I admit I don't read every posting, so maybe this resource has already been
mentioned here. But if not, direct your browser to:
and type in "square dance" or other likely search terms in the search box.
Happy listening! I think the "Yiddish Square Dance" by Mickey Katz and his
Kosher-Jammers is my favorite so far.
Bauhan Publishing is pleased to announceA Time To DanceAmerican Country Dancing from Hornpipes to Hot Hashby Richard Nevell
“The immense scope is handled with clarity and insight, fitting American country dancing into the broader context of American studies… Nevell records American country dances as historical artifacts, as social expressions of rural and urban communities, as manifestations of democracy, and as an evolving traditional art that changes to meet the needs of a changing American society. The breezy, relaxed style lends itself to easy reading, and is accompanied by excellent illustrations.” —American Library AssociationIt is a time to dance. We live in a country where division, distance, and distraction have become the norm, pushing us further away from one another. Dancing is much more than movement, it is one of the most exhilarating ways to bring people together and put aside differences, giving everyone a sense of belonging, a kind of social capital. Americans have shared a love of dancing for centuries. Rich, poor, urbanites, country-folk, and people of every race, age, religion, and gender have found a common bond in this nourishing art form.
In addition to a fascinating history of country dance and a comprehensive bibliography and resource addendum, anecdotes from dancers, musicians, and callers nationwide describe the beneficial effects dancing has on the mind, body, and spirit. As a southern Appalachian mountain dancer says, “The dancing itself is a kind of statement…and it’s complete…it’s just a motion, an opportunity to free myself!”
A splendid book, at once personable and probing, I predict will become a dance classic." Denver Post
About the Author
Richard Nevell is a photographer, author, filmmaker, and songwriter. He is a member of ASCAP. With funds from the National Endowment for the Arts co-produced two films with Robert Fiore: Country Corners and Full of Life A-Dancin’ based on material in this book. He lives in Bali, Indonesia and New Hampshire.
A Time To DanceAmerican Country Dancing from Hornpipes to Hot HashRichard NevellBauhan PublishingOctober 3, 2017Trade Paper, $22.50ISBN: 9780872332799PO Box 117 Peterborough, NH 03458 www.bauhanpublishing.comTwitter: @BauhanPub Facebook: bauhanpubDistributor: University Press of New England (UPNE)www.upne.com
I'm including a link to a YouTube video (many thanks to Cindy Harris) that
was created on Friday at the Pittsburgh Contra Dance.
The dance has been a work in progress for -- well maybe 15 years -- maybe
even a bit more. I've done it about five or six times. Friday was the
latest iteration. There are a few obvious bobbles, but it's a pretty clean
My question, to anyone who cares to take a look at it is this. Is it:
A) Interesting, looks like fun, go ahead and share it with the world
B) Blackmail material; delete it and let it not see the light of day
You can comment (kindly please) on list or directly to me at mailto:
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Here's the link:
ps: Same day -- I also attended the annual celebration of Game Seven of the
1960 World Series. The organizers replay the radio broadcast at The Wall
-- a portion of the old Forbes Field outfield wall. The game was nip and
tuck -- back and forth -- an epic battle and -- The Pirates Won! Mazeroski
came through again, hitting the greatest home run in baseball history.
What a game!
Ridge Kennedy [Exit 145]
When you stumble, make it part of the dance.
Tom Willson wrote:
> Would anyone happen to know where I could get the music (sheet) for all 5 figures of the "Plain Quadrille" (AKA the "French Quadrille")?
I don't know whether the Plain Quadrille originally had a single musical setting associated with it, but by the mid-19th century there were dozens, probably hundreds, of settings, each one in five figures with the correct number of measures for each. Some were newly written for the purpose, others were arranged from currently popular songs (such as those by Stephen Foster).
One group of settings with which I am familiar is derived from the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan (1875 through 1896). When each new show was produced, their publisher (usually Chappell) issued songs and the complete score for singing and playing at home, plus dance music specially arranged from the songs. There was usually a waltz, polka, quadrille, and lancers, and sometimes others, such as a march or galop.
In the pre-Internet days, the G&S dance arrangements were all but impossible to find, because people collected them for their beautiful full-color covers. But someone has kindly scanned the music and made it available online. If you go to the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive (http://www.gsarchive.net/), you'll see a menu of opera titles on the left side of the home page. Clicking on a title will take you to that opera's "home" page, where there are links to the dance music (among many other goodies). Patience Quadrille and Trial by Jury Lancers are particularly well-arranged; both have been recorded.
