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Life on the Ocean Wave (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, the noted dancing master who was hired by Henry Ford to promote social dancing, leads Life on the Ocean Wave, also known as the Head Two Ladies Cross Over. The musicians are the Henry Ford's Old-Time Dance Orchestra. Lovett wrote Henry Ford's "Good Morning" square dance books, and this dance appeared in the 1941 edition of that…

Bill Bailey - Debbie Gray

This is the first in a series of videos posted from a 1989 program of singing squares presented by caller Debbie Gray and the Deb-U-Tones (vocals by Alice La Pierre and Julia Huestis). Musicians are Jack O'Connor, banjo; Mary Lea, fiddle; and Peter Barnes, piano. The venue is the First Congregational Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Larry Jennings…

Otto Wood - singing squares

Caller Otto Wood's calls and notes for singing squares. You can hear Belle of the Ball called by Ira Huntley here; it's the second dance in the set of three on this link.This collection was created by storyteller and dance caller Donald Davis, and are included here with his permission. Davis writes, "What you have are copies of the notes and music…

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…

If You Knew Susie (clip) - Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips was a popular Oklahoma square dance caller. This clip presents the introduction and the first time through the figure. Phillips calls the figure twice for head gents, twice for side gents, and then finishes with a break that is a variation of the opener. There are at least half a dozen square dance recordings of this tune with…

Crooked Stovepipe (clip) - Gene Gowing

This is the start of Gene Gowing's recording of a classic New England singing square. Gowing half sings, half chants the figures, in somewhat the same manner-- though less melodiously-- as his sometimes colleague Ralph Page. This site contains other examples of the dance as audio clips and in moving images.

Hinky Dinky Parlee-Voo (clip) - Benjamin Lovett

Benjamin Lovett, the New England dancing master who worked closely with Henry Ford, here calls with music provided by the Henry Ford Orchestra.

Indiana (clip) - Ed Gilmore

"Take her back to your Indiana home."

This clip includes the introduction and once through the figure. A search on this website for Gilmore will turn up many other items linked to this influential square dance leader.

Alabama Jubilee (clip) - Joe Lewis

Alabama Jubilee was a smash hit for Joe Lewis, and the dance was also recorded by a dozen other callers. This clip illustrates one time through the figure along with a lengthy set of closing calls. This dance is used as the introduction to a film clip showing Lewis's triumphal dance trip to Australia in 1952.

Jean Alve

Jean Alve has been calling squares for more than 50 years. She lives in upstate New York and now calls a weekly two-hour session of "Square, Round, Line & Polka Dancing" at a local senior center. This footage shows her calling a Virginia Reel square and a singing square, "Bye, Bye, Blues." It was recorded by Earl Kaiser in 2003. More…

San Antonio Rose - Tod Whittemore

Tod Whittemore calls one of many versions of square dances set to this popular tune; this version features simple choreography with a very smooth flow. Tod does not recall where he learned this version.

Recorded by Ernie Spence in Francestown, NH, January, 1986. Musicians are Peter Barnes, piano, and Allan Block, fiddle.

Chime Bells - Tod Whittemore

Tod Whittemore calling at his dance series at the VFW, Cambridge, MA, December, 1985. The first half of the footage shows dancers, and then the camera is turned toward the caller. Tod Whittemore is well-known for his yodeling squares; you can see him on another here. Musicians: New England Tradition (Bob McQuillen, piano; April Limber, fiddle; Pete…

Shindig in the Barn - Earl Johnston - introductory dance

This is a video clip taken from a promotional video made by Earl Johnston for the Manchester, CT Square Dance Club. Earl was their club caller and the video was made for public television in 1988. In this clip Earl is showing how a new couple can be introduced quickly to modern square dancing. The clip also illustrates a choreographic difference…

In My Adobe Hacienda - Don and Marie Armstrong

Recorded live, Don and Marie Armstrong call a singing square. The tune was recorded by such country artists as Hank Snow, Gene Autry, and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.

Mountain Dew (clip) - Marie Armstrong

Marie Armstrong, recorded live at the Downeast Western Square Dance Club in Kittery, Maine. Immediately before this, Marie called a patter tip.To hear the lyrics for Mountain Dew used in a different sort of square, watch Bill Litchman calling a dance by Colorado caller Marvin Shilling, Sally Goodin and a Dosey Doe.

Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Don & Marie Armstrong

Don and Marie Armstrong call Trail of the Lonesome Pine. Recorded live at the Downeast Western Square Dance Club in Kittery, Maine.A clip of Don's commercial recording of this dance can be found here, and a search on this website will reveal additional examples:* Video, called by Bill Litchman at Dare To Be Square, Brasstown, NC* Video, called by…

Swanee River (clip) - Mac McKendrick

McKendrick can also be heard on this site calling a singing square to the children's song, Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me.

Tulip Square (clip) - Jim Brooks

Square dance set to the popular tune, "When You Wore a Tulip (and I Wore a Big Red Rose").

Too Old To Cut the Mustard (clip) - Cal Golden

This is an excerpt; a complete recording can be found here.

Barnacle Bill (clip) - Cal Golden

Cal Golden was a prominent modern caller; another audio clip on this website shows him at the giant 1950 Santa Monica square dance, being introduced by Lloyd Shaw. He was a caller with deep Arkansas roots who called in all 50 states.See this entry on Vic and Debbie Ceder's website for more information and a photograph. The Ceders write: "The term…