American Singer Pedigrees: Some thoughts on the Roller/Border Controversy
by Gary Tom

First published in the Pacific American Singer newsletter, volume 4, number 4, October 1997.

To deny that there exists in the American Singer fancy lines which have had infusions of other song canaries other than Rollers and Borders blended into them over the years would be outright denial and foolishness. New notes and phrases as well as modulation in volume and timing or delivery have been some of the benefits from these infusions.

Since the creation of the American Singer canary over 60 years ago, the very ancestry that was responsible for our breed, namely Rollers of Seifert background and Borders of an era bygone have esthetically disappeared. Presently, our constitution allows anyone to create their own line of American Singers from "scratch". With the current supply of short-lived, poor-parenting Rollers and large oversized Borders available today is the creation of a new strain still possible? If anyone has done this in recent years please respond!

I believe that in our individual quests for uniqueness and a sound of our very own that the old American spirit of "daring to endeavor and go where no one else has dared" surfaces time and again. Our fore mothers who created the American Singer may have been limited to Rollers and Borders in their creation of our breed but I'm sure they never dreamed of the notes and phrases heard today. Perhaps, had other song breeds been available they most likely would have included them too.

Like many things American, we're a patchwork of diversity. The history, lore and legend of the American Singer needs to have new chapters added that include the recognition of the other song canary breeds. After all, in the 1950's, Red-factor Rollers were allowed. Would we allow that today?

The inclusion of other song canary breeds into an American Singer strain raises many issues. Some say size is affected. Some say hybrids only sing the song of the foreign parent. Some say breeding habits are negatively affected. Some say judges need to be trained to recognize foreign song. What do you say?

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