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Items from "MWSD": 379

Herb Greggerson - newspaper, 1951

Newspaper account of Herb Greggerson's appearance in Milwaukee, including his response to the question of how does a square dance caller get to the top of his profession.

Some Practical Considerations

This short essay was part of Square and Round Dance, Calls and Explanations, a bookled created by MacGregor Records and distributed along with some of the albums of square dance recordings. We've been unable to find an exact date for it, but guess that it is from c. 1950."...We are prompted, on the basis of some unpleasant experiences, to suggest…

International Square and Round Dance Convention

The International Square and Round Dance Convention is a unique cooperative event. 2014 was the 54th and last year that this convention was put on by callers and dancers from the plains states and provinces of the U.S. and Canada. It grew out of the Atlantic Convention that was started in New England in 1955. The Atlantic Convention moved after the…

Today's Whirling Confuses Old-Time Square Dancers

This 1957 newspaper story from central Massachusetts describes a dance culture in transition, as traditional New England square dancing was meeting up with -- and in some cases being replaced by-- the new modern Western style.

A Brief History of "Hash"

This is a chapter from Instant Hash that appeared in American Squares magazine. Litman and Holden define hash as "a mixture of figures which come one after another so quickly that often there is no real figure pattern but merely one movement on top of another," and go on to describe several kinds of hash. They trace different regional styles of…

Learn Square Dancing - Ed Gilmore

This is a track from Ed Gilmore's instructional square dance LP, "Learn Square Dancing," released on Decca in 1956. The album included instructional segments such as this with short practice pieces set to music, as well as four full called dances. The record came with an 8 page booklet, with liner notes by Chuck Jones. A search for "instruction"…

Settin' the Woods on Fire - Bob Ruff

Borrowing the tune from the popular Hank Williams song of 1952, this excerpt features caller Bob Ruff with music by the Buckboard Busters on the Sets in Order label. The "lady 'round two and the gent around one" figure also appears in southern Appalachian mountain square dance as "lady round two and the gent cut through" or simply a figure known as…

I Only Want a Buddy - Herbie Gaudreau

Singing square, I Only Want a Buddy Not a Gal, by Massachusetts caller Herbie Gaudreau

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry - Herbie Gaudreau

Classic singing square, here in a live recording (1960s?) with caller Herbie Gaudreau. Today's contra callers probably know Gaudreau better than do contemporary square dance callers; his Becket Reel is the source for today's "Becket formation" in contras, with long lines of couples, each facing another couple across the set. Tony Parkes comments:…

Ralph Piper - Teaching the Waltz, 1953

This is a handout by caller Ralph Piper for use at a class during the American Squares week at Camp Ihduhapi, MN, in 1953. He provides a brief description of different styles of waltz, then outlines in detail the steps he suggests using to teach the waltz.

Brussels World's Fair - 1958

This article describes the square dance presence at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels.

CALLERLAB audiotapes

CALLERLAB is making available audiotapes that were recorded at their Convention educational sessions. These recordings include a valuable collection of information and educational material. Over the years, there have been hundreds of such sessions. The original tapes were recorded at CALLERLAB Conventions from 1981 on.

What's New in SD? (1955)

This 1955 article takes a brief look at some figures that were considered new at the time. Among them: Pass Through, Allemande Thar, Dopaso, Box the Gnat, Rollaway, and Throw in the Clutch.

A Square Dance Pioneer: Jimmy Clossin

This summary of an interview with Jimmy Clossin by Miriam Gray appeared in 1960. More than 50 years later, it is impressive the ways in which he anticipated the challenges facing the square dance movement. This excerpt provides a taste of Clossin's views:

"Mr. Clossin stated that recent activities in square dance have created confusion and have…

Square Dancing Standard and Experimental Guidelines

A flood of new calls in the early 1970s led a group called Square Dance Systems to publish a catalogue of calls, an attempt to bring order to an increasingly-complex universe of new figures. Square Dance Systems was Lester Keddy, Arthur Ballard, and John Hendron. This effort came before the establishment of CALLERLAB. In this item, we include the…

New Call Problems in the Mid 1970s

This is an excerpt from the book Step by Step Through Modern Square Dance History by Jim Mayo. It describes the situation that had been created by a flood of new calls in the mid 1970’s. Related items illustrate a set of early attempts by Square Dance Systems to create an organized catalogue of calls.

Red Bates, 2011 City of New Orleans

The 2011 singing call is the same one that he used in 2006, City of New Orleans, Rhythm record #182. The record, as Wade Driver called it, used a CALLERLAB Mainstream Program routine. As we noted in the 2006 clip, Red used three different routines. Both Red and I (Jim Mayo) were surprised to learn that here, five years later, he used the same three…

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Red Bates, 2011 - Patter

The 2011 patter call is probably from a group in Florida where Red now lives in the winter. Two things are notable. One is that he is using a much smaller vocabulary of calls than he has in the tips from earlier years. The other is that the music is a singing call record. (I Shall Not Be Moved". Quadrille # 910) Many callers who are comfortable…

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Red Bates, 2006 City Of New Orleans

The 2006 singing call, City of New Orleans, was probably to the Rhythm record #182 originally by Wade Driver with a Mainstream Program figure. By using three different figures in the dance rather than just one repeated four times, Red’s calling again shows the change in singing call delivery that by then was very common for many callers.

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Red Bates, 2006 Patter

The 2006 patter call shows Red’s usual programming using 11 of the PLUS Program calls in this one tip. The tempo had increased slightly to 123 bpm. His delivery style is conversational with somewhat less melodic variation than his early calling.

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