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Items from "Northern squares": 243

Fifty Miles from Times Square

This is an excerpt from John Cohen's 1972 film, used here by permission of the filmmaker.

caller: Herb Strickland
musicians: Bud Snow, Jay Ungar, Lyn Hardy, Abby Newton, Tom Allen

Fiddler Jay Ungar, seen in the dance footage, writes: "The dances were started by the Concerned Democrats in Putnam County, NY to raise money for the McGovern…

Duke Miller - Crooked Stovepipe

Duke Miller, caller. Recorded live at the Peterborough Golf Club, August 20, 1965. This dance was a staple of Ralph Page's repertoire as well, which he borrowed from French-Canadian music. Caller Dudley Laufman says that it was also the first dance he learned to call.

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.

John Newton - Vermont - 5 squares

John Newton was a Vermont teacher and square dance caller. Included here are five examples of his calling.

The first three were recorded by Steve Green in 1984 at John's home (with music by John's band, the Turkey Mountain Window Smashers, including Jill Newton on fiddle and Sally Newton on piano). In his introduction to "My Little Girl," (not…

Three singing squares - Vermont, 1956

Three singing squares from an October 6, 1956 recording of the Dick Perry Orchestra and caller Ira Huntley playing a square dance in Newfane, Vermont. Original tape donated to the Vermont Folklife Center by John Stone. This audio is very clear, professionally digitized by the VFC staff. 1) Marching through Georgia: Note that the caller finishes the…

When You're Smiling - Ralph Sweet

Recorded August 1, 2010, at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Burlington, Vermont, during a workshop on singing squares led by caller Ralph Sweet.

Musicians are Thal Aylward, fiddle; Will Patton, mandolin; Dono Schabner, guitar

If You Knew Susie - Ralph Sweet

Recorded August 1, 2010, at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Burlington, Vermont, during a workshop on singing squares led by caller Ralph Sweet.

Musicians are Thal Aylward, fiddle; Will Patton, mandolin; Dono Schabner, guitar

Square Dancing in Western New York

The New York Folklore Society produced a number of five-minute radio documentaries featuring the folklife (skills, traditions, stories, music, dance, folk art and material items) found in New York State. This one focuses on the square dance traditions of western New York and the efforts being made to keep those traditions vibrant.The Folklore…

Keith Blackmon & Pony Boy

Nils Fredland led a workshop session that included many dances from the Keith Blackmon collection at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, Durham, NH, January 19, 2013. Here, he speaks briefly about Blackmon's calling career in western New York state and his dances, which have now been published by Country Dance and Song Society as "New River…

New River Train

Nils Fredland calls a singing square set to this well-known bluegrass song. The dance comes from the repertoire of Keith Blackmon, a square dance caller in the Twin Tiers region of southwest New York and northwest Pennsylvania. Blackmon began collecting and calling square dances at age 14, and continued until his death at age 84. Over his 70-year…

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…

San Antonio Rose

There are many versions of singing squares set to this popular tune. Here, Nils Fredland calls one from the repertoire of Keith Blackmon, an upstate New York square dance caller. 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 History Project,…

Dick Leger - Have I Told You Lately That I Love You

Dick Leger was known as "The Man with the Guitar." This clip shows him having fun with the dancers: "I can't believe I'm doing this!"

Recorded at the York Contra Holiday weekend, York, PA, 1996, part of a three-tape series issued by Kentucky Dance Foundation, c/o Folk Dancer Record Center, 6290 Olin Road, Brandenburg, Kentucky 40108, and used…

Dick Perry Orchestra - dance photographs

These photographs show the Dick Perry Orchestra playing for a dance at the Putney (VT) Town Hall. The group turns up in many newspaper stories from the 1950s and 1960s, such as this feature about the 1961 Brattleboro Winter Carnival.

East Meets West (clip) - Lawrence Loy

Lawrence Loy was from western Massachusetts but this recording, with its apt title, shows the influence of the western style of dance, with changing choreography.

After generic opening figures, two head couples lead to the right, circle once around, and then all four ladies chain in line, all the way over and back.

After all are home and…

Just Because - Lori Morin

The caller is Lori Morin, from Chepachet, RI. She is a modern square dancer, organizer, and caller influenced by Dick Leger. Here she's calling a guest slot at Bob Livingston's monthly dance in Killingly, CT. The musicians are "Barbara's Band": Barbara Neal, keyboard; John Gould, guitar; Tom Hall, fiddle. The footage was recorded April 9, 2011 by…

Shoo-Fly (clip) - Mac McKenrick

Singing square, called to the familiar children's song; not to be confused with the "Shoo-Fly Swing," a figure sometimes found at the end of big circle dances.

Adirondack Square Dancing

The author describes her experiences traditional square dancing in the Adirondacks from 1918 to 1965, when she began modern squares. This story appeared in the final edition of Ralph Page's Northern Junket magazine.She describes how, as a 19-year-old school teacher (1933), she boarded with a family who had a dance at their house each Saturday…

Piute Pete - Village Barn

Piute Pete called squares regularly at the Village Barn in New York City. This newspaper columnist took a less-than-enthusiastic view of the proceedings.

Runnin' the Goat - Newfoundland

Harbour Deep was a Newfoundland logging and fishing community that no longer exists; when the cod fishery collapsed, the town disappeared, with the last residents leaving in 2002. This documentary from 1980 shows a four-couple traditional dance from that community. The dance runs some 17 minutes in length, at a fast pace; be prepared to be…