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Square Dancing Standard and Experimental Guidelines

A flood of new calls in the early 1970s led a group called Square Dance Systems to publish a catalogue of calls, an attempt to bring order to an increasingly-complex universe of new figures. Square Dance Systems was Lester Keddy, Arthur Ballard, and John Hendron. This effort came before the establishment of CALLERLAB. In this item, we include the…

New Call Problems in the Mid 1970s

This is an excerpt from the book Step by Step Through Modern Square Dance History by Jim Mayo. It describes the situation that had been created by a flood of new calls in the mid 1970’s. Related items illustrate a set of early attempts by Square Dance Systems to create an organized catalogue of calls.

Red Bates, 2011 City of New Orleans

The 2011 singing call is the same one that he used in 2006, City of New Orleans, Rhythm record #182. The record, as Wade Driver called it, used a CALLERLAB Mainstream Program routine. As we noted in the 2006 clip, Red used three different routines. Both Red and I (Jim Mayo) were surprised to learn that here, five years later, he used the same three…

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Red Bates, 2011 - Patter

The 2011 patter call is probably from a group in Florida where Red now lives in the winter. Two things are notable. One is that he is using a much smaller vocabulary of calls than he has in the tips from earlier years. The other is that the music is a singing call record. (I Shall Not Be Moved". Quadrille # 910) Many callers who are comfortable…

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Red Bates, 2006 City Of New Orleans

The 2006 singing call, City of New Orleans, was probably to the Rhythm record #182 originally by Wade Driver with a Mainstream Program figure. By using three different figures in the dance rather than just one repeated four times, Red’s calling again shows the change in singing call delivery that by then was very common for many callers.

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Red Bates, 2006 Patter

The 2006 patter call shows Red’s usual programming using 11 of the PLUS Program calls in this one tip. The tempo had increased slightly to 123 bpm. His delivery style is conversational with somewhat less melodic variation than his early calling.

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Red Bates, 1990 From A Jack To A King

In the singing call Red uses the Introduction/Break/Closer as it was recorded on the Red Boot Star label #1320 by Bill Anderson and continues the practice, now very common among MWSD callers, of using four different routines for the figure. The tempo is still quite slow at 118 bpm.

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Red Bates, 1990 Patter

The 1990 dance was again for the Longmeadow club. The most striking thing to notice is the much slower tempo. In 1980 Red’s tempo for the opening patter call was 128 beats per minute (bpm). By 1990 he (and several others) had slowed the tempo considerably. In this tip the tempo is 116 bpm which is less, even, than he usually used at that time.

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Red Bates, 1982 Pecos Promenade

The singing call, Pecos Promenade, was recorded by Beryl Main on Chaparral label #406. At 120 beats per minute (bpm) it is the first indication in this collection of a trend toward slower tempo that was to become much more common. The singing call also shows a programming style that was becoming very common at that time. Red uses three different…

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Red Bates, 1982 Patter

The examples we have for the 1980’s also were recorded at the Longmeadow club and this was the opening patter call for a dance on February 16, 1982. The choreography is very different from his earlier dances. In the first minute and a half he uses 20 different calls! In the interval between 1973 and this dance, CALLERLAB had been formed and the…

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Pussy Cat -Red Bates - 1973

The 1973 singing call, Pussy Cat, Windsor Records #4173, was recorded by Bruce Johnson; it is one that became a Red Bates trademark. The figure was difficult in a unique way. The challenge was the partner change that followed an unusual placement of the Allemande Left. It became a game between the dancers and Red to see if they could make it…

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Red Bates, 1973 Patter

Our 1973 clip is from a dance at the Longmeadow, MA, square dance club a short distance from where Red lived at that time. He starts with a Scoot Back and Circulate combination and in the second half of the tip does a variety of line sequences that have the dancers changing facing direction a lot with little movement around the square. The call Tag…

Gentle On My Mind, Red Bates, 1968

In the 1968 singing call, Gentle On My Mind, the interesting and unusual figure was called by Red just as it was recorded on the Wagon Wheel label #113 by Don Franklin

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Red Bates 1968 Patter

The next clips we have are from another dance at Newton Pavilion seven years later. By then the calls Swing Thru and Spin the Top had been added to the call vocabulary and Red makes use of both in this tip. All of the calls in this tip would be included on the Mainstream List seven years later when it was established by CALLERLAB.

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Patter - Al Brundage, 1962

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Patter Calling - Bill Peters

This is a short clip of Bill Peters calling patter at a dance in Adelaide, Australia in 1986.

Patter Calling - Frank Lane

This is a short clip from a dance called in 1969 by Frank Lane at the Newton Pavillion in Newton, New Hampshire

Patter Call - Dick Jones

This is a short clip of Dick Jones calling a patter call at a dance in 1970 at the Bay Path Barn in Boylston, Massachusetts

Patter Call - Earl Johnston

This is a short clip from a dance called by Earl Johnston in 1970 at the Bay Path Barn in Boylston, MA

Me and My Shadow - Bruce Johnson

This is a short clip taken from a recding by Bruce Johnson on Windsor Records. The tune is Me and My Shadow and the record is Windsor # W4828