FREEPORT – Grab Gagnon and Virgil Bliss, fire up the ole Bluebird and join “Bert and I” co-founder Bob Bryan and other Maine humorists as they pay tribute to the legendary “Bert and I” on Friday, Dec. 13, at L.L.Bean’s flagship store.

The tribute performance comes on the 50th anniversary of the first “Bert and I” album and will feature not only a rare public performance by Bryan, but also humorists/storytellers Tim Sample, John McDonald, Rebecca Rule, Kendall Morse and Fred Dodge, brother of the late Marshall Dodge – each of whom has been inspired by the work of Dodge and Bryan.

Performances will be at 1 and 3 p.m. The show runs about 30 minutes. Bryan will be available after each show to answer questions and sign “Bert and I” CDs, including the new “Best of Bert and I” released this summer by Islandport Press.

The performance is part of Bean’s ‘Northern Lights celebration.

“Bert and I” stories were the brainchild of Bryan and the late Marshall Dodge while both were attending Yale University in the 1950s. The duo released the first full-length “Bert and I” album in 1958.

The release of “Bert and I and Other Stories from Down East” was a seminal moment for Maine storytelling and Maine pop culture.

The dry wit, Down East accent, catch phrases and enduring theme of the rural Mainer outwitting or frustrating the visiting city slicker established a template that has been followed by Maine and New England humorists and storytellers for years.

Bryan and Dodge recorded four “Bert and I” albums between 1958 and 1976.

Dodge, considered a brilliant live performer, emerged during the 1960s and 1970s as perhaps the greatest regional performer of his generation, branching out into television in the early 1970s and releasing his only solo live album in 1977. He was killed in 1982 by a hit-and-run driver in Hawaii. He was 45.

Bryan, an Episcopal minister, co-wrote all the “Bert and I” material and performed on the four “Bert and I” albums. He used some of his royalty money to help start the Quebec Labrador Foundation in the 1960s. He remains a driving force behind that organization.

For more information, call Islandport Press at 846-3344 or visit www.islandportpress.com.


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