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fAll Song Festival Registration Now Open!

September 24-26, PFS presents the first fAll Song Festival - three days of workshops, concerts, song circles, group sings, panels and more. If you are reading this site, you will find something to love there. To find out more, register, volunteer, just click here.

"You can find the number yourself."

Do you ever need to find the phone number or email address of a PFS member? Many PFS Members have made that information available to other members in the Membership Directory.

However, you can't see the membership directory unless you are a member, and logged in. If you aren't a member, you can join easily by clicking here!) But if you ARE a member and you can't see the For Members menu above, it's because you haven't logged in. Just go to the upper right corner of this page, click on MEMBER LOGIN, and follow the instructions.

Your browser will probably ask if you want it to remember your log in information. That's your choice of course but if you come to the site frequently, it's a lot easier just to let your browser log you in. When you're done, look through the directory and give someone you know a call - they'll probably be delighted to hear from you!

July-August Local Lore - Memories of songs...

The July-August edition of the PFS newsletter, Local Lore, is just out. Members, if you have opted for the paper version, you should be getting it just about now. 


In this issue, members and friends recollect about their favorite songs, and the memories associated with them. Just to read the list of songs starts the nostalgia flowing: How Much is that Doggies in the Window? Leaving' on a Jet Plane. Mary Hamilton. Ladies of the Canyon. (Let me be your) Teddy Bear!  Lots of others. And for each, members have shared about why the song is important to them.

And there is so much more: A cross-country singing bicyclist shares about her adventures and why she loves Portland. More on the history of KBOO. Book reviews of Erik Darling. “I’d Give My Life!” and Ellen Harper. "Always A Song: My Story of the Folk Music Revival". An article about African American women and Rock 'n' Roll. A description of how the PFS endowment fund works. And an invitation to members to post their pictures in the online membership roster! There's more - this is a BIG ISSUE!

Thanks to all the contributors who for once really are too numerous to mention. But we will take the time to give a shout out to the Local Lore team that skillfully and lovingly put it together, and got the paper copies to you: Editor and Designer Kim McLaughlin, Proofreader Ruth Bolliger, Mail 
Wizard Jeanette Warner, and Logistics gurus Bobbo Bernstein and Laura Webb. Thanks all you guys.

And don't forget...

Check out the new Local Lore page. It's the first item in the Resources Menu. You'll find the most recent almost-three-years of issues there, all easily downloadable. Enjoy reading them - hours of pleasure and edification are waiting for you.


Local Lore is one of the benefits of PFS membership. Members can have a paper copy if they want, and if they don't need paper they can download it as a PDF from this site under the Resources Menu. You can also pick up a copy at most PFS events, even if you aren't a member. But we're not having any in-person events for a while, so if you would like a paper copy of Local Lore, just look up in the menu bar for Join PFS. In addition to Local Lore, you get reduced prices on events, access to members-only parts of the website, and the pleasure of supporting the music you love! Now is a great time to join - we even have a special rate for people who are stressed during the COVID times. Check it out, and thanks!

Song Circlers: You've got a choice!

We are so happy to announce that we are offering members and non members a choice of Saturday night DIY self-expressive fun musical events.

Now that it is mostly safe to get together in person, we're re-starting our Second-Saturday In-Person Song Circles!

And, because so many of us have loved getting together on Saturday nights, from all over the world via Zoom, we're gonna keep doing THAT too!

Read on to find out about your options.

In Person Song Circles are back!


So let the circle be wide 'round the fireside
And we'll soon make room for you
Let your heart have no fear, there are no strangers here,
Just friends that you never knew

                                    -Tommy Sands


Come celebrate with us in the back yard with our long lost harmony sisters and brothers!  Get your vaccination, then bring your guitar, your chair, your old beat up song book, your potluck.  Dress for weather changes, as we’re going to stay outside and safe.  AUGUST 14 in the fine yard of Jinx Kuehn and Barry Gorden under the shadow of Rocky Butte in SE Portland.

For more details, and to register, go 
to the Song Circle Page.

Virtual Song Circles - music from your rocking chair

You probably know how these work - you just need to Click here  Saturdays.

Room opens 6:00 PM Pacific time, singing starts at 6:30 PM. 

But... if you are a newbie, Welcome! You should probably check out the Song Circle Page.

This coming Saturday, July 24, will fall on Amelia Earhart‘s birthday - and a simple google search turned up 29 lyrics, 15 artists, and 4 albums containing the words “Amelia Earhart”. Need a song idea? Just sayin’…

Summertime Blues...

Thanks to PFS member Dave Orleans for this charming version of the classic Summertime Blues.

Dave added some new verses from a child's point of view, and sang it at one of the Virtual Song Circles a few weeks ago.

Emergency Broadband Support Program

We know some of you have really suffered during the pandemic, and we also know that on-line connections with old and new friends can be a game changer, especially when people are isolated and feel isolated. And having a good broadband connection is wonderful - fast internet means you have clear images and sound when you Zoom or do other video connections, and in general makes the experience of being on line a lot less irritating. 

Did you know that there is a Federal program to help people who can't otherwise afford it get broadband? The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households, and also help you acquire a better computer if you need one. There are conditions, of course, but if you think you might qualify, here's the link:

Racial Equity Statement from PFS

Portland FolkMusic Society celebrates all musical traditions whose foundations flow from communities and cultures of color.

We recognize that we are an overwhelmingly white organization. We hope to become a more inclusive and diverse organization by taking the following steps: 

  1. We ask that if any member or volunteer detects racism or biases in our structures, processes, publicity or activities, they will speak up and bring this to the attention of PFS. 
  2. We will include more artists of color in our performances. 
  3. We will reach out to our local communities of color for inclusion. 
  4. We will report annually to our membership how we are doing on these goals. 

We invite comments and engagement from PFS members. We look forward to the essential, ongoing work of listening, learning, and changing that is ahead of us.

The Virtues of Virtual

PFS Song Circles in the age of COVID

You must know by now that PFS is holding Saturday Evening Virtual Song Circles every Saturday Evening. We held the first - with little preparation - on March 14, when we were all waking up to the reality of COVID19, and we realized we couldn't responsibly go ahead and hold the scheduled in-person song circle. So, with 24 hours warning, we met on line. The technology was new to a lot of people, we didn't know much about how to host the event, and it was rough - but people had a good time, and someone asked, "Can we do this again next week?" We thought, "Why not?" And we haven't stopped. We had our 60th VSC on May 1, 2021, and they are still going strong. 

Please consider coming; you will be welcomed and feel welcome, no matter your skills or equipment or whatever. A few of the regular participants have good set-ups, with separate cameras and mics. Most use laptops. A few just come in by phone. It doesn't matter.

Check out highlights of a recent song circle here.

And there's so much more...

There is a LOT of other online folk music now, with opportunities to listen, take classes, and sing.

PFS volunteer Barry Gorden has been doing a super job posting the events he hears about, and if you have others, let him know at

Look at the Upcoming Events calendar to find out how you can stay connected, during these disconnected times!

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events


Not a member?

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Since 1976, Portland FolkMusic Society has been active preserving, presenting and promoting folk music and arts in the greater Portland Oregon area. PFS sponsors song circles, concerts, workshops and retreats, and helps its members and the whole community pass the word around about folk music events, from old time ballads to sea shanties, from 60’s protest folk to contemporary singer-songwriters.

PFS is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. 

Portland Folkmusic Society
P.O. Box 1448
Portland, OR 97207-1448
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