tewahade’s, Mrs. Willmus’ & Mrs. Mason’s Students, ©2013
“It Don’t Mean a Thing”
Honoring Lois Putnam, Mrs. Carson’s, Miss Kelly’s & Mrs. Mason’s 3rd-6th Grade Students, ©2013
“Enjoy What You Do”
Honoring Ronald Olofson, Mrs. Mason’s Oelrichs Band Students, ©2014
“You Gotta Help”
Honoring Lucy Backward, the classes of Mrs. Connor (3rd & 4th) and Miss Kelly (5th & 6th), ©2014
“Good Books, Fun Trips, & Helping Kids”
Honoring Mary Gillick, Mrs. Tiffany’s 4th Grade Class, ©2014
“You Can Make a Difference”
Honoring Karen Turgeon, Mrs. Burke’s 4th Grade Class, ©2015
“Molly Frawley!”
Honoring Molly Frawley, Mrs. Damuth’s 4th Grade Class, ©2016


Mike Linderman is a pharmacist and performing musician. mikelinderman@hotmail.com http://www.myspace.com/mikelinderman

“Lend a Helping Hand”
Honoring Gary Chappell, Mrs. Scragg’s 4th Grade Class, ©2006
“My Dream Came True”
Honoring Jane Olson, Mrs. Scragg’s 4th Grade Class, ©2007
“Climb”
Honoring Jan Conn, Mrs. Scragg’s 4th Grade Class, ©2008
“Ordinary Guy”
Honoring Al St. Germaine, Mrs. Hayford’s 4th Grade Class, ©2009
“Learn to Fly”
Honoring Roy Roadifer, Mrs. Bradeen’s 4th Grade Class, ©2010
“Life is an Adventure”
Honoring Steve Baldwin, Mrs. Black’s 4th Grade Class, ©2012
“Lucky”
Honoring Leonard Wood, Ms. Dahl’s 5th Grade Class, ©2013
“The Best Person You Can Be”
Honoring Ardelle McPherson, Mrs. Trandem’s 4th Grade Class, © 2014
“Be Your Own Person”
Honoring Gary Kuchar, Mr. Parson’s 5th Grade Class, ©2015
“The Best of Both Worlds”
Honoring Wind Cave National Park, Mr. Trandem’s 4th Grade Class, ©2016


Susan Hove-Pabst is a Professor of Music at Black Hills State University.

“Mama Lama”
Honoring Lola Miller, Mrs. Williams-Hayes 5th Grade Class, ©2007
“Wow of a Mom”
Honoring Roberta Engesser, Mrs. Deichert’s 5th Grade Class, ©2008
“Living My Dream”
Honoring Paul Dahl, Mrs. Dahl’s 5th Grade Class, ©2009


Doug Ruhnow is a retired music educator.

“Grandma Ruhnow”
Honoring Jackie Ruhnow, Mrs. Christensen’s 4th Grade Class, ©2004


Kathy Ewing is a music educator. kewing@spearfish.k12.sd.us

“Dream Your Impossible Dream”
Honoring Bob Roberts, Mrs. Schlup’s 4th Grade Class, ©2005


Merlyn Aman is a retired music professor from Black Hills State University.

“Such a Sweet Sounding Name”
Honoring Alyce Shavone, Mrs. Christensen’s 4th Grade Class, ©2007


Katie Severns & Aanda Samuelson were music majors at Black Hills State University when they were recruited to be songwriters.

