Arthur Kylander

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Arthur Kylander [1]
Born Arthur Arkadius Kylander
February 16, 1892
Lieto, Finland
Died 1968
Occupation singer, songwriter, musician
Spouse(s) Julia Varila

Arthur Kylander (1892–1968) was a Finnish-American singer, songwriter and mandolin player.[1]


Born in Lieto, Finland, Kylander immigrated to the United States in 1914 at the age of twenty-two. There he became an itinerant laborer and worked as a carpenter and logger.

In 1925 he met his future wife Julia Varila, a pianist and accordionist with whom he began performing and touring. During the Depression the Kylanders moved to Hollywood, California, where Julia worked as a cook and Arthur was a butler and chauffeur. In 1943 they bought 240 acres of wooded land near Placerville, California and started a tree farm.[2] In 1964 Kylander was named the Outstanding Conservation Rancher of the Year.[3]


Between 1927 and 1929 Kylander released twenty songs on the Victor label.[4] He also published several songbooks with the title of Humoristisia Lauluja (Comic Songs).[5]

His repertoire included Kulkuri (The Hobo), Muistojen Valssi (The Waltz of Memories) and Suomalainen ja Sauna (The Finn and the Sauna). A member of the Industrial Workers of the World, many of Kylander's songs dealt with the hardships facing immigrant workers while retaining a strong sense of wit and humor.[5] He sang in a mixture of Finnish and Finglish in a manner similar to his contemporary, Hiski Salomaa.[6]

Since the 1970s, Arthur Kylander's recordings have been reissued in both analog and digital formats.[6] [7][8]


  1. ^ a b Arthur Kylander. Retrieved: March 12, 2013.
  2. ^ Arthur Kylander, Finnish-American Folksinger. Retrieved: March 12, 2013.
  3. ^ Mountain Democrat December 17, 1964.
  4. ^ Ethnic Music on Records by Richard K. Spottswood, (University of Illinois Press, 1990) Volume 5, pp. 2581-2582.
  5. ^ a b Songs about Work by Richard A Reuss and Archie Green, (Bloomington: Folklore Institute, Indiana University, 1993) pp. 268-271.
  6. ^ a b Siirtolaisen Muistoja (The Immigrant's Memories) (Helsinki: Finnish RCA, 1978).
  7. ^ Oi kuinka engeliksi mielin (We'll be angels by and by) (Kaustinen: The Folk Music Institute), 1994).
  8. ^ Stranded in the USA (Munich: Trikont, 2004).

External links[edit]

Book excerpt



Streaming audio