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Northern Junket  and Ralph Page

In a labor of love, Ralph Page single-handedly published 165 issues of this journal from 1949 through 1984. The University of New Hampshire's Library of Traditional Music and Dance has digitized and made available a complete set of these magazines, along with biographical information about Page. The library is also the repository for an extensive…

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…

Dance magazine publishers - photos

This photograph appeared in the October, 1950, issue of Sets in Order. It shows a gathering of prominent dance leaders at the folk dance camp at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA; each man was the publisher of a magazine that looked at different aspects of folk dance. Shown, left to right, are Ralph Page (Northern Junket), Herb Greggerson…

Darling Nellie Gray - Adam Boyce

Traditional singing square dance, recorded in West Newbury, VT, on July 24, 2010. The caller and fiddler is Adam Boyce, accompanied by piano player Donna Weston. This dance was Ralph Page's closing number on many occasions.

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.

Darling Nellie Gray - Tony Parkes

This clip shows two versions of the dance, the traditional version called by Ralph Page as his usual ending dance and a variation by Maine caller Rod Linnell called "Atomic Nellie Gray." A separate video in this series shows the walkthrough.

This dance was taught by Tony Parkes as part of his workshop session on New England Square Dances,…

Darling Nellie Gray walkthrough - Tony Parkes

Ralph Page's usual ending dance was Darling Nellie Gray. Here, Tony Parkes teaches that traditional dance as well as a variation by Rod Linnell called "Atomic Nellie Gray"; Tony commented, "Back when 'atomic' was a good thing." This is the walkthrough; see separate video for samples of the dance itself.

Tony taught both versions for the final…

Deer Park Lancers - 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…

Dudley Laufman - Monadnock Muddle

This dance comes from the repertoire on the great New England caller, Ralph Page, and is called here by Dudley Laufman in the "Retrospective" session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 19, 2013, Durham, New Hampshire. This year's session focused on square dances of many styles. The tune is Soldier's Joy, played by Two Fiddles (Dudley…

Gents and Corners - Tony Parkes

Danced during a Retrospective session at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 15, 2011. The caller is Tony Parkes; musicians are Randy Miller, fiddle; Peter Siegel, mandolin; and Bob McQuillen, piano. The tune is Dusty Bob's Jig. Tony found this figure, called "Heads and Sides" and attributed to Ralph, in a copy of American Square Dance…

History of Square Dancing - Ralph Page

Between 1972 and 1974, Ralph Page wrote a series of essays entitled A History of Square Dancing. For ease in downloading, we have collected them into "chapters" that group together similar topics. The essays were published in the magazine Square Dancing as follows:Dancing In New England 11/1972The Revolutionary Era 1/1973Direct Ancestors…

Honest John

Honest John is an unusual dance that was greatly admired by Ralph Page. An accompanying video shows it being danced by a group that includes some members of the Ed Larkin dancers. This file presents some background information on the dance as well as a selection of Ralph Page's comments on the dance.

Honest John - Adam Boyce

Traditional quadrille, recorded at an open house sponsored by the Ed Larkin Dancers, Tunbridge, Vermont, March 12, 2010. The prompter is Adam Boyce, and the musicians are Harold Luce on fiddle and his daughter, Donna Weston, on piano.

The dance's fame spread beyond its Vermont origins. In a "Northern Junket" article (vol. 1, no. 3, June 1949, p.…

Jingle Bells (clip) - Ralph Page

A fine example of why Ralph Page was known as New England's singing square dance caller, back in the day. The dance is Odd Couple to the Center, set to the tune of Jingle Bells. Ralph Page calling with music provided by Dick Richardson on fiddle, Junior Richardson on bass, and Johnny Trombley on piano, joined by Norm Smith on banjo. Released on…

Merry-Go-Round, The - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

In his introduction to the dance, Tony commented that this dance has been around for a long time in different forms, "honed and fine-tuned and coarse-tuned by the folk process over the years. Nobody really knows where…

Monadnock Folkways brochure - Page & Gowing

Brochure describing the summer program created by Ralph Page and Gene Gowing. Also included is an article by Gowing describing his idea for an "American Folkways" school. (This latter item appeared in American Squares, June, 1950.)

Monadnock Muddle (clip) - Ralph Page

Ralph Page calling with music provided by Dick Richardson on fiddle, Junior Richardson on bass, and Johnny Trombley on piano, joined by Norm Smith on banjo. Released on Disc 363, the flip side of the Jingle Bells recording. The tune is Soldier's Joy. This recording shows how a traditional New England caller could retain experienced dancers'…

My Little Girl - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes calls the final square at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Musicians are Steve Hickman and Jim Morrison, fiddles; Claudio Buchwald, piano; Sam Bartlett, banjo.

This square was one of Ed Durlacher's signature dances in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and it is…

Odd Couple Promenade - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes calls at the Dare To Be Square weekend held November 18-20, 2011, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC.

Musicians are Steve Hickman and Jim Morrison, fiddles; Claudio Buchwald, piano; Sam Bartlett, banjo. The tune is "Road to Boston."

Ralph Page recorded this figure, using the same tune, in 1951 for Michael Herman's…