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Items from "MWSD": 354

El Paso Star - Bill McGrath

Bill McGrath was one of the leading callers in Australia, a self-taught patter caller based in Melbourne.

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.

Let's Square Dance - instructional films, 1950s

In the mid-1950s, Janet R. MacLean, a professor in the Indiana University Department of Recreation, produced a series of six instructional films to introduce square dancing. The films, each approximately 10 minutes in length, show young dancers, probably students at the university, demonstrating different dance figures. Dancers wear large numbers…

Pancho Baird - square dance medley

This is a rare home recording made by Pancho Baird, a medley of singing squares:

End of the World
Alabama Jubilee
Rose of San Antone
Down Yonder
You Call Everybody Darling

Bob Ruff - Teaching Can Be Fun!

This 10-page handout is designed for callers interested in leading beginners' classes. Ruff argues that many callers are more interested in the latest flashy gimmick than in learning the basics of how to teach, especially how to work with beginning dancers.

The handout includes teaching techniques, the use of key words, styling, a program of…

Bruce Johnson, patter - 1961

Live recording of Bruce Johnson calling to a jig.

Jim Mayo comments: "Bruce kept on using 6/8 time music long after most others had abandoned it. It also shows his nearly unique ability to fill every beat with at least one word and to keep them rhyming all the way through the tip while maintaining better timing than most before most callers had…

Chicken Plucker - choreographic innovation

The Chicken Plucker routine created by Bill Shymkus appeared in the October 1957 issue of Sets in Order; the same issue contained ads for the new record release by Lee Helsel. This routine is considered by caller and historian Jim Mayo as "a very substantial change in the choreography of square dancing." His lengthy article, originally written in…

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…

The Beginnings of Modern Square Dancing - Jim Mayo

Article by Jim Mayo looking at the transition from traditional to modern square dancing, a short version of the ideas presented at length in his book.

Square Dance Articles - Buddy Weaver resources page

Buddy Weaver has collected on his website a series of transcriptions and printed essays by numerous well-respected square dance callers. On this site, you'll find pieces by Doc Alumbaugh, Ed Gilmore, Les Gotcher, Lee Helsel, Ernie Kinney, Ralph Maxhimer, Jay & Helen Orem, and Bob Ruff.

Bill Peters & Jim Mayo - Australia, 1986

View full record for details.

Ed Gilmore interview, 1961

This interview was recorded in 1961 between Christmas and New Year at the Mission In Hotel, Riverside CA between Ed Gilmore and the then president of the Square Dance Society of New South Wales (Australia), Jack Luby. Among other points, Gilmore states that sociability is vital in keeping people interested in square dancing. He argues that callers…

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Asilomar 1953 - Sets in Order Summer Institute

Note: Several of these files are large and will take longer to load.The first three files are part of the binder presented to participants at the 6th annual Sets in Order Institute held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA, in 1953. The staff included Bob Osgood, Joe Lewis, Ralph Maxhimer & Fenton "Jonesy" Jones. (The last file…

Houston Square Dance History

Detailed history of the growth of square dancing in the Houston area in the years after World War II. It includes a summary of highlights from the area's annual square dance festival that started in 1949. The article can also be found here on the web. Excerpts from the beginning of the history: In the early 1940s, there were two small square dance…

Oldest Square Dance Club?

Pictured above, taken when the Kilowatt Eights danced at the PSC Garage from 1939-1942, (L to R): Andy Anderson-Violin & Bass, Stew Clark-Banjo, Russ Levine-Piano, Jim Cook-Violin, Tom Parfet-Drums, George Boles-Violin, Joe Lang-Caller.American Square Dance magazine conducted a search for the oldest square dance club. This is the article…

Cal Golden - interview and four dances

Note: There are five separate audio clips in this item, and it may take a little longer than usual to load.

We start with an interview with a young Cal Golden conducted by Mildred Buhler as part of her Redwood City, CA, radio show. Other clips contained here are:

Cal Golden - interview.mp3
Cal Golden1 - patter.mp3
Cal Golden2 -…

Visit with the Legends, 2011

Each year's CALLERLAB convention includes a History / Heritage / Tradition session. For several years, this has been titled "Visit with the Legends," at which MWSD callers with long history share stories from their careers.

Jerry Junck, moderator
Cal Golden
Frank Lane
Marshall Flippo
Jon Jones

Jon Jones - CALLERLAB history

This CALLERLAB History / Heritage / Tradition session in 2005 included comments from Herb Egender, who was one of the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers with Lloyd Shaw. Jim Mayo was the second speaker, discussing events that led up to the formation of CALLERLAB in 1974, and Jon Jones picked up the story at that point.

Jones describes how CALLERLAB…

Jim Mayo - CALLERLAB history

In a presentation from a CALLERLAB History / Heritage / Tradition session in 2005, Jim Mayo recounts some of the events that led up to the founding of that organization in 1974. He discusses how square dance choreography changed from the common Goal Post routines with the introduction of the Chicken Plucker routine that started in 1957. As modern…