You can listen to the Max Gant album on youtube.
On Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 3:43 PM, Tony Parkes tony(a)hands4.com
[trad-dance-callers] <trad-dance-callers(a)yahoogroups.com> wrote:
Tom Hinds wrote:
<<A business called Bargain Books just advertised a CD called Square
Dance, Music and Calls. There's no date. There are 6 instrumental and 6
called cuts. To me the music sounds early modern western.>>
This sounds like a reissue of “Town and Country Square Dances,” an LP on
the Everest label (also issued on Olympic). I don’t think the caller was
ever identified; I agree that the calls are not danceable.
<<The cover of this CD has the same dancers and musicians as found on the
cover of the LP of Robert Treyz and the Action Promenaders but the camera
shots are different.>>
Originally, I believe there was no connection between the Treyz album and
the Town and Country album, which didn’t use the same photo shoot.
The Treyz album was probably reissued more times, with more different fake
names for the caller, than any other SD record. Robert (Bob) Treyz was his
real name; I knew him slightly in the 1970s. He lived in the
Acton-Boxborough area of Massachusetts. (The original issue of his album
uses the correct spelling of “Acton Promenaders.”)
<<Also, I have a vinyl recording of Emery Adams calling. It's the same as
a different recording of someone called Tex Daniels. The only difference
between the two recordings is the pitch (speed at which it plays). Who's
the real caller?>>
There were several LPs that were repeatedly reissued on $1.99 supermarket
labels with various callers’ names:
1. The Bob Treyz album; I’ve seen “Zeb Smith” listed as the caller, among
other names. Bob was a real caller, and the selections (mostly traditional
singing calls) are danceable. The music is a bit thin but adequate.
2. This one shows up most often as “Swing Your Partner” with “Uncle Bill
Wiley and his Tall Corn Boys.” The caller has a decent voice, and the
singing calls are pretty good, but he was obviously reading the patter
calls from a script: he’s not even on the beat, and he doesn’t allow any
time between commands. The band, however, is excellent, with a nice full
sound. It’s unmistakably the Pinetoppers, who made several instrumentals
for Decca/Coral including a terrific Life on the Ocean Wave backed with a
Buffalo Gals that for years was the standard recording for Pattycake Polka
(aka Heel and Toe Mixer).
3 & 4. I don’t know who the caller was on either of these; I believe they
were both originally issued without a name. They can be identified by the
dance titles: One includes “Caballero,” “Opposite Jitterbug,” “Round and
Round Ho Down,” and “Inky Dinky Parley Vous” (sic). The other includes “Hi
Jinks,” “Nine Pins,” “R.H. High,” “Merry Farmer,” and “Fort Lee Line.”
(There’s some overlap in titles between this and the Treyz album, but if
memory serves, it’s not just Treyz with the titles changed.) I assume that
the “Emery Adams” and “Tex Daniels” issues are either #3 or #4 (unless
<<And then there's Holler Hawkins........>>
HH is the esteemed Jerry Helt of Cincinnati, who has been a full-time
caller for decades. He made this album over 50 years ago under his own name
and was not pleased to see it under a false name. (I don’t think it’s been
reissued as often as #1-4 above.) It’s an interesting album for two
reasons: (1) The dance selections vary widely in difficulty, from absolute
beginner level to routines that would have been challenging for the club
dancers of the time (“Turn by the left to an arky thar – head gents, side
ladies in a right-hand star”). (2) Jerry told me that the music was
recorded on a tight budget; in some cases (e.g. Turkey in the Straw) the
musicians were told to play one “A” part and one “B” part, and the parts
were strung together in the studio to make a multiple-AABB sequence.
<<I wonder why no names or fake names. It probably has to do with
money - no big surprise if that's the case.>>
I’ve always assumed that these albums were issued in most cases without
informing the caller and musicians, let alone paying them.
By the way, some of the 1960s supermarket LPs were much better than
average. If you see one by Mac Gant and the Tennessee Dew Drops, grab it;
it’s an excellent job of teaching and calling Southern sets – two-couple
figures in a big circle, with spoken instructions.