Peter Benes has devoted the last 30 years to tracing the history of early American traveling entertainers. Benes says it started in 1686 in Boston, with these entertainers traveling to Hartford, Springfield and right on up the Pioneer Valley. They brought with them — “pop culture,” or some early form of it.
Benes and New England Public Radio’s Carrie Healy met in an Historic Deerfield tavern, to talk about the findings in his new book — “For A Short Time Only” — named after a popular catch phrase used by performers to advertise their shows.
Click the audio player above to hear the interview.
Correction: In the introduction to this interview , we incorrectly identified the location as a “meetinghouse.” It was a tavern.