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Auctioneer (description and history)

The Auctioneer by David Millstone July, 2012 The Auctioneer is Ralph Sweet's signature number, and the dance has a storied history before him. The Auctioneer song was a 1956 hit, selling 2.5 million copies for for Leroy Van Dyke and catapaulting him to country music fame. (Here he is singing it on a 1962 television show.) Two years later,…

When You're Smiling - Ralph Sweet

Recorded August 1, 2010, at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Burlington, Vermont, during a workshop on singing squares led by caller Ralph Sweet.

Musicians are Thal Aylward, fiddle; Will Patton, mandolin; Dono Schabner, guitar

If You Knew Susie - Ralph Sweet

Recorded August 1, 2010, at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Burlington, Vermont, during a workshop on singing squares led by caller Ralph Sweet.

Musicians are Thal Aylward, fiddle; Will Patton, mandolin; Dono Schabner, guitar

Little Red Wagon - Nils Fredland

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."

Nils Fredland, caller; the dance was created by Lee Helsel, and words and music are in Ralph Sweet's new book, available from CDSS:…

Kansas City - Ralph Sweet

Ralph Sweet, caller. This singing square, done to a 12-bar blues instead of the usual AABB structure of a traditional fiddle tune, was recorded live in 1964.

Sally Goodin - Ralph Sweet

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."

Ralph Sweet, caller; this dance takes its name from the traditional southern Appalachian fiddle tune; there are many variations. Directions for this version are in…

Auctioneer - Ralph Sweet

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." This dance is one of Ralph's signature numbers, and directions and music are in his book, available from CDSS store.The musicians are the band Elixir (Ethan…

Louisiana Swing (clip) - Ralph Sweet

Singing square: this clip contains once through the figure and the break, which contains a Grand Square. Recorded at the February 2, 2004, at the Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA, on the occasion of recording an album of singing squares. Musicians are the Ralph Sweet All-Stars: Dave Langford, fiddle; Ann Percival, guitar and backup vocals;…

Nellie Bly - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the February 2, 2004, at the Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA, on the occasion of recording "Shindig in the Barn," an album of singing squares. Musicians are the Ralph Sweet All-Stars: Dave Langford, fiddle; Ann Percival, guitar and backup vocals; Pete Sutherland, piano; Lee Blackwell, drums; Stuart Kenney, bass; Bill Tomczak and…

Golden Slippers - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the February 2, 2004, at the Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA, on the occasion of recording "Shindig in the Barn," an album of singing squares. Musicians are the Ralph Sweet All-Stars: Dave Langford, fiddle; Ann Percival, guitar and backup vocals; Pete Sutherland, piano; Lee Blackwell, drums; Stuart Kenney, bass; Bill Tomczak and…

If You Knew Susie - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the February 2, 2004, at the Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA, on the occasion of recording "Shindig in the Barn," an album of singing squares. Musicians are the Ralph Sweet All-Stars: Dave Langford, fiddle; Ann Percival, guitar and backup vocals; Pete Sutherland, piano; Lee Blackwell, drums; Stuart Kenney, bass; Bill Tomczak and…

Hello, Mary Lou - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the February 2, 2004, at the Guiding Star Grange, Greenfield, MA, on the occasion of recording "Shindig in the Barn," an album of singing squares. Musicians are the Ralph Sweet All-Stars: Dave Langford, fiddle; Ann Percival, guitar and backup vocals; Pete Sutherland, piano; Lee Blackwell, drums; Stuart Kenney, bass; Bill Tomczak and…

Summer Sounds - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, Durham, NH, January 15, 2000. Musicians are Swallowtail: Ron Grosslein, fiddle; David Cantieni, saxophone; George Marshall, bodhran; Timm Triplett, piano; Tim Van Egmond, hammered dulcimer.

Whispering - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, Durham, NH, January 15, 2000. Musicians are Swallowtail: Ron Grosslein, fiddle; David Cantieni, saxophone; George Marshall, bodhran; Timm Triplett, piano; Tim Van Egmond, hammered dulcimer.

Ralph Sweet's Personal Square Dance History

This is a 2005 presentation by Ralph Sweet to NECCA (New England Council of Callers Associations), a group of MWSD callers. Reviewing his own interest in this activity provided Ralph with an opportunity to examine trends and challenges faced by square dancers over the past six decades.Ralph's interest in squares and contras dates to the 1940s, and…

Shindig in the Barn - Ralph Sweet

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."

Ralph Sweet, caller; Ralph created the singing square, basing it on the "Left Hand Star Breakdown" by Tony Parkes. Words and music available in Ralph's book.…