Ragnar Hasselgren

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Ragnar Hasselgren[1][2][3]
Ragnar Hasselgren.jpg
Born(1904-06-03)June 3, 1904
DiedSeptember 28, 1982(1982-09-28) (aged 78)
recording artist
Spouse(s)Walberg M. Hasselgren

Ragnar Hasselgren (June 3, 1904 – September 28, 1982) was a Swedish-born singer and recording artist, who was active on the American West Coast during the 1940s and 1950s.[4][5]

Life and legacy[edit]

Hasselgren was born in 1904 in the Swedish province of Dalarna. His birthplace was the town of Strömshyttan, which is located between Hedemora and Vikmanshyttan. He emigrated with his parents when not quite two years old and as a child spoke only English. When he was eighteen, he was hired by a Swedish building contractor in California, who gave preference to Swedes and people of Swedish descent. A company benefit enabled workers to learn English. Since Hasselgren already knew that language he learned Swedish instead.[4]

Ragnar Hasselgren played guitar and sang at Swedish-American clubs in the Bay Area for much of his adult life and recorded nearly two dozen songs in the 1940s and 1950s. His recordings were distributed by Harmony Music of Berkeley and Gaare Records of Oakland. Performing in Swedish and English, he had a repertoire that encompassed Swedish folk songs, American popular music and novelty numbers in Scandinavian dialect.[6]

In the early 1960s Harmony Music released two albums featuring Ragnar Hasselgren.[7][8] The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research also had one of Hasselgren's recordings on its album "From Sweden To America", which was released as an LP in 1981[4] and as a CD in 1996.[9] In 2011 the twenty-three tracks on the CD were released on iTunes and Amazon mp3.

In 2016 the Minnesota Historical Society opened an online archive of Swedish American newspapers. These historic publications give many accounts of Hasselgren's performances and recordings from the 1940s through the 1960s. Search term is "Ragnar Hasselgren".[10]


  1. ^ Ragnar Hasselgren faqs.org. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  2. ^ Walberg M. Hasselgren ancestry.com. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  3. ^ Ragnar Hasselgren obituary archive.org. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c From Sweden To America (Stockholm: Caprice Records, 1981).
  5. ^ "Ragnar Hasselgren (03.06.1904 - 01.09.1982)". Svänga-Benga. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  6. ^ Harmony Music atspace.cc. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  7. ^ Scandinavian-American Comedy Songs (Berkeley: Harmony Music, c. 1960).
  8. ^ Swedish Folksongs (Berkeley: Harmony Music, c. 1960).
  9. ^ From Sweden To America (Stockholm: Caprice Records, 1996).
  10. ^ Swedish American newspapers mhs.org. Retrieved February 3, 2017.

External links[edit]

Ragnar Hasselgren album covers
Swedish media database
Swedish music and film
Record companies
Sheet music
Song lyrics recorded by Ragnar Hasselgren
Streaming audio