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El Paso Star - Bill McGrath

Bill McGrath was one of the leading callers in Australia, a self-taught patter caller based in Melbourne.

Patter Calling - Bill Peters

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

Bill Peters & Jim Mayo - Australia, 1986

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Southern Dancer (Memphis)

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Feature Square Dancer - Nebraska, 1956

These are excerpts from two early issues (Vol. 1, #1 and #4, both 1956) of the Feature Square Dancer, a newspaper published by Bill Shilling, brother of Colorado caller Marvin Shilling. To see similar publications, browse the Square Dance magazines collection.Some of the articles, notably those in a single column, will appear distorted when viewed…

Bill Shymkus

This is a short clip of a tip called by Bill Shymkus at the 3rd National Square Dance Convention in Dallas , Texas. The choreography is the goal post pattern that was very common at that time.

Chicken Plucker - choreographic innovation

The Chicken Plucker routine created by Bill Shymkus appeared in the October 1957 issue of Sets in Order; the same issue contained ads for the new record release by Lee Helsel. This routine is considered by caller and historian Jim Mayo as "a very substantial change in the choreography of square dancing." His lengthy article, originally written in…

West Coast Blues - Blind Blake

There were hundreds of 78 rpm records with dance calls released in the 1920s and 1930s; this clip from Blind Blake's "West Coast Blues" is one example. Other African Americans callers who appear on 78s are Sam Jones, who recorded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1924 (Billed as Stovepipe No. 1), Jim Baxter, an African American Cherokee guitar player from…

Bob Aylward - caller biography

This is an excerpt from an unpublished memoir by Robert Aylward, who called square dances in the Boston area, starting in the 1930s. It's a detailed portrait of the evolution of a caller.

Bob Aylward - related items

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Santa Monica 1950 - interview with Bob Osgood

As part of his extensive series of interviews with notable figures in the square dance world, Bob Brundage conducted a lengthy interview with Bob Osgood. Included here is the part of that discussion that dealt with the Santa Monica event. (It has been slightly reformatted by inserting paragraph breaks to improve readibility.) Brundage's…

Pigtails and Ribbons - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls (and plays accordion) on this singing square, which he learned from callers Otto Wood and Donald Davis, at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Otto's source was probably a recording by California caller Bruce Johnson and the Sundowners Band (Windsor 4839). This clip includes a walkthrough.

Wrong Way Thar - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls this figure, which he adapted from Milly Riley's self-published book Western Square Dancing based on Dorothy Shaw's syllabi of the Lloyd Shaw Dance Fellowship, 1955-1970. The original dance (p. 154) is entitled "Arky Stuff." It features both a regular Allemande Thar figure and "wrong way" Thar. This clip includes a walkthrough.

Duck and Dive - Bob Dalsemer - Maryland Line 7

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the distinctive style of promenade, a one-step around the square that was typical of Maryland Line dances.

At Maryland Line, Duck and Dive was always…

Golden Slippers - Bob Dalsemer

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the distinctive style of promenade, a one-step around the square that was typical of Maryland Line dances.

This session was recorded on November 19,…

Cindy - Bob Dalsemer

Cindy is a singing call as called by Maryland Line caller Jake Jacoby in the mid-1970's. The tune seems to be an amalgam of Cindy and Oh Susannah.

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the…

Duck for the Oyster - Bob Dalsemer - Maryland Line 5

This is what might be termed a semi-singing square. Maryland Line caller Jake Jacoby always called Duck for the Oyster to the tune Little Brown Jug (as played by The Sawmill Boys). Note the Georgia Rang Tang/Southern Do-si-do type figure following the main figure and the progression which keeps this visiting couple figure faster moving than…

Paul Jones - Bob Dalsemer - Maryland Line 1

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the distinctive style of promenade, a one-step around the square that was typical of Maryland Line dances.

The Paul Jones is a traditional dance mixer,…

When the Work's All Done - Bob Dalsemer

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in northern Maryland that he visited often in the 1970s. Attentive viewers will note the distinctive style of promenade, a one-step around the square that was typical of Maryland Line dances.

This session was recorded on November 19,…

Grand Square - Bob Dalsemer - Maryland Line 6

Grand Square was always danced at Maryland Line to one part of the polka tune Bye, Bye My Baby. The late Bob Osgood, publisher of Sets in Order magazine, recorded "Grand Square Quadrille" to a more complete version of the same tune.

At the Dare To Be Square dance weekend, Bob Dalsemer led a workshop on "Dances of Maryland Line," a small town in…