Maine Song: State of Maine Song by Sally Pickering
In 1931, the Maine Publicity Bureau had a contest to select an official state song. Daniel Hoegg, at that time chairman of publicity for the Bureau, handled the details. One hundred and sixteen songs were submitted during the three months, by people all over the United States. Four were chosen for the final decision to be given by radio audiences and a judging committee. The broadcast was made Sunday, November 5, 1931. Roger Vinton Snow's State of Maine Song was declared the winner. It was during community singing at the first luncheon at the May 20, 1932 state BPW Convention held in Portland, the proposed Maine Song was introduced to the Maine Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs for the first time. Later in the business session it was voted that the official song of the State of Maine, when chosen would be the Maine Federation Song.
A committee was appointed to draw up a bill to be presented to the State Legislature to make it the official State Song at state convention May 22-23, 1936 at Presque Isle. Lelia Griffin, a state employee at the time and our BPW Legislative Chairman, was the person that got the bill introduced into the legislature with good help from Bertha Hudson, State President, and Sally Green Pickering. Both Lelia and Bertha did a lot of leg work, but Bertha especially did the "button holing" of the members of the legislature. When the opportunity presented itself, she would call Sally Pickering who would take off for Augusta where a piano was brought into the corridor of the legislature just outside the chambers. Sally sang the song along with the legislators who gathered around the piano. This went on many times until the hearing day when some smart guy by the name of Green (no relation to Sally), who had heard the song many times in the corridors, kept a straight face and asked if it could be sung as he had not heard it. Sally was asked to sing it without accompaniment and she did. It was amazing the number of legislators who were against it, but, when the vote was taken, Bertha was in the balcony, and a number of the men could not bring themselves to vote against it. After it was passed the arrangement was made that Sally would sing the song to a joint session of the Legislature. Final arrangements had been made to do so when the President of the Senate refused to have it sung as ":nothing like it had ever been done before". He proceeded to walk out of the chambers followed by fellow senators. After they left, Sally DID sing it to the members of the House.
The State of Maine Song was adopted at the March 1937 Session of the State Legislature, Laws of Maine 1937, Page 558, Chapter 39, Approved April 5, 1937.
The culminating act of the persistent efforts of our former State President, Miss Bertha Hudson, for the formal adoption of Mr. Snow's State of Maine Song was effected by the copyright assignment of the song to the State by the author. Miss Hudson had the happy privilege of presenting to the State, through Governor Barrows, the copyright assignment. Mr. Snow added to the gift the original manuscript of the song to be placed in the State Library.
At that time the State distributed very attractive printted folders containing the song, pictures of the colors of the State Seal, the State Flag, the State Bird, the State Emblem, and a half tone picture of the BlaineMansion, official residence of the Governor.
On June 17, 1953, a motion was voted on by the Governor's Council to authorize Wilfred Tremblay, 42 Columbia Street, Bangor, to print the State of Maine Song at his own expense. On July 15, 1953, Mr. Tremblay was authorized by the Council to use a facsimile of the State Seal on the cover of the State of Maine Song. On June 6, 1956, the Governor and the Council unanimously voted to allow Mr. Carley Farquhar of Redwood City, California, to publish the State of Maine Song in a book he was writing covering the States and Territories. October 1960, Mr. Tremblay was contacted by BPW Maine in regard to an orchestration for band. Correspondence carried on from that date to July 1962. On May 15, 1962, $150 was sent to Mr. Tremblay. On June 6, 1962, another $100 was sent to him. He requested $300. Clubs were to either receive back their cash or band editions.
Mr. Tremblay had a heart attach in 1960;
Reoccurrence - January 1961;
June 1961 - commencements, etc., but promised it for middle of July;
December 1961 slowed up again but arrangement ready for engraver;
March 1962 - illness but trumpet part received;
June 2, 1962 - engraver dropped dead a few weeks before plates were ready - Tremblay not feeling well himself - promised for Labor Day in time for school opening;.
July 1962 - Notice of Bankruptcy received of Wilfred Tremblay, returnable on August 8, 1962 - Bangor, Maine;
July 1962 Sally Pickering contacted Mr. West, in the Attorney General's Office. He was on vacation and she talked with Mr. Tavener on August 7. He will speak to the Governor's assistant to see if the Council will give permission to the Maine Federation of BPW Clubs to have the song printed at their own expense. When she called Mr. Tavener again, he had turned it over to Mr. Shaw, Governor Reed's Administrative Assistant;
August 16, Mr. Shaw still working on it;
August 30, called on Mr. Shaw in his office. He will try and get it on the agenda for the Council meeting of September 5. Ms. Pickering to appear on behalf of the Federation and present the case. Mr. Tavener called to assure her the Council could not authorize any band edition as the official State Song. This must be done by the Legislature. Any printed edition musts carry this one in it;
September 5, 1962, Mission Accomplished. Sally Pickering appeared before Governor Reed and the Council, and the Council gave its permission to the Federation to publish the State of Maine Song in a band or orchestration edition and with permission to use the State Seal or facsimile thereof.
Note: The Bankruptcy Court turned over to the Maine Federation all copies of the State of Maine Song as well as orchestrations.