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Introduction
The Great Lakes region is steeped in a tradition of storytelling that dates back to ancient times. The Ojibway Indians who lived along the shores of the mighty inland seas passed their legends and customs down through spoken word and song.

In a similar fashion, folksinger and author Carl Behrend brings to life true stories and legends from a wealth of Great Lakes history for the enjoyment of contemporary audiences. His ballads tell the tales of ships and sailors lost, true loves found and the great lighthouse beacons that guard the rocky coast.

Behrend was born in Escanaba, Michigan, a town of abut 13,600 whose name was taken from Ojibway words meaning “land of the red buck.” Behrend is a fourth generation resident of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – that jagged promontory that juts to the east from Wisconsin separating Lake Superior from Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

 

Behrend has produced five C.D.’s. the first The Ballad of Seul Choix Lighthouse in 1997, followed by Legends of the Great Lakes (1998), More Legends of the Great Lakes (2000), Best of Legends of the Great Lakes (2004), and Even more Legens of the Great lakes (2007). 

Author of two books, the first, Adventure Bound, father and daughter circumnavigate the greatest lake in the world is a true story of how he and his 18 year old daughter, Naomi, circumnavigate Lake Superior the Greatest and most perilous lakes in the world. (2003) His latest book The Legend of the Christmas Ship (2005) a historical novel based on the true story of Captain Herman Schueneman the famous Christmas Tree Ship Captain who brought Christmas trees from Upper Michigan to sell them each year at Chicago’s Clark Street bridge. Lost in a November gale in 1912 the ship has become legendary in Great Lakes folklore.

When he’s not writing new songs or books, Behrend performs his songs for audiences all around the Great Lakes region and has become one of America’s best loved Great Lakes Balladeers. As a solo performer he has performed for smaller audiences such as schools and libraries. For larger festivals and concert halls like the 300th birthday of Detroit and the famous Calumet Theater, he is accompanied by his Great Lakes Legends Band.

Behrend’s warm stage manner and clear tenor voice has made him a favorite performer of both young and old. Behrend has sold over 30,000 copies of his music which is distributed by his own record label, Old Country Books and Records.

For the past four years Behrend has been invited to perform his own rendition of Gordon Lightfoot’s classic, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald at the Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial service each November 10th at Whitefish Point. The bell from the Fitzgerald tolls 29 times in memory of each of the lost crew members of this famous ship. In addition to his musical performances, Behrend is also available for book signings and slide presentations on both the Christmas Ship and his father and daughter circumnavigation trip around Lake Superior.

Behrend has sought to share with us the beauty of the Great Lakes through his songs and stories of Great Lakes Legends and in the process, perhaps he has become one.


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