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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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Nils Fredland - Bouquet Waltz

Nils Fredland calls a traditional square dance figure to the tune of Kitchen Girl with music provided by Notorious (Larry Unger and Eden MacAdam Somer) and Old New England (Bob McQuillen, Jane Orzechowski, and Deanna Stiles). Recorded at the final session of the annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, Durham, NH, January 19, 2013. The "Bouquet…

Nils Fredland - Birdie in the Cage and Seven Hands Round

Birdie in the Cage is a traditional square dance figure and a common one; a search for "birdie" on this SDHP website will bring up more than half a dozen other examples. In this version, each of the "birdies" fly out in turn to join another square before they return to their original square at the end of the dance. The figure at the start is also…

Ralph Sweet - Wagon Wheel

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Ralph Sweet, caller; directions for this patter call are in Ralph's book.

The musicians are the band Elixir (Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, fiddle; Jesse…

Do-si-do and Face the Sides - Tony Parkes

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Tony Parkes, caller. The dance was composed by Ted Sannella and can be found in his first book, Balance and Swing, available from CDSS:…

Little Red Wagon - Nils Fredland

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Nils Fredland, caller; the dance was created by Lee Helsel, and words and music are in Ralph Sweet's new book, available from CDSS:…

Ralph Sweet - Sally Goodin

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Ralph Sweet, caller; this dance takes its name from the traditional southern Appalachian fiddle tune; there are many variations. Directions for this version are…

Shindig in the Barn - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Ralph Sweet, caller; Ralph created the singing square, basing it on the "Left Hand Star Breakdown" by Tony Parkes. Words and music available in Ralph's book.…

Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Tony Parkes

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Tony Parkes, caller. Don Armstrong is credited with setting the dance figures (by Ralph Page) to this tune. "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" is the title of a…

Marianne - Tony Parkes

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."In his introduction, caller Tony Parkes mentioned that this dance, created by the great New England caller Dick Leger, was "the surprise hit" of the 1957 National…

Nils Fredland - Bachelor Mill

This dance originated with George Waudby, of Tucson, Arizona, and was adopted by Jimmy Clossin of El Paso, Texas. It is described in more detail in Lee Owens, Advanced Square Dance Figures of the West and Southwest (1950). The dance appears in Bill Litchman's book, Rocky Mountain Caller, and it is one of the dance videos in this collection, from…

Auctioneer - Ralph Sweet

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet." This dance is one of Ralph's signature numbers, and directions and music are in his book, available from CDSS store.The musicians are the band Elixir (Ethan…

Auctioneer (description and history)

The Auctioneer by David Millstone July, 2012 The Auctioneer is Ralph Sweet's signature number, and the dance has a storied history before him. The Auctioneer song was a 1956 hit, selling 2.5 million copies for for Leroy Van Dyke and catapaulting him to country music fame. (Here he is singing it on a 1962 television show.) Two years later,…