Carsten Woll

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Carsten Woll
Carsten Woll.jpg
Victor catalog
Carsten Thorvald Woll

(1885-07-31)July 31, 1885
DiedDecember 21, 1962(1962-12-21) (aged 77)
Spouse(s)Esther Erhart Woll

Carsten Woll (1885-1962) was a leading Norwegian-American singer and recording artist of the 1910s and 1920s.


The singer and composer Carsten Woll was born in Oslo, Norway. He took his student exams in 1903 and subsequently studied music and voice in Denmark and Germany.[1]

Woll immigrated to America in 1913 and was a professor first at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and then at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. In 1926 he also became the director of the Woll Music Studio in Minot, North Dakota. After retiring as a teacher of singing and music at St. Olaf College in 1951, he moved to Eugene, Oregon.[1]


Carsten Woll was one of the big names in Norwegian-American music with nearly two thousand live performances and frequent appearances at choral festivals. He wrote several songs and compiled a songbook that was published by the Sons of Norway in 1926.[2] There were over one hundred Norwegian songs in the collection as well as Home, Sweet Home and the songs of Stephen Foster.[3]

Woll's popularity as a singer made him one of the most sought-after Norwegian-American recording artists in the acoustic period. From 1913 to 1925 he recorded almost 200 titles for a number of record companies. Most of his recordings were made for Victor and Columbia, but he also appeared on the Edison, Vocalion, Okeh and Brunswick labels.[4]

Norwegian immigrants in America had a strong emotional attachment to the folk melodies of their homeland, and Carsten Woll probably made more recordings of traditional Norwegian folk songs than any other artist. His discography included Eg gjette Tulla, Eg veit ei lita jente, Kjerringa med staven and Og reven lå under birkerot. On the other hand, his recording of Sommersol til siste stund was a Norwegian version of Silver threads among the gold.[4]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Norsk pop- og rockleksikon, (Oslo: Vega Forlag, 2005).
  2. ^ Carsten Woll: sanger og komponist Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: October 21, 2011.
  3. ^ Sangbog for Sønner af Norge edited by Carsten Woll, (Minneapolis: Sønner af Norges forlag, 1926).
  4. ^ a b Ethnic Music on Records: A Discography of Ethnic Recordings Produced in the United States, 1893-1942 by Richard K. Spottswood, (University of Illinois Press, 1990) LCCN 89-020526. Volume 5, pp. 2640 - 2646.

External links[edit]

1926 Songbook
Historic Newspapers
Streaming audio at the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project
Streaming audio at the Library of Congress
Streaming audio at the Internet Archive
Gustavus Adolphus College
Norwegian songs
Songs from English
Swedish song