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Visit with the Legends, 2011

Each year's CALLERLAB convention includes a History / Heritage / Tradition session. For several years, this has been titled "Visit with the Legends," at which MWSD callers with long history share stories from their careers.

Jerry Junck, moderator
Cal Golden
Frank Lane
Marshall Flippo
Jon Jones

Visit with the Legends, 2012

Each year's CALLERLAB convention includes a History / Heritage / Tradition session. For several years, this has been titled "Visit with the Legends," at which MWSD callers with long history share stories from their careers.

Jerry Junck, moderator
Bob Brundage
Jerry Helt
Melton Luttrell
Marshall Flippo

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…

Reviving Old Time Dances (article, Detroit, 1926)

Short journal article describing program sponsored by the Recreation Department of Detroit, with "Mr. Ford's dancing instructor [Benjamin Lovett]. "The dances are being enthusiasticaly received and mixed parties featuring them are held at least once a month in all the women's classes. The dances used include: the Badget Gavotte, Seaside Polka, Heel…

The Barn Dance Returns! (1937 article)

Article in Recreation magazine giving detailed directions for holding a barn dance:

"There is joy and laughter, rollicking rhythm, sociability and informality in barn and country dancing which is largely lacking in the more sophisticated social dances of today. Perhaps that is why the barn dance is returning. Once young people-and the…

Asilomar 1953 - Sets in Order Summer Institute

Note: Several of these files are large and will take longer to load.The first three files are part of the binder presented to participants at the 6th annual Sets in Order Institute held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA, in 1953. The staff included Bob Osgood, Joe Lewis, Ralph Maxhimer & Fenton "Jonesy" Jones. (The last file…

Terpsichore In The Flat Creek Quarters, Pea Ridge

Pencil drawing showing a dance with African-American musicians and dancers with the following manuscript poem below: ‘Listen when I call de figgers! Watch de music es ye go! Chassay forrard! (Now look at ‘em! some too fas’ & some too slow!) Step but when I gibs de order; keep up eben wid de line; Whats got in dem lazy niggers?…

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.

Fiddling to Henry Ford - Literary Digest, 1926

Henry Ford attracted considerable attention when he showcased the dance fiddling of Mellie Dunham, from Maine. This lengthy contemporary account describes that relationship in detail.

"Mr. Ford aspires to revive the dances of our granddaddies, with all their innocent, neighborly cavorting, and he is going about it in the methodical, wholesale…

Henry Ford Shakes a Wicked Hoof - Literary Digest, 1925

Contemporary account of Henry Ford's interest in reviving older dances.

Jubilee U.S.A. square dancers, 1 - Ozark

This clip features Sides Divide while head couples circle in the center of the ring and do a doceydo. The tempo is fast-- 164 beats per minute-- but #3 in this series is even faster!

The Ozark Jubilee and its successor (starting in 1958) Jubilee U.S.A. broadcast from Springfield, Missouri, and always featured a square dance segment as well as…

Jubilee U.S.A. square dancers, 2 - Ozark

Early on, this clip features Ladies Star while gents promenade, then allemande left and Gents Star while ladies promenade. Later, the dancers move into lines of three dancers at the sides with long gents at the heads, but instead of doing a simple Right Hand High and Left Hand Low, the sides do a Triple Duck (1:06) figure to send ladies to the head…

Jubilee U.S.A. square dancers, 3 - Ozark

This clip features a straightforward Right Hand High and Left Hand Low, but done at a dizzying tempo-- 172 beats per minute!

Hilton Kelly, Catskill fiddler and caller

Hilton Kelly, of Fleischmanns, New York, is a Catskills fiddler and square dance caller. He started playing in 1932, at age 5, and started calling in 1937. By the time he was 15, he had a regular band and was playing regularly at house parties, schools, and public events throughout the region. In 1953, Kelly says he was doing 6 or 7 dances a week,…

Square Dancers from Ava, Missouri, 1989

These two clips show dancers from the Missouri Ozarks with the characteristic jig stepping of that region.The first clip features Edna Davis as caller.In the second clip, Steve Hall isaccompanied by Kenny Applebee of Rush Hill and Nolan Sutton of Salem. They are playing Liberty and Ragtime Annie for square dancers from Ava and Rolla.

10th National Square Dance Convention - Detroit, 1961

Two television stories about the 10th Annual National Square Dance Convention, Cobo Hall, Detroit, recorded June 30, 1961. The reporter in both programs is Shelby Newhouse.The first is a half-hour broadcast, probably aired on local television. The second is shorter, and was aired nationally as part of the Today show, where host Edwin Newman gives…

God Bless America - CALLERLAB chairmen, 2009

In 2009 the CALLERLAB Convention in Kansas City included a dance following the Banquet called by all the past chairmen of CALLERLAB who were in attendance that year. This recording is the final singing call at that dance and included each of the participating callers joined in calling to the Gold Star record #712, God Bless America.

It was…

Timing - a vital issue

This is a collection of six articles on the subject of timing, specifically the timing of the caller in delivering a series of figures for modern square dancers. The topic was a contentious one among leaders in the modern square dance community. Articles here come from The American Dance Circle, quarterly publication of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation;…

"Fun People" - 19th National Square Dance Convention, Louisville, 1970

Documentary about the 19th annual National Square Dance Convention, held in Louisville, KY. Produced by the Kentuckiana association of square dance clubs.

00:00 Summer Sounds, singing square
01:00 announcer, brief history
05:00 announcer Joe Hamilton interviews Vaughan Parrish
12:17 fashion show
13:00 teen demo: Shooting Stars,…