Biographical / Historical
Charles Mitchill Bogert (June 4, 1908–April 10, 1992) was an American herpetologist, researcher, and curator of herpetology for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and a notable early ethnomusicologist. Bogert was a major figure in twentieth century herpetology, as a researcher and as administrator at the American Museum of Natural History for 25 years, as well as a folksong collector. Bogert traveled widely--including to Sri Lanka, Central America, the Southwestern United States, Florida, and the Bahamas--in search of experimental settings and samples of indigenous frog species. He would also use these travels to record the local folk music, usually performed by informal groups and in church celebrations.
He felt especially at home in Mexico, where in addition to conducting faunal surveys he made recordings of traditional music that were later commercially released on Folkways Records. In 1955, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a year's research; a portion of his results are in the collection.
In 1960, he became a lecturer at the University of Colorado, and began an extensive study of the Oaxaca region of Mexico. In 1966, he was given an honorary LLD from UCLA. In 1978, he became a consultant at the Los Alamos National Environmental Research Park for a year. Afterwards, he continued to travel and conduct further studies, until his death in 1992 in his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Folkways Records Releases
FX 6122, Sounds of the American Southwest
FX 6166 (SFW45060), Sounds of North American Frogs
FW 8867, Tarascan and Other Music of Mexico: Songs and Dances of the Mexican Plateau
FW 8870, Mariachi Aguilas de Chapala