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Saturday Night Square Dance - Jim Boyd, 1949

"Saturday Night Square Dance" was released in 1949 as a Soundie; the footage included here is all that we have been able to locate. (We would appreciate information from anyone having a complete copy of the film.)

Featured here are Jim Boyd and His Men of the West. Jom Boyd was the brother of Bill Boyd, well known for western swing music, and…

West Texas Square Dances - Index

This is the cover and index of the booklet published by Jimmy Clossin and Carl Hertzog, showing dances that were common to that region around 1950. The book offers a dictionary, "Around-the-Ring Dances," suqdrilles, and "Callers Chatter."

The title page announces that this is "A Revised and Enlarged Edition of "Honor Your Partner" The Original…

Lines About Squares - Western Square Dancing

In this article, part of his long-running column, the author looks at the typical programs of Western square dancing in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He discusses the different kinds of patter, mentioned the predominance of singing calls at this time, and looks in depth at Rickey Holden's "Star By the Right."

Cowboy Loop (clip) - Lee Bedford, jr.

This dance was called by Mildred Blakey at the big 1950 Santa Monica dance.

Square Dances With Calls - Lee Bedford, Jr.

In 1949, Texas caller Lee Bedford released on Imperial Records a four-album set of recordings with music provided by The Big D Ranch Hands. The liner notes, written by Paul Erfer, start by noting, "The interpretation of the figures described follows the style of square dancing as dances in some parts of Texas."Each record had a patter call on the A…

Square Dance Institute - Rickey Holden, 1950

Syllabus of a workshop led by Holden in Massachusetts in 1950, introducing Texas style square dancing to New England dancers. In addition to notes on figures and styling, this handout included directions for some sample Texas dances. From the introductory remarks:

"One of the most common misconceptions about Western square dancing is that all of…

Bar Nothin' Squares - record ad

This ad for Bar Nothin' Squares, the live album recorded with Bud Udick calling, proclaims proudly, "DON'T USE MONOTONOUS RECORDS WHERE ALL THE COUPLES DO THE SAME THING." It's an early indication of the direction that modern square dancing would go.

Four in Line You Travel - Rickey Holden

Caller Rickey Holden teaches the figure for "Four in line you travel," and then calls a square dance using that figure. The figure is described in detail in the notes for Ed Gilmore's Square Dance Callers Instruction Course, 1949. Recorded in 1999 in Denmark.

Pam McKeever - Cheyenne Mountain Dancers demo

Pam McKeever is the caller; the dancers are demonstrating a routine like that used by Lloyd Shaw's Cheyenne Mountain Dancers in the late 1930s and 1940s. You'll note a series of dramatic aerial figures that helped make the Cheyenne dancers such a sensation as they toured the country. The musicians are Brendan Doyle, banjo; Chris Romaine, fiddle;…

Teacup Chain - Bill Litchman

Caller Bill Litchman at a dance workshop in Belgium, May, 1991, teaching the Teacup Chain figure and using it in a series of dances. The figure is credited to Mrs. Pat Morrison Lewkowicz, Austin, Texas.

John and Mary Josy Bradford

John Bradford (age 13) and his sister Mary Jo (16), also known as Mary Josy to differentiate her from her mother, Mary Jo Bradford, went for the first time to Shaw's summer dance class in 1947, starting a lifelong passion for dance.

Reminiscences of Lloyd Shaw - Mary Jo Bradford

Mary Jo Bradford was a physical education teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when she encountered Lloyd Shaw and the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers in 1946. That summer, she traveled to Colorado Springs to study with Shaw, and the following summer she returned with her two teenage children.

Note: Mary Jo's daughter was also named Mary Jo and was often…

Foot 'n Fiddle – Marlys Waller recollections

Marlys Waller was one of the people involved in the Texas square dance activities of the late 1940s. With several colleagues, she helped found Foot 'n Fiddle, possibly the earliest of the square dance magazines in the U.S. (In later years, she became one of the authors of Dance A While, a large and well-known textbook on teaching different forms of…

Square and Couple Dances with Directions and Calls - Lloyd Shaw

This is a supplement to Cowboy Dances and Good Morning that was used in a 1947 summer session 1947 at the University of Colorado. "Most of these dances have been taken from the mimeographed material supplied by Lloyd Shaw during his 1945 summer class at the Cheyenne Mountain School, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Some of the variations described are…

Houston Square Dance History

Detailed history of the growth of square dancing in the Houston area in the years after World War II. It includes a summary of highlights from the area's annual square dance festival that started in 1949. The article can also be found here on the web. Excerpts from the beginning of the history: In the early 1940s, there were two small square dance…

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…

Texas Square Dances - Rickey Holden

This is a detailed description of three Texas squares, presented by Rickey Holden as an exhibition dance at the fourth annual New England Folk Festival, November 15–16, 1947. Holden based much of his material on Herb's Blue Bonnet Calls (Herb Greggerson, 1946).Holden had originally wanted to present three dances intact, as they are described…