Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Consultants, Friends, Community, Guests and Related Visitors to PMSS


Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway: PMSS Visitors (Researchers), May (?) 1916

TAGS: Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; singers ; song collectors ; accompanists ; ballads ; folk songs ; Lonesome Tunes ; Twenty Kentucky Mountain songs ; folklorists ; Henry McMahon Painter ; musicians ; composers ; recording artist;s ; piano roll editors ; American Piano Corporation ; Cumberland Mountains ; Alphonso Smith ; Virginia Folk-Lore Society ; Child’s Ballads ; Francis James Child ; Josephine McGill ; Hindman Settlement School ; Lucy Furman ; Henry Shapiro ;

In 1916 Loraine Wyman (October 23, [1885?] – September 11, 1937) a singer and song collector, and Howard A. Brockway (November 22, 1870 – February 20, 1951), her accompanist, spent six weeks in eastern Kentucky intent on gathering ballads and folk songs of the area. They arrived at Pine Mountain Settlement School in late May [?] of 1916. The two publications that resulted from their visit to the Pine Mountain and neighboring areas were Lonesome Tunes (New York: H.W. Gray, 1916) and Twenty Kentucky Mountain Songs (Boston: O. Ditson, 1920). 

The visit of Wyman and Brockway was documented by an unknown photographer in the following four photographs [damaged] from the Pine Mountain Settlement School archive taken in 1916 as they performed for children in the area. The photographs have been digitally altered for quality. They were included in the  Angela Melville Album II – Part V 

"Loraine Wyman." [melv_II_album_156x.jpg]

“Loraine Wyman.” [melv_II_album_156x.jpg]

Loraine Wyman (1885? – 1937) was born in Evanston, Illinois, as the youngest child of Walter and Julie Wyman. Her parents divorced early and Loraine moved to Paris with her mother where she studied with Blanche Marchesi and later voice with Yvette Guilbert. By all accounts, she was an accomplished singer with an “extensive repertoire including classical and romantic lieder and chansons, opera and English and French folk songs. Her training as a folklorist is not fully described though she published an article in the Journal of American Folklore that described a music gathering effort in Perce, Quebec.

She earned a living through her music with a series of recitals and lectures and later through her publications. Her accompanist in her public performances was Howard Brockway.

She was married in 1920 to Henry McMahon Painter and the two lived for a time in Grez-sur-Loin in France. Painter is described as a doctor, but it is uncertain where and what he practiced. Their fourteen-year marriage ended in March of 1934 with the death of her husband followed by her own death in September 1937.

Howard A. Brockway (1870 – 1951) was an accomplished musician and also a composer. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and like Loraine, he was trained in Europe but instead of France, his training was in Berlin. There he studied composition with Otis Bardwell Boise and piano with Heinrich Barth. On his return to the United States, he was employed as a piano teacher and composer at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, and later at the New York Institute of Musical Art now known as the Julliard School of Music. For a brief time, he also taught at the Mannes College of Music also located in New York.

Expanding his talents he worked as a recording artist and also as a piano roll editor for the American Piano Corporation [AMPICO] where he recorded approximately 155 works for their classical catalog between 1911 – 1920. Like Wyman, his expertise was valued and he gave a series of lectures on a variety of topics.

Brockway served with Wyman as the editor of the two collections of songs gathered in Kentucky. Not all of his work is assigned to Howard Brockway, as he sometimes recorded under pseudonyms including Al Sterling and Andrei Kmita. His compositions cover a wide range of musical styles and genres including a symphony, symphonic ballads, a piano concerto, chamber music, choir music and a variety of songs. The two were an eclectic twosome and apparently not to everyone’s taste.


Several events pointed the two musicians to the Cumberlands, not the least of which was the work of Alphonso Smith, an English Professor at the University of Virginia who founded the Virginia Folk-Lore Society.  He had been advocating for the collection of America’s rich folklore and Wyman and Brockway found his advocacy provocative. His article published in 1913, “A Great Movement in Which Everyone Can Help,” caught the eye of many musicians.

