Hugh “Hoodie” Rowlings (b. 1953)

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Bride (sitting) and Patsy Judge (right) with folklore student Hugh ‘Hoodie’ Rowlings (standing) and legendary Port au Port Peninsula fiddler Émile Benoît (left). The group were photographed in folklorist Kenneth Goldstein’s house in St John’s during the 1976 or ‘77 Folk Festival in Bannerman Park (by Hugh ‘Hoodie’ Rowlings, photo courtesy Aidan O’Hara; used with permission).

Hugh “Hoodie” Rowlings rented an apartment in Aidan and Joyce O’Hara’s house in St John’s. He was a student of folklore and had interests in the musical traditions of Newfoundland, particularly those of the Northern Peninsula. Though they had different regional foci, his efforts overlapped those of Aidan O’Hara and he had some involvement in the collecting trip that took Aidan O’Hara and Kenneth Goldstein back around the Cape Shore in 1978.

Born in Halifax, Canada, Hugh “Hoodie” Rowlings started his education in Nova Scotia before transferring to attend Memorial University in St John’s in 1975. He graduated with a BA in Folklore in 1977.

From the age of nine, Hugh spent time in the small isolated communities of Newfoundland’s South Coast. These summer visits piqued his interest in the traditional music and musicians of Newfoundland. When he moved to Northern Newfoundland in 1973, he picked up on that interest. As a folklore student, his fieldwork took him across the island, though focused in northern areas. The music that he recorded in these communities varied, sometimes reflecting historical connections with Ireland and on other occasions demonstrating equally vital lineage from French or English traditions.