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Three singing squares - Vermont, 1956

Three singing squares from an October 6, 1956 recording of the Dick Perry Orchestra and caller Ira Huntley playing a square dance in Newfane, Vermont. Original tape donated to the Vermont Folklife Center by John Stone. This audio is very clear, professionally digitized by the VFC staff. 1) Marching through Georgia: Note that the caller finishes the…

Don Armstrong - progressive squares

Don Armstrong calls a tip that moves dancers from one square to another. At the start of the clip, he alerts dances how this will be done and warns them that when they reach the outside of the hall they will need to do a frontier twirl / California twirl to face back in again. Apparently, some of the dancers missed that information, as you hear him…

Marie Armstrong - patter

Patter tip called by Marie Armstrong, Kittery, Maine, October, 1960. There are some problems with the original tape, resulting in a 5-second gap at 1:48 and a 7-second gap at 2:50. Rather than edit those out, we have left them in place so listeners can fill in the blanks themselves and keep the timing of the original in its entirety. Marie followed…

Mountain Dew (clip) - Marie Armstrong

Marie Armstrong, recorded live at the Downeast Western Square Dance Club in Kittery, Maine. Immediately before this, Marie called a patter tip.To hear the lyrics for Mountain Dew used in a different sort of square, watch Bill Litchman calling a dance by Colorado caller Marvin Shilling, Sally Goodin and a Dosey Doe.

Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Don & Marie Armstrong

Don and Marie Armstrong call Trail of the Lonesome Pine. Recorded live at the Downeast Western Square Dance Club in Kittery, Maine.A clip of Don's commercial recording of this dance can be found here, and a search on this website will reveal additional examples:* Video, called by Bill Litchman at Dare To Be Square, Brasstown, NC* Video, called by…

Les Gotcher - caller talk, 1962

Talk given by Les Gotcher to Tri-State Callers Association (New England) in March of 1962. Les emphasizes the importance of callers understanding the action of each call and describes early forms of diagramming. He also talks about tempo, timing and ends (beginning at about 14:22, three quarters of the way through) with a discussion of the call…

Dare To be Square 2011 - syllabus and audio

You've watched the videos – now for the rest of the story! CD-ROM of the Dare to be Square mega-event held November 18-20, 2011 at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC with callers Bob Dalsemer, Larry Edelman, Phil Jamison, Bill Litchman, Jim Mayo, and Tony Parkes. 78 page PDF with transcription of all 80 dances taught at the…

Les Gotcher - callers' class

This recording comes from the collection of Stig Malmo. It has some gaps, which you may notice when the audio jumps from one thing to another, but as the contributor notes, this gives you a good glimpse into the mind of one inflential caller.Gotcher and Ed Gilmore represented two very different approaches to square dance calling, dancing, and…

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 - Dudley Laufman -

Live recording, Bernardston, Massachusetts, with Dudley Laufman calling. He introduces this by noting, "First dance I ever called, when I was a kid." Music by the Fall Town String Band: Ed Phelps and Jim Spaulding, fiddles, joined by Jacqueline Gilman, fiddle; Bob Kenney, guitar; Jack Arensmeyer, mandolin; Ruth Brassor, bass guitar. Released on a…

Ed Gilmore - Q&A, 1962 - part 4

This is a discussion with noted California caller Ed Gilmore, recorded October 21, 1962, at a meeting of the Tri-State Callers Association, an organization of professional MWSD callers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Gilmore discusses all manner of items connected to square dancing, illustrating his comments with examples of calling…

Ed Gilmore - Q&A, 1962 - part 3

This is a discussion with noted California caller Ed Gilmore, recorded October 21, 1962, at a meeting of the Tri-State Callers Association, an organization of professional MWSD callers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Gilmore discusses all manner of items connected to square dancing, illustrating his comments with examples of calling…

Ed Gilmore - Q&A, 1962 - part 2

This is a discussion with noted California caller Ed Gilmore, recorded October 21, 1962, at a meeting of the Tri-State Callers Association, an organization of professional MWSD callers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Gilmore discusses all manner of items connected to square dancing, illustrating his comments with examples of calling…

Ed Gilmore - Q&A, 1962 - part 1

This is a discussion with noted California caller Ed Gilmore, recorded October 21, 1962, at a meeting of the Tri-State Callers Association, an organization of professional MWSD callers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Gilmore discusses all manner of items connected to square dancing, illustrating his comments with examples of calling…

Arnie Kronenberger - hash, live recording, 1953

Jerry Reed - I believe this recording is an example of what traveling callers were calling in 1953. This choreography is a single patter tip from a dance called by Arnie Kronenberger, from California. The dance was called with a live band in Chicago. At the end of the dance Arnie thanks the band and identifies them as the WLS Ranch Hands. (Note -…

Johnny Barbour - Hash, live recording, 1958

Johnny Barbour 1958 – Track 1

Comment by Jim Mayo

This tip is, I believe, from a group of files shared with the Square Dance Foundation of New England by Stig Malmo from Denmark. Stig has been generous in sharing from his very extensive collection of recordings of early square dances. Although we do not have complete identification of the…

Jim York - Hash, live recording, 1955

Jim Mayo: Jim York was a very prolific writer of choreography. The Sets In Order magazine began publishing dances regularly in 1953 and Jim York's dances appeared regularly from then on. I believe Jim York wrote the Suzie Q call that he used in this dance.

Jerry Reed: I believe this recording is an example of what local callers (area unknown but…

Hurry Hurry Hurry - Marvin Shilling, live, 1953

Jim Mayo: I believe this is the figure used by Doc Alumbaugh in the original Windsor Records recording. The method of setting up lines of four is unusual today. At the time this recording was made in the early 1950's the "Heads (or Sides) Lead to the Right and Circle to a Line" that is today a common way to make lines was not yet common.

Marvin Shilling - live recording, hash, 1953

Early MWSD choreographyIn his introduction (not heard here) to this tip, Marvin Shilling comments: "I don't suppose anybody'll get lost at all, but if you do, just keep on dancing, even if you've got the wrong girl, even if you're doing the wrong thing it don't make any difference. The main thing is that you have a good time and if you have a good…

Wheel and Deal (clip) - Les Gotcher

excerpt from a live recording in the early 1960s