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The Great American Folk Dance

The caller featured in many sequences is Bob Van Antwerp. This film was produced by KBYU, Provo, Utah, produced in cooperation with the Associated Square Dance Clubs of Utah. The original film had deteriorated in color fidelity; this is an attempt to do some rudimentary color correction.

Creative Commons license:…

Chicken Plucker - Lee Helsel

This is an excerpt of a 1957 recording (Sets in Order #1102) by Lee Helsel that was the first recording of the Chicken Plucker routine created by Bill Shymkus. The dance figures appeared in the October 1957 issue of Sets in Order; the same issue contained ads for the new record release. This routine has been cited by caller and historian Jim Mayo…

Captain Jinks / Divide the Ring - Leonard Hurst

Two clips from Colorado caller Leonard Hurst, who came to Australia in 1951 to do a series of radio broadcasts. He played an important role in spreading square dance to that area. More information about him is on p. 8 of the extensive series of articles here.The first dance, Captain Jinks, is a singing square; the second is patter.

Do Paso What (clip) - Les Gotcher

sample of Les Gotcher's calling style, in this case building a dance from a break sequence

Black Mountain 128

Les Gotcher - Square Dancin'

Published in 1950, the book contains directions to 100 dances, as well as photographs illustrating basic moves for beginners. Among those are Do-Ci-Do, Docey, Do-Sa-Do, and Do-Paso. (see the Contents page, included in this file) The book also has a section called "New Changes and New Calls." This includes Alimande O, Wagon Wheel, Dishrag Whirl,…

Wheel and Deal (clip) - Les Gotcher

excerpt from a live recording in the early 1960s

Hashing the Breaks (clip) - Les Gotche

Les Gotcher was the self-proclaimed king of hash. Here's an example of his calling. Square dance enthusiasts who followed him from dance to dance in New England in the 1950s noticed, though, that he called the same sequence of figures; this in no way detracted from the excitement for the dancers. The caller making up figures on the fly was an…

Les Gotcher - hash - 1958

live recording - note the fast tempo, about 138 bpm

Les Gotcher was one of the early full-time traveling callers. He was known as the "Hash Master" and this clip from a 1958 dance illustrates how appropriate that term is.

Walk All Around the left hand lady
See Saw 'round your pretty little taw
Allemande Left about like that
Back to your…

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Makin' Whoopee - Les Gotcher, 1961

Although Gotcher is primarily known for his hash calls, this is a relatively rare example of him doing a singing square. Listeners may also enjoy the same dance as called by Gloria Rios Roth.

Les Gotcher - patter, 1961

Enjoy the fast-paced opener of this one! This clip is also interesting because of the way Gotcher sets up two lines of three facing five.

Les Gotcher - two live calls, 1955

From a dance that Les Gotcher called, probably in 1955, we have an example of a very early Hash & Breaks style of calling that was to become his trademark in future years. In those later years Gotcher was known to use singing calls sparingly but that 1955 dance shows him singing "Home in San Antone." The audio clip here starts with some of the…

Patter - Les Gotcher

This is a short clip of patter calling from a dance called by Les Gotcher in 1959. The dance was held at the Newton Pavillion in Newton, NH

False Hearted Girl - Les Gotcher

This is a short clip from a dance called by Les Gotcher in the mid 1959 at the Newton Pavilion in Newton, New Hampshire. The record is probably Kalox #1004

Les Gotcher - caller talk, 1962

Talk given by Les Gotcher to Tri-State Callers Association (New England) in March of 1962. Les emphasizes the importance of callers understanding the action of each call and describes early forms of diagramming. He also talks about tempo, timing and ends (beginning at about 14:22, three quarters of the way through) with a discussion of the call…

Shredded Hash - Lloyd and Myrtis Litman

Several years after the 1962 publication of Instant Hash by Lloyd Litman and Rickey Holden, Shredded Hash was created by Litman and his wife, Myrtis. An unusual aid for callers seeking choreographic variety, the book's pages were divided in three sections so that each section could be turned independently. The top section gave a series of calls…

Mountain Dew (clip) - Marie Armstrong

Marie Armstrong, recorded live at the Downeast Western Square Dance Club in Kittery, Maine. Immediately before this, Marie called a patter tip.To hear the lyrics for Mountain Dew used in a different sort of square, watch Bill Litchman calling a dance by Colorado caller Marvin Shilling, Sally Goodin and a Dosey Doe.

Marie Armstrong - patter

Patter tip called by Marie Armstrong, Kittery, Maine, October, 1960. There are some problems with the original tape, resulting in a 5-second gap at 1:48 and a 7-second gap at 2:50. Rather than edit those out, we have left them in place so listeners can fill in the blanks themselves and keep the timing of the original in its entirety. Marie followed…

Marie Hawes - patter

For more information, see the exhibit on women callers in modern square dance.

Auctioneer (1958 original - clip) - Marshall Flippo

This is an audio clip of the first of three recordings Marshall Flippo made of this tune; this is the recording that launched his career as a square dance caller.

Transcription provided by Jeff Garbutt, an Australian participant on the sd-callers listserv

THE AUCTIONEER (ORIGINAL)

CALLED BY: Marshall Flippo, Abilene, Texas
Record: Blue…