Hangtown’s musical roots — Placerville’s first families of music
Two prominent Placerville families share a musical lineage that goes back to the roaring 20s. But you’re more likely to find fiddles than flappers in the Laam and Park families. These people played country music. Yessir. The real deal.
The Laams and Parks came together in Stockton during the 1950s. Talented branches of the Laam family tree arrived in Placerville in the 1930s, attracting the Park family like bees to begonias in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Park family’s musical roots were planted during the Great Depression in the Arkansas hills. They bounced between Arkansas and Stockton through the 1930s and finally stuck in California in the late 1940s.
The Laam’s recent history dates to the 1920s and earlier, when brothers Ivan and Fred Laam brought their country string band, the Happy Hayseeds, from John Day Oregon to Stockton.
The Hayseeds toured the west coast and even played in Placerville during the 1920s...