“From the Country to the City”
Honoring Norma Landsberger, Mrs. Tiffany’s 4th Grade Class, ©2008


Keith Burden is a musician, songwriter and performer from Custer. logcabin@gwtc.net

“Life is an Interesting Journey”
Honoring Mary Gausman, Mrs. Black’s 4th Grade Class, ©2009
“Lila Lytle’s Dance”
Honoring Lila Lytle, Mrs. Hayford’s 5th Grade Class, ©2010
“Look Inside”
Honoring Mary Krogman, Mrs. Dahl’s 5th Grade Class, ©2010
“Star Quilt Woman”
Honoring Freda Goodsell, Mr. Trandem’s 4th Grade Class, ©2012
“Billy Was a Good Boy”
Honoring Bill Tretheway, Mr. Trandem’s 4th Grade Class, ©2013
“Those Old Cowboy Songs (The Trail Headed West)”
Honoring Don Husted, Ms. Dahl’s 5th Grade Class, ©2014
“Things Work Out”
Honoring Verl Scheibe, Mr. Trandem’s 4th Grade Class, ©2015
“The Jewels of Creation”
Honoring Jewel Cave National Monument, Mr. Parson’s 5th Grade Class, ©2016


David Lee Brown is a musician, songwriter and performer from Custer. http://www.davidleebrown.com/

“Good Ol’ Boy”
Honoring Rudy Anderson, Mrs. Miller’s 5th Grade Class, ©2009
“She Is…”
Honoring Marj Tennyson, Mrs. Miller’s 5th Grade Class, ©2010
“Just Smile”
Honoring Colleen Hennessy, Mrs. Bradeen’s 5th Grade Class, ©2012
“Eloise is an Amazing Girl”
Honoring Eloise Pepin, Mrs. Trandem’s 4th Grade Class, ©2013
“Dave Hansen”
Honoring Dave Hansen, Mr. Trandem’s 4th Grade Class, ©2014
“Tommie’s Song”
Honoring Tommie Leenknecht, Mrs. Trandem’s 4th Grade Class, ©2015
“It’s Amazing”
Honoring Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Mrs. Hartman’s 5th Grade Class, ©2016


Gordy Pratt & Lori Ann Miller are musicians, songwriters and performers from Spearfish. gordypratt@rushmore.com, http://www.gordypratt.com/

“My Place”
Honoring Leo McGuigan, Miss Schuler’s 4th Grade Class, ©2009


Gordy Pratt is a musician, songwriter and performer from Spearfish. gordypratt@rushmore.com, http://www.gordypratt.com/

“He Did”
Honoring Lyle Berry, Mrs. Schlup’s 4th Grade Class, ©2010


Leonard Running is a musician, songwriter, performer and puppeteer from Rapid City. butterfly@rushmore.com

“Ranny Duncan Tune”
Honoring Ranny Duncan, Mrs. Janvrin’s 5th Grade Class, ©2011
“A Little Song for Hazel”
Honoring Hazel Adams, Mrs. Engelhardt’s 5th Grade Class, ©2012
“The Wagon Trail Man”
Honoring Jerry Miles, Mrs. Burke’s 4th Grade Class, ©2012
“21st Century Cowboy”
Honoring Cris Miller, Mrs. Schuler’s 4th Grade Class, ©2013
“In the Life of Tom May”
Honoring Tom May, Mrs. Kellogg’s 5th Grade Class, ©2014
“The Ballad of Rick Mowell”
Honoring Rick Mowell, Mrs. Christensen’s 4th Grade Class, ©2015
“Fun and Games”
Honoring Bill Hughes, Mrs. Reiners’s 5th Grade Class, ©2016
“The Best Around”
Honoring Forrest Lewis, Mrs. Hartman’s & Ms. Lamb’s 4th Grade Class, ©2017


Sequoia Crosswhite is a musician, songwriter and performer from Rapid City. sequoia.crosswhite@chssd.org

“Mako Sica”
Honoring Badlands National Park, Mrs. Blacksmith’s, Mrs. White’s and Mrs. Ferguson’s 4th Grade Classes, Rockyford School, ©2016
“The Story of Our Creation”
Honoring Wind Cave National Park, Mrs. Blacksmith’s, Mrs. White’s and Mrs. Ferguson’s 4th Grade Classes, Rockyford School, ©2016


Marty Meyer is a musician, songwriter and performer from Hot Springs. ​greatsky@gwtc.net

“Choose to Be Kind”
Honoring Cozy Dorton, Mrs. Doyle’s & Mrs. Goebel’s 5th Grade Classes, ©2017

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