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Green Mountain Land - Vermont square, 1950

This square dance sequence is part of a 1950 film, "Green Mountain Land," produced by Robert Flaherty and directed by David Flaherty. The narrator is caller Ted Glabach, from Dummerston, Vermont; musicians include Paul Robinson, fiddle; John Robinson, banjo; Bob Emerson, piano; unidentified bass player. The tourism promotional film was a joint…

Barn Owls square dance club

Items connected with one mid-1950s square dance club:

• Program for 3rd anniversary dance, 1954, including club roster
• Invitation to 5th anniversary party
• invitation for regular dance
• stationery and envelope

The Barn Owls club was hosted regular dances at the Gardena Barn, Gardena, CA, in the Los Angeles area.

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Glenn Bannerman - big circle dances, audio

Three examples of big sets from western North Carolina, called by Glenn Bannerman with music from the Stoney Creek Boys. These audio files come from two recordings, "Mountain Dance Music Comes Alive" and "Appalachian Clog Dancing and Big Circle Mountain Square Dancing," and are used with Bannerman's permission. You can find more information and…

New Squares - video and web links

Recent years have seen the appearance of a new audience for square dances. One important starting point was a series of dances in the Portland, Oregon, area, led by caller Bill Martin and the Foghorn Stringband. Those dances featured old-time southern Appalachian tunes and high-energy, simple dances, often big sets. A similar pattern has emerged in…

Square Dance camp brochures

A small collection of brochures illustrating various dance camps and square dance travel. Just as different callers developed their own magazines and newsletters, so did they find additional opportunities to connect with an ever-growing number of square dance enthusiasts in the 1950s and 1960s.

MacNamara's Band - Basil "Smitty" Smith

Basil "Smitty" Smith calling with the Bills' Band at a barn dance in West Wardsboro, Vermont, recorded by Steve GreenMacNamara’s BandIrish song popularized by Bing CrosbyOh the head two couples separate, go halfway round outsideThe side two couples go right and left, to the other sideSwing that lady right where you meet her, you sing her on…

Ted Glabach - photographs

Three photographs of Vermont farmer and dance caller Ted Glabach, taken by Steve Green, plus one photo (from his scrapbook) of Glabach as a younger dancer.

That's Where My Money Goes

PersonnelTed Glabach, PrompterRobinson's Orchestra Paul Robinson, Violin John Robinson, Banjo Bob Emerson, PianoNotes from Steve Green (1978): The following pieces were recorded from a homemade 78 rpm disc in the posession of Mr. Paul Robinson. Paul played it for me one evening and explained that many years ago, his little band was recruited to…

Hurry Hurry Hurry - Ted Glabach

Ted Glabach calling to recorded instrumental; a transcription of his his calls can be found on p. 26 of the interview conducted with him by Steve Green.A more detailed description of this dance as well as transcriptions of other dances in Glabach's repertoire can be found in the Syllabus (pp. 36–40) from the 2004 Ralph Page Dance Legacy…

Ted Glabach - Vermont dance caller

This is the transcription of a lengthy interview with Dummerston, VT, dance caller Ted Glabach and his wife Marie, conducted in 1978 by Steve Green. Glabach was a farmer, born around 1913, who had invited fiddler Louis Jillson to call a dance in Putney, Vermont. (Jillson himself is mentioned by Eloisie Linscott in her classic work (1939), Folk…

John Newton - Turkey Mountain Window Smashers

Photographs, band logo and other ephemera related to John Newton's band

The first photograph shows the big family version of the Turkey Mountain Window Smashers, about 1989. Members are, L to R, John Newton on bass, Jill Newton on fiddle, Michael Donahue (Sally's husband) on fiddle, Jim Newton on guitar, Sally Newton on banjo-uke (with Sam…

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…

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.

Nellie Bly (clip) - Charlie Bardwell

Charlie Bardwell, caller, with Bardy's Orchestra, recorded in Putney, Vermont in the late 1970s by Steve Green. This website contains several other examples of this popular singing square.

Sammy Spring - fiddler & square dance caller

Sammy Spring (1883–1958) was a fiddler and square dance caller from Otis, Massachusetts, in the western part of the state. This website includes photos of him and a lengthy interview conducted in 1939 by Edward Welch, a worker with the Federal Writers Project.

---excerpt from the 1939 interview:
“So you want to know how I come to take up…

Square Dance, McIntosh County, Oklahoma – 1939/40

A series of color slides taken by Russell Lee at an Oklahoma dance in 1939 or 1940. More information about the first one can be found here. A larger sample of the photographs is available here at the Denver Post website and the complete set of color images is on Flickr. Detailed information about the photos and their background is here on the…

Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing

Written in 1949 and republished many times, this is a vital reference for anyone interested in southern Appalachian dance. Patrick Napier is a well-known dance leader at the Christmas Country Dance School in Berea, Kentucky, and this is his compilation of dance figures from eastern Kentucky. It is a PDF file available for download (easier…

Osa Mathews - portrait and bio

View full record for details.

Nils Fredland – Four Square

Nils Fredland calls a contemporary composition as part of the "Square Dance" Retrospective session at the annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, NH. The musicians are Old New England (Bob McQuillen piano; Jane Orzechowski, fiddle; and Deanna Stiles, flute); the tune is Mrs. Frasier's.The dance was choreographed by Ron Buchanan. In his…

There Is a Tavern in the Town / Three Ladies Chain - Dudley Laufman

To the tune of "There Is a Tavern in the Town," Dudley Laufman calls as part of the "Square Dance" Retrospective session at the annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in Durham, NH. The musicians are Old New England (Bob McQuillen piano; Jane Orzechowski, fiddle; and Deanna Stiles, flute).Complete instructions for the dance will be found in the…