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Ed Durlacher - Central Park, photos

Photographs documenting Ed Durlacher's series of dances in Central Park, New York City. These date from August, 1946.

Square Dance festival programs

This collection of more than two dozen festival programs from the 1940s until early 1960s gives a good sense of what material was being called as well as names of featured callers.

In chronological order, the festival programs in this collection are:
Texas, 1948
Albuquerque, 1949
Minnesota, Winona, 1949
Minnesota, Winona,…

Polly Wolly Doodle (clip) - Gene Gowing

This dance uses the familiar children's song as the basis for a singing square. It's unclear whether caller Gene Gowing is singing the song at the beginning; the quality of the voice certainly differs from Gowing's delivery of the calls.

Dance magazine publishers - photos

This photograph appeared in the October, 1950, issue of Sets in Order. It shows a gathering of prominent dance leaders at the folk dance camp at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA; each man was the publisher of a magazine that looked at different aspects of folk dance. Shown, left to right, are Ralph Page (Northern Junket), Herb Greggerson…

Uncle Steve's Quadrille (recording)

The first audo file contains instructions for the dance; it is followed by two music files with calls for the first and second figures.Detailed information about this dance, as published in Elizabeth Burchenal'sFolk-Dances from Old Homelands (1922) can be found here; information about the recording, Victor 35739, can be found here. Victor…

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…

American Squares Summer School, 3 (photos)

A series of photographs taken at an American Squares summer camp session, plus one postcard

American Squares Summer School, 2

More material from the American Squares summer camps:
• A report on the 1950 camps
• A roster of participants from the 1950 Minnesota camp
• Diploma awarded to a camper

American Squares Summer School, 1

American Squares magazine sponsored a series of summer dance camps for eager square dancers. Faculty included Jimmy Clossin, Ralph Piper, Charley Thomas, Fred and Mary Collette, and Luke Lukaszewski.Items in this collection include:• Brochures advertising camps for 1950 and 1953• An ad for the camps, from the magazine (1952)See additional…

Jimmy Clossin - record album

Cover and label of instrumental album produced by Jimmy Clossin

Jimmy Clossin, producer - square dance instrumental music

Although he never recorded albums featuring his calling, Jimmy Clossin did produce recordings of instrumental music. These clips come from Square Dances without Calls (1940), with music by the Blue Bonnet Playboys. The first clip is Ragtime Annie; the second one is billed as Two Step and Waltz Circle Mixer, a combination of Down Yonder alternating…

Jimmy Clossin - photos

A collection of photos showing Jimmy Clossin at Camp Ihduhapi, Loretto, Minnesota, August 27 - September 4, 1950. Other instructors at the camp, which was sponsored by American Squares magazine, were Charley Thomas, Ralph Piper, and Fred and Mary Collette.

Jimmy Clossin - card, biography, flyer, letter, news story

Jimmy Clossin was an influential Texas caller who unfortunately never recorded commercially. (This Square Dance History Site would dearly love to post clips from live recordings—please contact us if you know of any.) Shown here are several items: • his business card • a letter in which he outlines his terms to call for a club…

Paul Phillips - photographs

The first photo is a portrait. The second photo shows Paul Phillips at the microphone. In the third photo, it looks as though he is one of the dancers; note the similarity of the shiny dark shirt. The final picture shows him painting.

Paul Phillips - record album

This is the record album and label for "If You Knew Susie" by Paul Phillips.

If You Knew Susie (clip) - Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips was a popular Oklahoma square dance caller. This clip presents the introduction and the first time through the figure. Phillips calls the figure twice for head gents, twice for side gents, and then finishes with a break that is a variation of the opener. There are at least half a dozen square dance recordings of this tune with…

Gene Gowing - album & label

Album jacket and record label for Gene Gowing recording

Crooked Stovepipe (clip) - Gene Gowing

This is the start of Gene Gowing's recording of a classic New England singing square. Gowing half sings, half chants the figures, in somewhat the same manner-- though less melodiously-- as his sometimes colleague Ralph Page. This site contains other examples of the dance as audio clips and in moving images.

Gene Gowing - photo

Gowing was a contemporary of Ralph Page. Unlike Page, who stayed in the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire where both men grew up, Gowing spent time in Hollywood and attempted to bring traditional square and contra dance to sophisticated audiences in New York and Florida. More information is in the Gene Gowing Collection at the…