These are piano arrangements. According to old advertisements, band parts were also available, but I don't know of any still in existence. Chappell's London headquarters suffered a notorious fire in 1964, and it is believed that many one-of-a-kind pieces of music were lost.
New book! Square Dance Calling: An Old Art for a New Century
(to be published real soon)
Lovers of traditional dance,
It is with sadness I announce that Marie Cassady, a dancer and teacher of
dance in Louisville Kentucky for many many years, died on Sunday afternoon.
She was 104, just two months shy of 105.
Marie founded Louisville Country Dancers, which has since become a mostly
contra dance group, but in the day featured English dance as well, and even
occasional international dances.
I first met her in the mid 1970s, when she and husband Frank Cassady taught
Italian folk dances to a performance troupe that my siblings were involved
in. (I was too young to join the first few years). As it turns out, they
also taught performance troupes for many ethnic groups.
She was interested in many things besides dance, including national and
international travel. She also sang with her church group for many years.
As well, she reared several children and was a maternal figure for many
A few years ago, she related to me her memories of the influenza epidemic
of 1919. Imagine that, she had memories of her father from that time, and
of Camp Taylor in Louisville! She also talked about the 1937 flood of the
She slowed a bit over the years, remaining active in English and
international but leaving contra to younger bodies. She also took up hula
dancing in her 90s. Gotta keep learning!
She remained active and mentally sharp until very recently. I saw her in
August, and she immediately called me by name.
There will be a memorial service for Marie in early November, but the
details are not yet determined.
Many thanks to you, Marie Cassady, for introducing so many people to dance
and the communities it engenders. I am grateful to have known you.
"Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power
and magic in it." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I am researching Chares Chilton who was a renowned BBC producer of folk and history docudramas. He died a while ago at 93.
There are precious few recordings of his in the public domain.
But he produced Oh! What a Lovely War - about life in the trenches in WW1 - which was an ultimate classic.
A few of his programmes are available at
And he also wrote and produced a long series of space exploration programmes which were the most popular radio shows ever and surpassed even audiences on the newly fledged t.v. These latter are available from Archive.orghttps://archive.org/details/JIS04TheReturnFromMars
He was also instrumental in producing a number of Goon Show episodes.
Indeed his output numbered in the region of at least 150 programmes both for t.v. and radio.
In the 1950s he wrote and produced Riders of the Range - a hugely popular radio show depicting life in the US Wild West. Sady none of these episodes have survived. But the series was transcribed to comics such as The Eagle.
What I didn't know until today was that he was also a square dance caller!! He was active in the UK (and likely in the US) during the 1950s / 60s. He was based at the Circassian Circle Folk Dance Club in Essex. He worked with Peter Kennedy of the EFDSS to preserve and promote tradiitonal social folk dance.
One of his observations was that whist travelling the country and visiting different folk dance groups was that there were considerable localised variations in style and movements. His attitude was that these variations were to be valued and collected and promoted.
He was certainly not a fan of modern main stream square dance, nor of Scottish country dancing!!
Does anyone now remember Charles Chilton - BBC producer, writer, researcher, producer - and square dance caller?
O. M. G. Be still, my heart.
The larger of the two record players (yes, they're both from the 1970s) is the Newcomb XT-250, a model I was led to believe was advertised but never produced. Obviously my source was mistaken.
This was Newcomb's top-of-the-line solid state model, made for a very short time. It has three mic inputs, all kinds of filters, full tone controls on all channels, a monitor speaker with separate controls, and a gimmick that lowers the music by a preset amount when you speak or sing. Back in the day, I wanted one so bad I could taste it. Now, of course, it's primarily of historical interest (I love vinyl, and it's the most stable of media, but I don't use it at gigs; I digitize it). And this one is worn enough cosmetically that I'd want a technician to look at it before I'd commit to buying. A Cadillac or a Lexus is worth only what someone is willing to pay, based on condition and the buyer's need.
Those column speakers are humungous. According to the brochure, they weigh 50 pounds each. Note the two handles on one side: They weren't intended to be carried with one hand.
The smaller player, an AVT-1270V, is a nice size for practicing or calling to one or two squares. It has variable speed and a mic input with volume control. It looks to be in better shape than its big brother (although the tonearm cradle on both units appears to have broken, as this part often does).
New book! Square Dance Calling: An Old Art for a New Century
(to be published real soon)