These Bert and I products are available from Islandport Press:
The Best of Bert and I: Celebrating 50 Years of Stories from Down East
Features the best routines selected from the four original Bert and I CDs, plus stories taken from Bert and I On Stage and The Downeast Smile-In television show.
Bert and I ... And Other Stories from Down East
The first album, digitally remastered for the special CD edition, which also includes three bonus stories taken from the private 10-incher that preceded the first commercial record.
Bert and I /
More Bert and I
Combines the original Bert and I album and its follow up, with 14 more tracks, into one double-length CD.
Bert and I Stem
Inflation / The Return
of Bert and I
Combines the third and fourth albums into one double-length CD with 35 tracks.
Bert and I ... On Stage
A Marshall Dodge performance, originally recorded at the University of Maine in the fall of 1977, digitally remastered in 2008 for improved audio quality.
A Downeast Smile-In
Features three episodes of A Downeast Smile-In starring the incomparable Marshall Dodge. The Smile-In aired on Maine Public Television in the early 1970s. This is the only video available of Marshall Dodge.
Book: Bert and I for Kids
Three illustrated stories to introduce a new generation to the magic of Bert and I.
CD: A Whale's Tale
"The Bert and I Song" kicks off this fun CD, which includes a rendition of all the stories in the children's book "Bert and I for Kids" as well as seven other wonderful stories.
Islandport Press is an award-winning regional publisher dedicated to producing quality books and other materials that detail and amplify the rich social, cultural and economic history of Northern New England.
We strive to tell good, accessible stories that give authentic voice to real people.
"Bert and I come down to the dock about six o'clock in the early morning. Bert went into the boathouse to fetch the pots and the slickers and I went out to the dock to start up the Bluebird."
And so begins the first story on the first album in 1958 that not only launched Bert and I as conceived by Marshall Dodge and Bob Bryan, but essentially marked the keystone event of the modern "Down East" Humor Era.
The iconic "Bert and I" stories were first created by Yale University students Marshall Dodge and Robert Bryan in the late 1950s and performed around campus. The two amateur storytellers soon recorded a short 10-inch album of 11 stories for friends and family, but ultimately pressed just a few hundred. However, growing popularity prompted them in 1958 to record and release the seminal commercial album of New England humor and storytelling Bert and I ... And Other Stories from Down East.
The album depicted Maine fishermen and woodsmen with dry, classic humor and set the tone of direction of the genre for decades.
Some estimate that Bert and I has sold more than one million records in the past 50 years, and nearly everyone who has spent time in Maine knows someone who quotes Bert and I or struggles to mimic Dodge's iconic sound effects. Let's not forget that these two popularized the now-ubiquitous, "You can't get they-ah from he-ah" and established the dry humor template that would be used again and again across New England.
Dodge and Bryan went on to record three more Bert and I albums together and remain the godfathers of Down East humor. The four original albums are: Bert and I and other stories from Down East, More Bert and I, The Return of Bert and I, and Bert and I Stem Inflation.
Bert and I are now almost as synonymous with Maine as L.L. Bean and lobsters they are engrained in the culture and the lexicon. They may not have invented the genre, but they cleaned it up, popularized it, and pushed it into the mainstream. Nearly every Maine comedian or humorist who has performed in the past five decades owes a debt to Dodge and Bryan. Bert and I. That says it all.
ABOUT THE STORYTELLERS
Marshall "Mike" Dodge stands undeniably as a godfather of Down East humor, bringing an energy and imagination to the stage that took him from a small Connecticut
studio to his standing as the premier "New England" humorist of his era, before he was tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver in Hawaii in 1982. He was just 45. Mike was born in New York, attended high school in New Hampshire (where he first heard "Down East humor"), and graduated from Yale, where he studied philosophy. It was at Yale in 1958 that he and Bob Bryan cut the first Bert and I album and launched what is now a Maine icon.
Robert Bryan helped launch Bert and I with Dodge in part by drawing upon his memories from childhood summers spent at his beloved Tunk Lake,
where he was fascinated by the area's stories and storytellers. Like Dodge, Bob was born and raised in New York and graduated from Yale. Unlike Dodge, who continued as full-time performer, Rev. Robert A. Bryan used earnings from the early records in the 1960s to help launch and grow another dream the Quebec-Labrador Foundation, which provides support to remote communities mainly in Quebec and Labrador. Bob continues as a major force at QLF and remains involved in the continued life of Bert and I.