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Bud Udick - Hash #1

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Bud Udick - Hash #1

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Take a Little Peek, Two Gents Swing, Dive for the Oyster


This 1949 audio clip features Bud Udick calling with "Cactus" Tait's Orchestra, recorded live "at the regular weekly square dances at the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel" in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A set of five ten-inch 78rpm recordings with Udick calling was released by Pikes Peak Records as Bar-Nothin' Squares, "an album of real Western square dances." It is one of the recordings included in the Phonograph Records section of Lloyd Shaw's Cowboy Dances book. (Trivia note: Bud Udick's younger brother, Bob, was one of Lloyd Shaw's Cheyenne Mountain Dancers who performed in Washington, DC, in 1939, the first East Coast trip made by the group. See another item in our collection for more about that.)

The audio clip here was digitized and cleaned by Don Ward, who features many such gems on his Podbean site. Musicians are Thornton Tait, Ethel Tait, Grant Sinton, and Ben Chichester.

Udick starts off with his characteristic shout, "Turn 'em loose!" and after opening figures launches into Take a Little Peek. Partway through the dance he changes the calls to a series of elbow swings (men, opposite, men, partner) and then finishes up with Dive for the Oyster. The recording includes the sound of very happy dancers in the background.

As the lead couple moves on to its third set of neighbors, Udick calls for the first neighbors to follow up, so that there are two groups of four dancing at the same time. This provides more dancing for everyone, instead of two couples watching while two others dance.

This is, as far as we know, the earliest commercial recording made at a live dance. There are a few other field recordings from the 1930s and early 1940s, such as those made by John Lomax and Alan Lomax, in the collection of the Library of Congress. Library of Congress release, Play and Dance Songs and Tunes, AFS L9

Detailed comments by Jim Mayo:
This audio track confirms the observations in Bill Litchman's article saying that the change of the dance routine during the dance was a common practice in the southwest even before that became part of the MWSD style of square dance. Each of the dance routines was a familiar part of the visiting couple structure but here three different routines are incorporated into a single tip.

One other variation is the follow up of the inactive couple as the leading couple moves on to visit with the next. The visiting couple form of square dance was not common in MWSD even in the earliest days. There was a strong effort to keep all the dancers involved as much as possible and the usual visiting couple style left two couples inactive throughout the dance. This follow-on approach was, I believe, an early step toward accomplishing that goal with the visiting couple action.

The calls of this dance are written out here to describe in detail the action of the dance.

Opening: All swing, Allemande Left, Promenade

First figures: 1st couple out to right, around that couple take a little peek
Back to center swing your sweet, around them peek once more
Back to center swing all four, then four hands up and circle four
Break that ring with a docey-doe

On to the next and repeat the action above through the docey-doe
On to the next (#4) and repeat – 2nd couple follow (doing same with couple #3)

Couple #2 then goes on to #4 changing the routine to "I'll swing your girl, you swing mine, then you swing your girl, I'll swing mine," which is then followed by the circle to a docey-doe.

Couple #2 then goes to #1 repeating the opposite swing action and #3 goes to #4 for the same.

#2 is now done and #3 goes to #1 for another change in the routine to:

Two gents elbow swing, then opposite elbow swing, then back to the two gents elbow swing, then on to partner elbow swing to end with the circle to a docey-doe.

Couple #3 now goes on to repeat the elbow swing action with #2 while couple #4 goes to #1 doing the same thing

When #4 goes on to #2 the action changes again to "Duck for the oyster, dive for the clam," and again ends with the docey-doe.

#4 then goes to #3 to repeat the Duck for the oyster routine.

At this point the caller says "first couple finish up" by which I believe he means as couple #4 moves to #3 the first couple should go to #2 with both doing the Duck for the oyster routine.

The dance ends with everybody swing, Allemande Left & Promenade off the floor.



Don Ward

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This Item is related to Item: Bud Udick - Hash #2
Item: Bar Nothin' Squares - record ad is related to This Item