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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…

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, 3 (photos)

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

Alabama Jubilee (clip) - Joe Lewis

Alabama Jubilee was a smash hit for Joe Lewis, and the dance was also recorded by a dozen other callers. This clip illustrates one time through the figure along with a lengthy set of closing calls. This dance is used as the introduction to a film clip showing Lewis's triumphal dance trip to Australia in 1952.

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.

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…

Ed Durlacher - Central Park, photos

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

Forward Eight and Chain Around (clip) - Les Gotcher

The main figure of this dance involves ladies chaining across and along a line, mixed in with grand chains. Unlike the visiting couple pattern of I'll Swing Yours, for example, in which just one couple initiates the action, here Les Gotcher has both head couples and then both side couples moving at the same time. The opening and middle break is the…

Gene Gowing - album & label

Album jacket and record label for Gene Gowing recording

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…

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.

I'll Swing Yours, You Swing Mine (clip) - Les Gotcher

In his prime as a modern square dance caller, Les Gotcher was known as the Hash Master. (For an example of Gotcher in full hash mode, listen to this live recording from 1958.) Here, in an earlier recording, he shows his comfort with traditional square dance figures, calling a visiting couple figure. Traditional callers may note that his calls are…

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…

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…

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 - 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…

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…

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.