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Jim Mayo's 40th - Hash

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Jim Mayo's 40th - Hash


Caller, Earl Johnston, a member of the first CALLERLAB Board of Governors. Johnston was from Vernon, CT, and was a disciple of Al Brundage. This footage was taken by Bill Cross on October 1, 1989, at the party hosted by Jim and JoAnn Mayo to celebrate Jim's 40th anniversary as a square dance caller. It's a fine example of good timing in modern square dancing with dancers in continuous motion, using the Mainstream program.

Earl's comment to Jim after watching this video is interesting:

"(It) reminded me of the time I first heard that timing was involved with calling. I was calling at Eastabrooks Barn in West Woodstock CT with Ernie Rocks orchestra. This might have been in 1948 or '49. That would tell me that I had been calling for 5 or 6 years. It was Eastern Style and almost all singing calls. Anyway I called something like "Chain the ladies over and Chain the ladies back" just that way. I have no idea what the song was but that was how I learned it. When the calls were over a lady came up to the stage and informed me in no uncertain terms that, "If you call chain the ladies over it takes 8 steps and it also takes 8 steps for them to chain back. SO give me time to do it." I think I went to the library and looked it up somehow and learned that what she said was right. After her lecture I began somewhere along the line to understand that using the meter of the music seemed to fit the music and calls together. Using music meter is the secret for timing most calls. Often times the figure and the timing work out and other times it is important to keep quiet for a couple of beats to let the dancer catch up to the meter. This makes sense to me tho' I don't remember anyone ever explaining it to me. In my mind I thought that Flippo was a master at metering his calls to the music. It is amazing the memories you keep stirring up with your messages."

Earl Johnston can also be seen introducing modern square dance to a new couple and he can be heard on this audio recording.

Date Created

October 1, 1989

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Item: Earl Johnston - Patter, 1962 is related to This Item
Item: Patter Call - Earl Johnston is related to This Item