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Items from "Northern squares": 243

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…

Bully of the Town

Nils Fredland calls a singing square from the repertoire of Keith Blackmon, an upstate New York square dance caller. The dance figures are the familiar Cut Off Six, also known as Divide the Ring. A selection of Blackmon's dances has been published by Country Dance and Song Society under the title of "New River Train." Recorded for the Square Dance…

Bully of the Town (clip) - David Park Williams

Singing square variation of the old Divide the Ring or Cut Off Six routine.

From the CD set "Mostly Quadrilles," containing two CDs of called dances, 24 in all, and two CDs of just instrumental tracks, arranged by David Park Williams. Musicians are Bill J. Sparrow, fiddle; Elizabeth Olden, piano; Mark Williams, bass.

Choc-A-Taw (clip) - Dick Leger

View full record for details.

Circle Three-Quarters and Pass Thru - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls a Ted Sannella composition to the tune of Harborviewl; music provided by Old New England (Bob McQuillen, Jane Orzechowski, and Deanna Stiles). Recorded at a "Salute to Ted Sannella" workshop at the annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, Durham, NH, January 19, 2013.

Circle to the Middle - Ted Sannella

Ted Sannella calls his "Circle to the Middle" square dance, recorded 1990 at American Dance Week, a program of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) at Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth, MA. The last part of the dance has been cut off in this recording; the complete directions are given below.Ted Sannella was one of New England's best known and…

Circle to the Middle (clip) - Ted Sannella

This clip is part of a series of eight square dances called by Ted Sannella at the Chesapeake Spring Dance Weekend, sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. (Ted called another four or five squares during the weekend, plus contras and triplets.) Each clip includes Ted's walkthrough, plus the introduction and first time through the…

Climbing Up The Golden Stairs - Adam Boyce

The caller warned the dancers that after going through the figures three times, he was going to speed up the tempo the last time through. Traditional singing square dance, recorded in West Newbury, VT, on July 24, 2010. The caller and fiddler is Adam Boyce. This dance is held on the 4th Saturday of each month; Adam drives 55 miles each way to be…

Climbing Up the Golden Stairs - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013.Here done as a circle mixer, the dance is often done as a four-couple square. Some…

Climbing Up the Golden Stairs (clip) - David Park Williams

From the CD set "Mostly Quadrilles," containing two CDs of called dances, 24 in all, and two CDs of just instrumental tracks, arranged by David Park Williams. Musicians are Bill J. Sparrow, fiddle; Elizabeth Olden, piano; Mark Williams, bass.

The song on which this dance is based was composed by Monroe H. Rosenfeld (1884). David Smukler, editor…

Comin' Round the Mountain - Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013. Another video of this dance, with NH caller Lester Bradley, can be found here.

Comin' Round the Mountain - Eric Clamons

Third of three clips from Minnesota caller Eric Clamons, this one a traditional singing square.

Corky Calkins - two programs

These are two programs of Massachusetts caller Corky Calkins, one from 1965 and the other from 1967. They were noted by Connecticut caller Ralph Sweet who for decades carried a small notebook with him to dances and recorded the programs and any unusual figures used by the caller. The 1967 program took place in Sweet's own Power Mill Barn in…

Crooked Stovepipe - Dudley Laufman -

Live recording, Bernardston, Massachusetts, with Dudley Laufman calling. He introduces this by noting, "First dance I ever called, when I was a kid." Music by the Fall Town String Band: Ed Phelps and Jim Spaulding, fiddles, joined by Jacqueline Gilman, fiddle; Bob Kenney, guitar; Jack Arensmeyer, mandolin; Ruth Brassor, bass guitar. Released on a…

Crooked Stovepipe - Tod Whittemore

The caller is Tod Whittemore; musicians are Randy Miller, fiddle; Peter Siegel, mandolin; and Bob McQuillen, piano. Danced during a Retrospective session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 15, 2011. Ralph adapted this from a traditional French-Canadian dance and tune, and it is often the first square learned by New England callers. You…

Crooked Stovepipe - Tony Parkes

This dance was taught by Tony Parkes as part of his workshop session on New England Square Dances, recorded November 19, 2011, at the Dare To Be Square Weekend, John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Co-sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS), the event brought together six experienced callers representing different styles of…

Crooked Stovepipe (clip) - Gene Gowing

This is the start of Gene Gowing's recording of a classic New England singing square. Gowing half sings, half chants the figures, in somewhat the same manner-- though less melodiously-- as his sometimes colleague Ralph Page. This site contains other examples of the dance as audio clips and in moving images.

Cut Away 6, 4, 2 (clip) - Fred Townsend

Canadian caller, born 1900, who was the caller for Don Messer's bands on its many cross-country trips. A three-LP boxed set of his dance calls (Let's Square Dance) was released (Doncaster DS-3-102). Father of fiddler Graham Townsend.Here's a description of the man:One Sunday, young Graham was driving in Quebec from Wolf Lake to Quyon with his…

Darling Nellie Gray - Happy Hale

Happy Hale was a caller from Bernardston, MA, and some have speculated that Ralph Page patterned his style as a singing caller on Hale's technique. Other Happy Hale recordings at the Library of Congress are a mix of contras and squares: Hull's Victory, Pop Goes the Weasel, Morning Star, Miss McLeod's Reel, Merry Widow, a Quadrille, Lady Walpole's…

Darling Nellie Gray - Ralph Page (clip)

This dance was Ralph Page's signature closing dance for an evening program. Compare it with Happy Hale, whom some think was Page's source for the dance. There are many examples of this classic singing square on our website.