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 whichhave had infusions of other song canaries other than Rollers andBorders blended into them over the years would be outright denial andfoolishness. New notes and phrases as well as modulation in volume andtiming or delivery have been some of the benefits from theseinfusions.

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

I believe that in our individual quests for uniqueness and a sound ofour very own that the old American spirit of "daring to endeavor andgo where no one else has dared" surfaces time and again. Our foremothers who created the American Singer may have been limited toRollers and Borders in their creation of our breed but I'm sure theynever dreamed of the notes and phrases heard today. Perhaps, had othersong breeds been available they most likely would have included themtoo.

Like many things American, we're a patchwork of diversity. Thehistory, lore and legend of the American Singer needs to have newchapters added that include the recognition of the other song canarybreeds. 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 Singerstrain raises many issues. Some say size is affected. Some say hybridsonly sing the song of the foreign parent. Some say breeding habits arenegatively affected. Some say judges need to be trained to recognizeforeign song. What do you say?

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