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History of Square Dancing - Ralph Page

Between 1972 and 1974, Ralph Page wrote a series of essays entitled A History of Square Dancing. For ease in downloading, we have collected them into "chapters" that group together similar topics. The essays were published in the magazine Square Dancing as follows:Dancing In New England 11/1972The Revolutionary Era 1/1973Direct Ancestors…

Darling Nellie Gray - Ralph Page (clip)

This dance was Ralph Page's signature closing dance for an evening program. Compare it with Happy Hale, whom some think was Page's source for the dance. There are many examples of this classic singing square on our website.

Northern Junket  and Ralph Page

In a labor of love, Ralph Page single-handedly published 165 issues of this journal from 1949 through 1984. The University of New Hampshire's Library of Traditional Music and Dance has digitized and made available a complete set of these magazines, along with biographical information about Page. The library is also the repository for an extensive…

Monadnock Folkways brochure - Page & Gowing

Brochure describing the summer program created by Ralph Page and Gene Gowing. Also included is an article by Gowing describing his idea for an "American Folkways" school. (This latter item appeared in American Squares, June, 1950.)

The Lancers - Ralph Page's historical notes

In the pages of his Northern Junket magazine, caller and dance historian Ralph Page enjoyed sharing articles based on his dance research. He included a six-part series on the Lancers. California caller and choreographer Chris Page (no relation) created a highly personal index to some of his favorite pieces from the magazine, including links to this…

Ted Glabach - Vermont dance caller

This is the transcription of a lengthy interview with Dummerston, VT, dance caller Ted Glabach and his wife Marie, conducted in 1978 by Steve Green. Glabach was a farmer, born around 1913, who had invited fiddler Louis Jillson to call a dance in Putney, Vermont. (Jillson himself is mentioned by Eloisie Linscott in her classic work (1939), Folk…

Dudley Laufman - Monadnock Muddle

This dance comes from the repertoire on the great New England caller, Ralph Page, and is called here by Dudley Laufman in the "Retrospective" session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 19, 2013, Durham, New Hampshire. This year's session focused on square dances of many styles. The tune is Soldier's Joy, played by Two Fiddles (Dudley…

Square dance callers - photos

A series of square dance magazine covers featuring these modern square dance callers:

Baldwin, Charlie
Brower, Jim
Brundage, Al
Burdick, Stan
Calhoun, Louis
Castner, Bill
Davis, Johnny
Gaudreau, Herbie
Gilmore, Ed
Haag, Jerry
Helt, Jerry
Johnson, Bruce
Jones, Jon
Lacky, Harry
Lane, Frank
LeClair, Johnny
Leger, Dick
Lewis,…

Dance magazine publishers - photos

This photograph appeared in the October, 1950, issue of Sets in Order. It shows a gathering of prominent dance leaders at the folk dance camp at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA; each man was the publisher of a magazine that looked at different aspects of folk dance. Shown, left to right, are Ralph Page (Northern Junket), Herb Greggerson…

Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Tony Parkes

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Tony Parkes, caller. Don Armstrong is credited with setting the dance figures (by Ralph Page) to this tune. "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" is the title of a…

Darling Nellie Gray - Adam Boyce

Traditional singing square dance, recorded in West Newbury, VT, on July 24, 2010. The caller and fiddler is Adam Boyce, accompanied by piano player Donna Weston. This dance was Ralph Page's closing number on many occasions.

Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Tod Whittemore

Tod Whittemore is the caller; music is provided by Bob McQuillen, piano; Randy Miller, fiddle, and Peter Siegel, mandolin. This was part of a dance workshop on singing squares, recorded on January 15, 2011, at the 24th annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, NH. Named in honor of the great New England caller of contra and square dances,…

Monadnock Muddle (clip) - Ralph Page

Ralph Page calling with music provided by Dick Richardson on fiddle, Junior Richardson on bass, and Johnny Trombley on piano, joined by Norm Smith on banjo. Released on Disc 363, the flip side of the Jingle Bells recording. The tune is Soldier's Joy. This recording shows how a traditional New England caller could retain experienced dancers'…

Jingle Bells (clip) - Ralph Page

A fine example of why Ralph Page was known as New England's singing square dance caller, back in the day. The dance is Odd Couple to the Center, set to the tune of Jingle Bells. Ralph Page calling with music provided by Dick Richardson on fiddle, Junior Richardson on bass, and Johnny Trombley on piano, joined by Norm Smith on banjo. Released on…

Swing Two Ladies - Ralph Page, 1955

Recorded at a dance in Fitchburg, MA, in 1955 by Harold Spaulding. Released on Dudley Laufman's CD compilation, "The Sound of Ralph Page." See also a video clip of Tony Parkes teaching this dance at the Brasstown Dare To Be Square.

Crooked Stovepipe - Tod Whittemore

The caller is Tod Whittemore; musicians are Randy Miller, fiddle; Peter Siegel, mandolin; and Bob McQuillen, piano. Danced during a Retrospective session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 15, 2011. Ralph adapted this from a traditional French-Canadian dance and tune, and it is often the first square learned by New England callers. You…

Gents and Corners - Tony Parkes

Danced during a Retrospective session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 15, 2011. The caller is Tony Parkes; musicians are Randy Miller, fiddle; Peter Siegel, mandolin; and Bob McQuillen, piano. The tune is Dusty Bob's Jig. Tony found this figure, called "Heads and Sides" and attributed to Ralph, in a copy of American Square Dance…

Trail of the Lonesome Pine (clip) - Don Armstrong

Armstrong took the figures from Ralph Page's "Gents and Corners" dance and set them to a popular tune, creating a well-known singing square. Don and Marie Armstrong also performed the song as a duo, included here. A cue sheet for the dance is available from the Lloyd Shaw Foundation.

Star the Ring (clip) - Ralph Page

Recorded by the Ralph Page Trio, to the tune of Girl I Left Behind Me (Disc 364)

Darling Nellie Gray - Tony Parkes

This clip shows two versions of the dance, the traditional version called by Ralph Page as his usual ending dance and a variation by Maine caller Rod Linnell called "Atomic Nellie Gray." A separate video in this series shows the walkthrough.

This dance was taught by Tony Parkes as part of his workshop session on New England Square Dances,…