1920 - 1924
In 1920 Ferdinand Ingold, a poor but visionary Swiss settler in the small Wisconsin town of Monroe, audaciously launched a record label, HELVETIA — invoking his homeland’s ancient name and celebrating its musical heritage.
Praised in the immigrant press yet beset by fiscal challenges, Helvetia issued a scant 36 sides.
Rollicking and somber, sentimental and lusty, these Swiss, German, and Tyrolean tunes and songs feature virtuoso instrumental combos, vocal quartets, and especially yodelers from Swiss communities in New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Illuminating one of the first American record labels established by an immigrant for his own community, Alpine Dreaming both recalls a bygone era and resonates with all who seek better New World lives while remembering their homelands.