What Smith so passionately expressed was that song collectors should look closely at Child’s ballads, the work of Francis James Child ** who in the late 1800s published the largest collection of folk songs that became the canon for all later collections. [See his final publication The English and Scottish Popular Ballads in 1882–1898, at first in ten parts (the tenth, posthumously) and then in five quarto volumes. His work remains one of the best authoritative sources for balladry.] The “English” and “Scottish” focus suggested in the title does not do justice to the broad international range of Child’s work which included some 30 different language sources. When Smith asked that folklorists in America look closely at the Child’s canon he was wisely steering scholars away from the less authoritative work of Wyman and Brockway and others but he was not discouraging their efforts. In fact, Smith, as quoted by Appalachian historian Henry Shapiro said of his recommendation of Childs, “…If our American versions [of ballads] are not collected quickly they can never be collected at all …It is now or never.” [Shapiro, p.250] In this sense, Wyman and Brockway were significant contributors to the early collection of Appalachian balladry and were inspired by cautious nudge.

Using Child’s as a guide Wyman and Brockway set about to do just as Smith suggested. But even their early collections was not the first.The first collector on the eastern Kentucky scene was Josephine McGill who came to the Appalachian mountains and specifically to Knott and Letcher counties and to Hindman Settlement School in 1916. She published her book Folk Songs of the Kentucky Mountains in 1917. She had read of eastern Kentucky in the popular novels of Lucy Furman whose stories of life along the Troublesome tributary captured the romantic notions of many women of the day. Furman’s work was at the time being serialized in the Atlantic Monthly and other publications. She had caught the imagination of the readers and many other “Appalachian” tales followed with their own interpretation of Appalachian music, song, and dance. Much of McGill’s work was conducted from Hindman and it is most likely that Wyman and Brockway had access to her folklore journeys through the staff at the School while they were in residence there.

Wyman and Brockway made their way to eastern Kentucky in May of 1916, and two years later, they went to Hindman and while there added the newly founded Pine Mountain Settlement School to their base of operation for ballad collection. 1916 was just three years following the 1913, founding of Pine Mountain Settlement School.

Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockaway

Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway, performing for children. [melv_II_album_157x.jpg]

History has not treated the two ballad collectors gently and the Appalachian historian Henry Shapiro characterizes them as rapacious and insensitive to the culture of the Southern Appalachians. Ethel de Long writes briefly about their visit in letters to her family. The comments are brief and curt.

Howard Brockway. [melv_II_album_155.jpg]

Howard Brockway. [melv_II_album_155.jpg]

Howard Brockaway and .Loraine Wyman.[melv_II_album_158x.jpg]

Howard Brockway and Loraine Wyman.[melv_II_album_158x.jpg]

The list of songs collected for Lonesome Tunes included the following

Table of contents from “Lonesome Tunes” Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway


Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway

Alt. Title

Loraine Wyman Painter ; Howard B. Brockway




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway ; Loraine Wyman Painter ; Howard B. Brockway ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; singers ; song collectors ; accompanists ; ballads ; folk songs ; Lonesome Tunes ; Twenty Kentucky Mountain songs ; photographs ; Walter and Julie Wyman ; folklorists ; Henry McMahon Painter ; Peabody Institute ; NY Institute of Musical Art (Julliard School of Music) ; Mannes College of Music ; musicians ; composers ; recording artist;s ; piano roll editors ; American Piano Corporation ; Al Sterling ; Andrei Kmita ; Cumberland Mountains ; Alphonso Smith ; University of Virginia ; Virginia Folk-Lore Society ; Child’s Ballads ; Francis James Child ; Josephine McGill ; Hindman Settlement School ; Lucy Furman ; Henry Shapiro ;

Subject LCSH

Wyman Painter, Loraine, — October 23, [1885?] – September 11, 1937
Brockway, Howard B., — November 22, 1870 – February 20, 1951
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Folk songs, English — Kentucky.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet


Series 09: Biography – Community, Guests and Visitors




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 22: Community, Guests and Visitors.

Coverage Temporal

1885 – 1952

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Evanston, IL ; Paris, France ; Brooklyn, NY ; Berlin, Germany ; Baltimore, MD ; New York, NY ;  Knott and Letcher counties, KY ;


Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway; clippings, photographs, books by or about Loraine Wyman and Howard Brockway ;




“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

09-20-2016 hhw ; 2016-10-07 aae ;





Child, Francis J. The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. New York: Dover Publications, 1965. Print.

Wyman, Loraine, and Howard Brockway. Lonesome Tunes: Folk Songs from the Kentucky Mountains. New York: H.W. Gray Co, 1916. Print.

Wyman, Loraine, and Howard Brockway. Twenty Kentucky Mountain Songs. Boston: Oliver Ditson Co, 1920. Print.

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