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Chase the Rabbit - Ed Gilmore

Ed Gilmore, caller. Gilmore was from California, but demonstrates here his familiarity with traditional Southern Appalachian style patter.

Grand Square - Bob Osgood

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Sets in Order archive

The complete collection of Sets in Order (which changed its name to Square Dancing in 1968) is available online through the University of Denver. The issues were scanned by New Jersey dance caller Gardner Patton. You can read more in this interview of Gardner Patton conducted by Bob Brundage in 2011. The complete run of the magazine was 444 issues.…

Auctioneer (1958 original - clip) - Marshall Flippo

This is an audio clip of the first of three recordings Marshall Flippo made of this tune; this is the recording that launched his career as a square dance caller.

Transcription provided by Jeff Garbutt, an Australian participant on the sd-callers listserv

THE AUCTIONEER (ORIGINAL)

CALLED BY: Marshall Flippo, Abilene, Texas
Record: Blue…

Square Dance - Steamboat Springs, 1951

This silent movie shows children dancing at the second annual Square Dance Festival held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The film was taken by Leonard Fisher, whose daughter was one of the dancers; the original footage comes from the collection of the Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs, and is used by permission of the museum and the…

Ends Turn In (clip) - Joe Lewis

Joe Lewis was one of the big names in square dance calling; he played an accordion that was specially fitted out so that different notes would produce different kinds of sounds, and his big hit was Alabama Jubilee. This live recording (1960) comes from the collection of the Square Dance Foundation of New England.

This excerpt of Ends Turn In,…

Old American Barn Dance, 1953

This is an abridged version of a clip uploaded by TVDays.com, edited to show one of the square dance segments featured on each program. For a full clip, go here.

Al Brundage – Live recording, 1952

Early MWSD choreographyThis recording is an example of what local callers in southern New England were calling in 1952. The location is not identified. Al says he is using a record without speed control on the player (which was not readily available at that time), which suggests that the setting was one of the clubs that he started after returning…

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Central City, Colorado - 1955

The caller featured here is Ray Smith; we have not yet identified the fiddler and piano player. By 1960, Al "Tex" Brownlee was the caller and he used recorded music.Dancers:Couple 1: Dave Chandler and Edie Vecqueray (Edie was a Cheyenne Mtn. Dancer with Pappy)Couple 2: John Bradford and Dolly MayerCouple 3: Max Smith and Diane Smith (not…

Square Dancing with Joe Lewis - Australia, 1952

A unique heritage clip of the Australian visit of American 'Hall of Fame' Square Dance Caller, Joe Lewis, on arrival at Essendon airport, Melbourne, in 1952, with commentary by Australian square dance caller Jim Vickers-Willis.Lewis made an earlier trip to Australia, in 1950, as noted in this advertisement in a Sydney newspaper for "square dance…

Australia Square Dance Boom, 1952 - Jim Vickers-Willis

Drawing on audio clips, still photographs, newspaper clippings, and other illustrates, this short piece describes the enormous interest in square dancing in Australia in the 1950s. The primary focus is caller Jim Vickers-Willis, but other callers are mentioned. Readers wanting more information about the Australia boom can find it on on a web page…

Lake of the Ozarks Square Dancers - 1953

The Lake of the Ozarks Square Dancers, were based in Tuscumbia, Missouri.The group toured around the Midwest and eventually reached national fame after appearances with caller L. D. Keller on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. Their energetic dance style was very popular with television audiences; this clip comes from their second television appearance,…

Lake of the Ozarks (photo)

Photograph of the square dance team, caller, and musicians. Click here to see a video clip of this exciting dance group in action, performing on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour.

Hires Throws a Square Dance

16-page booklet distributed by Hires Root Beer in 1950 as part of the square dance craze of that time. The booklet calls Sanderson "the most famous man in square dancing" and cites numerous accomplishments: four square dances a week, for the past 17 years, a total of more than 3,000 appearances (including eleven at the National Folk Festival).…

Dive for the Oyster (clip) - Chris Sanderson

Audio clip of Chris Sanderson calling with the Pocopson Valley Boys, popular caller and band from southeastern Pennsylvania.

Opening figure: Bow to your partner, Bow to your corner, hands all around, the other way, swing that corner gal, swing your own girl, and then first couple goes out to the right.

Sanderson sometimes calls "Dive for the…

Chris Sanderson - picture

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East Meets West (clip) - Lawrence Loy

Lawrence Loy was from western Massachusetts but this recording, with its apt title, shows the influence of the western style of dance, with changing choreography.

After generic opening figures, two head couples lead to the right, circle once around, and then all four ladies chain in line, all the way over and back.

After all are home and…

Schroeder's Playboys

Schroeder's Playboys - An Appreciationby Tony Parkes, August 2012If I could be transported back to the 1950s and had my choice of any one square dance band to hear and/or dance to live, it might well be Schroeder's Playboys in Phoenix. I've seldom heard such sheer energy, combined with technical skill and tight teamwork."Little Spanish Restaurant"…

Viola "Mom" Ruth - Peek a Boo Waltz Quadrille

"Now you waltz down the center and there you divide Lady to the right, gent the other side Honor your partner and then make a trade Swing on the corner to a waltz promenade" Digitized from a live recording in the collection of the Arizona Historical Museum, this is one of four recordings on the Internet Archive. Others cuts (music only) are:…

Les Gotcher - Square Dancin'

Published in 1950, the book contains directions to 100 dances, as well as photographs illustrating basic moves for beginners. Among those are Do-Ci-Do, Docey, Do-Sa-Do, and Do-Paso. (see the Contents page, included in this file) The book also has a section called "New Changes and New Calls." This includes Alimande O, Wagon Wheel, Dishrag Whirl,…