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Items from "Northern squares": 281

Westchester's Famous Square Dance Expert

Article describing Elisha Keeler's approach to calling squares

Square Dance Tonight - with Elisha Keeler

This 1949 film features caller Elisha Keeler of South Salem, NY. Keeler was featured in The New Yorker in a brief "Talk of the Town" piece in 1949 and then was given a lengthy profile (some 5,000 words) in The New Yorker (February 9, 1957). That portrait apparently inspired choreographer George Balanchine to create his ballet "Square Dance," and…

Don Messer - souvenir booklet

The Don Messer Jubilee Show toured extensively, bring Down East music, song, and dance to audiences throughout the US and Canada. Messer was well known thanks to his weekly television show broadcast and three-times-a-week tadio broadcasts.

The short biography below came with his Messer's induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in…

On the Road to Boston - Don Messer

The dances on the Don Messer show were choreographed by Gunter Buchta; he created two new dances each week for the show.

Maple Sugar - Don Messer and His Islanders

No calls, just a choreographed routine from Messer's popular television show; The dances on the Don Messer show were choreographed by Gunter Buchta; he created two new dances each week for the show.

Two related items show other choreography set to the same well-known tune.

Uptown – Downtown (Golden Slippers) - Ed Durlacher

Classic square dance figure, Uptown Downtown, done as a singing square to Golden Slippers by caller Ed Durlacher; music provided by The Top Hands, directed by Frank Novak. One of the Related Items is a newsreel with Durlacher calling this very dance in Central Park, New York. More detailed information about this recording, part of a collection,…

Let's Square Dance! - instruction booklet - Richard Kraus

This a sample instruction booklet from Album 3 in the "Let's Square Dance!" series, aimed at ages 12-14, Grades 7-8.

The Basket - Ed Durlacher

Honor Your Partner was a series of rhythmic activities and dance albums, more than 20 in all, released by Ed Durlacher starting in 1949 and extending into the 1950s. This is the final dance on album 3; the dance introduces a basket figure for two, three, and four couples.

Push Her Away - Ed Durlacher

Honor Your Partner was a series of rhythmic activities and dance albums, more than 20 in all, released by Ed Durlacher starting in 1949 and extending into the 1950s. This dance is the final one in Album 2 of the series; it introduces the balance and has all gents active at the same time.

Around the Outside - Ed Durlacher

Honor Your Partner was a series of rhythmic activities and dance albums, more than 20 in all, released by Ed Durlacher starting in 1949 and extending into the 1950s. This dance is from Album 1, the first dance in the series with partner changes.

Honor Your Partner - Ed Durlacher

Honor Your Partner was a series of rhythmic activities and dance albums, more than 20 in all, released by Ed Durlacher starting in 1949 and extending into the 1950s. This item shows a sample cover, a listing of the square dance albums, and the back liner notes from the first three square dance albums.

Susanna (instruction) - Ed Durlacher

This is the very first dance on the first disk of Ed Durlacher's Honor Your Partner series, an extensive collection of dance and rhythmic music albums that were widely-used in schools. Here, Durlacher introduces a circle dance to teach the concept of partners, do-si-do, swing and promenade. Other albums in the series build to more complex dances.…

Duck for Oysters (clip) - Burns & Wheeler

"Duck for the Oyster, Dig for the Clams" is surely one of the most common traditional square dance figures. There are many examples of this dance on the SDHP website. Here it's "Duck for Oysters, Dig for Clams." This clip comes from a series of recordings aimed at elementary school age children. The set was arranged and recorded by Joseph V.…

Buffalo Girls - 1927

The recording is [Tommy} Dandurand and his Barn Dance Fiddlers, recorded in 1927, with caller Ed Goodreau. Dandurand was a fixture on the National Barn Dance on WLS radio in Chicago. For a detailed appreciation of this program, see fiddler Paul Tyler's post on his DrDosido blog.The dance follows a familiar pattern: First lady (and others on…

New England Fiddles

Caller William Chaisson calls the changes and Joe Cormier's fiddle leads the band in two quadrilles recorded at the French American Victory Club in Waltham, MA.

The link takes you to a streamed version of Bishop's entire film; you can start viewing at 23:40 to hear a little of the interview with Cornier and the lead into the dance sequence.

Just Because - Bob Dalsemer

Caller Bob Dalsemer and "Just Because," recorded 1990 in Oerbygaard, Denmark. This clip includes some of the walkthrough, with the dance itself starting at 00:58. The recording to which he is calling features musicians Steve Hickman, fiddle; Peter Barnes, piano, and Bill Tomczak, clarinet.

Polka Square - Ralph Page (clip)

This clip of Ralph Page calling Polka Square demonstrates his melodic style, part patter call and part singing. The musicians are Page's Boston Boys: George Gulyassy, fiddle; Bob Gulyassy, guitar; Phil Jamoulis, bass, joined here by Walter Erickson, accordion, and Walter Lob on fiddle.

The Rural Square Dance in the Northeastern United States: A Continuity of Tradition

This doctoral thesis in folklore is based on a study of square dances in New York state, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Especially interesting are the descriptions of traditional dances, based on the author's observation, and interviews with dancers, augmented with questionnaires.The author notes the difficulties of collecting information from…

Bob Aylward - related items

View full record for details.

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.