Who is Roy Justice and what is a Singing Historian?
If you enjoy American Folk Music, American History, and the exploration of both, you're at the right place!
My name is Roy Justice and I am a singing historian. I present programs on different aspects and topics of American History, combining the music of the time period with the historical landscape within which the music was a part.
Roy has been presenting 'American History Discovery Programs' since 1985, performing regionally (PA, NJ, NY, MD, VA, WVA) and has appeared at many fairs and festivals, schools, churches, and libraries, as well as private and public celebrations and events.
For those of you who are not yet familiar with Roy's programs, he takes his audiences on musical and informative 'journeys' through segments of American history combining music and 'history-telling'! Accompanying himself with a 12 string guitar (Martin D121), Roy sings songs from our past, shares stories of our predecessors, tells the legends of our folk heroes, and asks thought-provoking questions. Through this combination of presentation elements he 'illustrates' the lives and circumstances of America's past generations and explores their relevance to our present times. "History is about people and the things that they accomplished. For me, learning about history is more than memorizing dates and places. It's important to learn something about the lives of the people who accomplished those things. We are who we are, today, because of those people - how they lived, and what they did!"
Mr. Justice believes that discovering and exploring history in this way can help to create a more productive future for all of us. In his experience, he has found that INVOLVING people in the learning process (rather than simply presenting the information in a one-dimensional format) produces a cognitive awareness within most listeners which they may not (most likely, would not) experience through reading alone.
Here is a current list of the Programs that Roy presents.
~ Patriotic Songs and Their Stories: an overview of the impact of music upon American History. From Yankee Doodle through God Bless America!
~ Great Things about the Great Depression: An exploration of the music and times of the 1920s and 1930s. Through those hard times some great things arose! From “Brother, can you spare a dime?” to “The Good Ship Lollipop”!
~ Springtime In Paris: Songs of Spring from America and the history of the ongoing friendship between America and France from The Marquis de Lafayette's influence during the American Revolutionary War through the latest addition to the Eiffel Tower!!
~ The Irish in America: The history of the early Irish immigrants through their influence and accomplishments in the 21st century! An amazing transformation story! Great music!!
~ American Folk Tales and Legends: George Washington and Paul Bunyan to Annie Oakley ~ the stories - and the stories behind the stories!
~ The Songs of Stephen Foster: The songs and times of a great American songwriter, considered 'The Father of American Folk Music'! Why he wrote the songs we still sing today!
~ 19th Century America: Covering the late Revolutionary War years through 1900 (depending upon requested emphasis and time allowed for the program). History mixed with humor!
~ Women in American History: Women's contribution to the development and character of our nation, generally, and specifically! From Pocahontas to Annie Oakley!
~ The History of Australia: How the History of America is connected to The Land Down Under with her great Irish-influenced musical heritage!
~ Bible Storytelling: Stories and songs determined by audience age, theme of event, liturgical time of year, etc.. Stories are chosen from Old and New Testaments (Noah, Jonah, David, the Parables of Jesus, Letters of the Apostles, etc.).
~ Histories of Popular Hymns: A variety of well-known hymns, presented first with their stories, followed by the singing of the hymns.
~ Our Favorite Nursery Rhymes: Poems, stories and songs we need to remember from days gone by. (Great Memory Markers for 'seniors' and great for kids who haven't heard them…yet!)
Also: Songs and Circumstances of the American Civil War, Christmas and Holiday Traditions in America (sing-a-long can be sacred or secular), Thanksgiving in America, The Songs of Appalachia, The Lehigh Coal and Navigation system – Life on the canal in the northeast, The Songs of Sailors and Pirates!