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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,…

Riverside-Sendai: intercontinental square dance partners

Square dancers in Sendai C "ity, Japan (with caller Mac Ojima) and in Riverside, California (with caller Paul Moore), both dancing to each other's callers, an intercontinental square dance made possible by a satellite link (1:15).We have included most of the introductory remarks, from the Japanese broadcast.03:00 Mac Ojima calls patter05:10…

Bow to your Partner: 23rd National Square Dance Convention

Film of the 23rd National Square Dance Convention, held in San Antonio, TX, in 1974. Related ITems link to footage of other National Conventions in 1959, 1961, 1970, and 1976.01:30 square dancers and callers from Japan03:45 For Once in My Life, singing call06:05 interview with caller Masaru Wada from Tokyo07:11 Herb Egender speaking about square…

Servel Square Dance Club

The Servel Square Dance Club of Evansville, Indiana was formed by employees of the Servel plant, which made refrigerators before and after World War II. In this photo are square dancers, caller Clarence Haller, and the four-piece square dance band. This picture was taken at the Evansville Coliseum in 1950 or 1951.

Santa Monica 1950 - World's Largest Square Dance

At the time, it was the world's largest square dance event. Santa Monica, California, was celebrating its Diamond Jubilee in square dance style. Lloyd Shaw was invited to be the Grand Marshall of the the parade and he acted as MC for the dance, along with Bob Osgood, on July 13, 1950. Dancing lasted for four hours, and some 30,000 people watched as…

Santa Monica 1950 - program

The program was announced ahead of time in Sets in Order magazine, and it's an excellent list of common dances and prominent callers of that era. At the dance itself, a round dance was inserted after every three squares.

Santa Monica 1950 - Sets in Order

Bob Osgood was editor and publisher of Sets in Order; he was also one of the prime organizers of the Santa Monica event. Here is his magazine's story about the dance.

Description of a Quadrille, 1870, West Virginia

Satirical description of a quadrille, from a West Virginia newspaper; no mention is made of a caller

Masaru Wada - 2010 Milestone Award

Text of the CALLERLAB Milestone award presented to caller Masaru Wada of Japan, as well as the speech made by Mike Seastrom in presenting the award. Seastrom acknowledged, "While there are other fine leaders who have spread the joy of the square dance activity and helped it grow in Japan," Masaru Wada stands above the rest.