SDOHC's Mission

The SDOHC is devoted to documenting the history of the Northern Plains region and the care of previously collected interviews.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Songs From the Oral History Center: Rose Mae LaPointe Sings "Phantom Buffalo"

New to our blog, Songs From the Oral History Center kicks off with a wonderful rendition of "Phantom Buffalo." Sung by Rose Mae LaPointe from Rosebud, South Dakota, we invite you to take the time to listen and let her voice harken you back to the time of technicolor and campfire melodies.

This song originally aired on the radio, if you have more information about its content, original airing, or the people involved in giving us this great recording, please contact the South Dakota Oral History Center at


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. What a lovely voice! I wonder when the song was aired. Maybe in the 30s? Probably was on WNAX out of Yankton, which aired all over the state.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I was very pleased to see this i decided to google my grandama Rose mae, alot of good memories. I am Neal LaPointe jr
    and thank u

  4. Thank you for your comments!

    Neal, do you have any additional information about your grandmother? Please email us at -- The SD Oral History Center

  5. This song was recorded by her at Kay Bank Studios in Minneapolis in the year 1964. The bside of the record was a song called 'Maybe Now'. It was issued on the Studio City record label.

  6. My name is Theodore Loren Whiting. I was born in Rosebud (1965) and I grew up in St. Francis, where I was a DJ at KINI in the early 1980's. My parents Burton Julian Whiting & Antoinette Mae Edwards Whiting owned a single copy of this recording and often played it on the phonograph when I was very young. Thank you to SDOHC, Neal LaPointe, Jr. and my Mother for bringing this song back to our lives. My Mother is sitting here with me right now and can remember Rev. Theodore Zuern when she attended St. Francis Mission School.


  7. What a lovely song! I've attempted to transcribe the lyrics, but a few phrases elude me, see below--can anyone hear/correct the transcription below?

    'Phantom Buffalo'

    Where the little white river cuts a canyon,
    Through the rambling rosebud reservation
    [ ? ] upon his pillow
    Hunting phantoms on the buffalo run.

    A phantom buffalo [ ? ? ? ]
    Down the canyon and across the prairie,
    Forever [low from spring quick to ring thunder]
    Ride your pony. Your dreams can never be.

    Like old hunters in the tale told nightly
    In the summer camp below grass Mountain
    He could see buff’lo go by the thousands
    Sweep the prairie like the thundering sea.


    Weaving through the tangled canyon bottoms
    Splashing in its sparkling blue lit water
    After [sappharo his racing bellow]
    With the steady beat of indian drums


    Past the yellow cliff and red rock outcrop,
    Through the green of pines and wild [palm] bushes
    All about he sighed at phantom [ hook mark ]
    Left by hearts that beating never to stop.


    Over swelling sweets of fragrant prairie
    After supper it’s the fleeting white clouds
    Fleeing faster than his youthful daydreams
    From the fenced-in range no buffalos see.


  8. Supposedly, her correct name is Rosemae DeSersa

  9. I created an entry for this record at

    1. I am not downloading/installing anything to play a video. It is either done as youtube does or I leave

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. I have a copy of this record. Rosemae was my Aunt. My mother is Darlene Desersa who was also a famous South Dakota singer

  11. Do you have any pictures of her or other information? You can send it to me at I'll post it to my blog, along with the record audio.