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Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella rarely called singing squares, but in this example of Hot Town in the Old Town Tonight, he mixes patter with a little big of singing to create a hybrid of singing and patter.The SDHP site contains many other examples of Ted Sannella's calling.

Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella calls his dance, Do-Si-Do and Face the Sides, in a live recording from c. 1958. In Balance and Swing, Ted explains, "I wrote this dance in February, 1953 for a dance exhibition at the 1953 New England Folk Festival. It shows off very nicely the circles, lines and stars so typical of square dancing." More than 60 years after its…

Learn Square Dancing - Ed Gilmore

These are two tracks from Ed Gilmore's instructional square dance LP, "Learn Square Dancing," released on Decca in 1956. The album included instructional segments such as these with short practice pieces set to music, as well as four full called dances. The record came with an 8 page booklet, with liner notes by Chuck Jones. A search for…

Settin' the Woods on Fire - Bob Ruff

Borrowing the tune from the popular Hank Williams song of 1952, this excerpt features caller Bob Ruff with music by the Buckboard Busters on the Sets in Order label. The "lady 'round two and the gent around one" figure also appears in southern Appalachian mountain square dance as "lady round two and the gent cut through" or simply a figure known as…

Vermont square dance festival - children

These are photographs of school groups participating in the big square dance festivals held in Vermont in the 1950s in Northfield and Montpelier.

Ralph Piper - Teaching the Waltz, 1953

This is a handout by caller Ralph Piper for use at a class during the American Squares week at Camp Ihduhapi, MN, in 1953. He provides a brief description of different styles of waltz, then outlines in detail the steps he suggests using to teach the waltz.

Brussels World's Fair - 1958

This article describes the square dance presence at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels.

Vermont Country Dance Festival - 1953

Program from a 1953 Vermont dance festival, whose avowqed purpose was "To strengthen Vermont's heritage of square and contra dances and to bring together country dance enthusiasts from every section of the state for a wonderful time." The program, which was sponsored by the State Recreation Office. As years went by, the event was attended by huge…

What's New in SD? (1955)

This 1955 article takes a brief look at some figures that were considered new at the time. Among them: Pass Through, Allemande Thar, Dopaso, Box the Gnat, Rollaway, and Throw in the Clutch.

The Caller - Jonesy

A list of qualifications and items to consider for would-be square dance callers

Aqua Barn

Article describing Seattle's Aqua Barn, a floating dance hall. The hall was created by Jack Riley, who obituary can be found here.

Daisy Alamo patter - Robby Robertson

This is a live recording of Robby Robertson teaching a "Daisy Alamo" combination of a Daisy Chain and an Alamo Style progression, followed by calling a dance with those figures. (The dance itself starts at 1:23.) The recording was made by Eric Clamons at the Fifth Annual (1956) Minnesota Square Dance Convention.Robertson was a prominent caller on…

Patter - Clarence Haller

This is the last dance of an evening program hosted by Clarence Haller in Evansville, Indiana. Haller calls a succession of traditional figures including Cut Off Six, Arkansas Traveler, and Take a Little Peek.

Patter Call - Bruce Johnson

This is a short clip from a dance called by Bruce Johnson in 1957. The figure is the Right Lady High, Left Lady Under routine that was very common at that time.

False Hearted Girl - Les Gotcher

This is a short clip from a dance called by Les Gotcher in the mid 1959 at the Newton Pavilion in Newton, New Hampshire. The record is probably Kalox #1004

Patter - Les Gotcher

This is a short clip of patter calling from a dance called by Les Gotcher in 1959. The dance was held at the Newton Pavillion in Newton, NH

Birdie in the Cage - Al Brundage

This is a short clip from a dance called by Al Brundage in 1952.

Ends Turn In - Ed Gilmore

Ed Gilmore's composition, Ends Turn In, is one of the most common items found in this website, called by modern square dance callers as well as by those who favor traditional squares. Here's the author himself calling it once through; in this recording, the dance was #7 in a collection aimed at beginners.The directions come from Sets in Order,…

Les Gotcher - two live calls, 1955

From a dance that Les Gotcher called, probably in 1955, we have an example of a very early Hash & Breaks style of calling that was to become his trademark in future years. In those later years Gotcher was known to use singing calls sparingly but that 1955 dance shows him singing "Home in San Antone." The audio clip here starts with some of the…

Your Home Town - Fenton "Jonesy" Jones

A rare live recording of Jonesy calling, this time a singing square.