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Tucson Square Dance (1950 article)

Magazine article (1950) describing Arizona square dances and caller George Waudby. The first PDF is a facsimile of the magazine article; it is followed by an easier-to-read version of the text. (Also included is a 2009 obituary for Marion Waudby, who worked tireless with George to establish square dancing in the Tucson area.)

Two excerpts…

Square Dances for White Collars (1941 article)

Article in Time magazine (1941) describing popularity of square dancing, evidenced by record sales (Victor, Columbia, Decca) and the work of teacher and caller Lawrence Loy.

Al Brundage recollections

Al Brundage wrote these recollections of his experiences growing up in Connecticut and the growth of square dancing. His story includes discovering square dance as a boy, followed by the whole Brundage family getting involved in the activity and forming the King Street Pioneers. He mentions some of the important figures in the Northeast in those…

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Lady Round Two, Gent Cut Through (clip) - Arkie Woodchopper

Arkansas "Arkie" Woodchopper was the stage name and persona adopted by Luther Ossenbrink. He was a star of the WLS National Barn Dance show, and he recorded more than three dozen sides between 1929 and 1945. Discography.This clip offers a straightforward version of Lady Round Two, Gent Cut Through, though the timing of the calls makes it unlikely…

Hinky Dinky Parlee-Voo (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, the New England dancing master who worked closely with Henry Ford, here calls with music provided by the Henry Ford Orchestra.

Life on the Ocean Wave (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, the noted dancing master who was hired by Henry Ford to promote social dancing, leads Life on the Ocean Wave, also known as the Head Two Ladies Cross Over. The musicians are the Henry Ford's Old-Time Dance Orchestra. Lovett wrote Henry Ford's "Good Morning" square dance books, and this dance appeared in the 1941 edition of that…

Goin' Uptown - Bill Litchman

Bill Litchman calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Musicians are Steve Hickman and Claudio Buchwald, fiddles; Jim Morrison, guitar; Sam Bartlett, banjo. The tune is "Lady of the Lake" (from John Ashby).

The weekend was sponsored by the Folk School and by Country…

Traditional Western Squares called by Bill Litchman: Sampler

This is a sampler of the dances taught by Bill Litchman at his workshop session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares. Each dance is represented more fully in other videos at this site; most of these dances also have a video showing the walkthrough:

00:00 Arkansas Traveler (http://youtu.be/BwJg0i2ja_g)
00:32 Chain 2 Ladies, Chain 3…

Chain 2 Ladies, Chain 3 Ladies (walkthrough) - Bill Litchman, Traditional Western Square Dances 2a

This is the walk through only. Bill Litchman taught this dance as part of his session (November 19, 2011) on Traditional Western Squares at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought together six experienced callers representing different…

Bob Aylward - caller biography

This is an excerpt from an unpublished memoir by Robert Aylward, who called square dances in the Boston area, starting in the 1930s. It's a detailed portrait of the evolution of a caller.

The Buzzards' Glory Barn Dance 1928–1966

In the early 1970s, Bob Dalsemer heard about a dance series in Albanstown, northern Baltimore County, Maryland; the dances were no longer being held so he interviewed two sources to create this portrait of the local square dance.

Old Time Square Dancing on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Author Bob Dalsemer discovers a long tradition of the "big circle" square dance on this island off the North Carolina coast, far from the Appalachian Mountains where it is usually encountered.

Bob McClary - Girl I Left Behind Me - Texas, 1942

Excerpt from "Play and Dance," A Collection of Songs and Tunes from the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Song. Recorded in 1942 by John A. Lomax. Liner notes and transcription created by B.A. Botkin.

Bob McClary, a caller "from away back," demonstrates the hearty southwestern style of singing and half-singing dance calls, to which a tune like…

Eleanor Roosevelt square dancing

Newsreel footage of Eleanor Roosevelt dancing in Arthurdale, West Virginia, 1940

Bud Udick - Hash #1

This 1949 audio clip features Bud Udick calling with "Cactus" Tait's Orchestra, recorded live "at the regular weekly square dances at the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel" in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A set of five ten-inch 78rpm recordings with Udick calling was released by Pikes Peak Records asBar-Nothin' Squares, "an album of real Western square…

Bud Udick - Hash #2

This 1949 audio clip features Bud Udick calling with "Cactus" Tait's Orchestra, recorded live "at the regular weekly square dances at the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel" in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A set of five ten-inch 78rpm recordings with Udick calling was released by Pikes Peak Records asBar-Nothin' Squares, "an album of real Western square…

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Square Dance Tonight - with Elisha Keeler

This 1949 film features caller Elisha Keeler of South Salem, NY. Keeler was featured in The New Yorker in a brief "Talk of the Town" piece in 1949 and then was given a lengthy profile (some 5,000 words) in The New Yorker (February 9, 1957). That portrait apparently inspired choreographer George Balanchine to create his ballet "Square Dance," and…

Swing Your Partner  (Texas, Doc Journell)

This is the first issue of a square dance magazine edited by C.D. "Doc" Journell. The photo of Doc Journell calling a square dance was submitted by Carrie Journell, wife of Journell's great-grandson. She writes, "He was such a diverse man - a dentist, caller, painter and now we can add editor and publisher to family stories."

A Look at Square Dancing in Colorado

"Square dancing evolved a western version probably sometime in the late 1800s when the pioneers moved to settle the states west of the Mississippi. It was a square dance form that was much different from the Eastern Quadrilles and different still from the Kentucky Running Set which was probably the other source. It was more exuberant and much less…