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Jack Jackson Singing

Jack Jackson was a widely traveled caller from Ohio in the 1960's. He was one of the few who entertained musically in addition to calling. His after party performances included parodies with square dance themes. The song Morrow is directly related to his home state of Ohio; it was made popular by a 1960 release by the Kingston Trio.

Square Dance Institute - Rickey Holden, 1950

Syllabus of a workshop led by Holden in Massachusetts in 1950, introducing Texas style square dancing to New England dancers. In addition to notes on figures and styling, this handout included directions for some sample Texas dances. From the introductory remarks:

"One of the most common misconceptions about Western square dancing is that all of…

Shredded Hash - Lloyd and Myrtis Litman

Several years after the 1962 publication of Instant Hash by Lloyd Litman and Rickey Holden, Shredded Hash was created by Litman and his wife, Myrtis. An unusual aid for callers seeking choreographic variety, the book's pages were divided in three sections so that each section could be turned independently. The top section gave a series of calls…

Round Dance history - the early years

Round dancing refers to choreographed couple dances, prompted by a cuer and found as part of most regular programs of modern square dancing, interspersed with the patter and singing squares. This short history of round dancing was created by Jim Mayo; the link above takes you to the website of the Square Dance Foundation of New England, from which…

Bruce Johnson, patter - 1961

Live recording of Bruce Johnson calling to a jig.

Jim Mayo comments: "Bruce kept on using 6/8 time music long after most others had abandoned it. It also shows his nearly unique ability to fill every beat with at least one word and to keep them rhyming all the way through the tip while maintaining better timing than most before most callers had…

Chicken Plucker - choreographic innovation

The Chicken Plucker routine created by Bill Shymkus appeared in the October 1957 issue of Sets in Order; the same issue contained ads for the new record release by Lee Helsel. This routine is considered by caller and historian Jim Mayo as "a very substantial change in the choreography of square dancing." His lengthy article, originally written in…

The Beginnings of Modern Square Dancing - Jim Mayo

Article by Jim Mayo looking at the transition from traditional to modern square dancing, a short version of the ideas presented at length in his book.

Bill Peters & Jim Mayo - Australia, 1986

View full record for details.

Houston Square Dance History

Detailed history of the growth of square dancing in the Houston area in the years after World War II. It includes a summary of highlights from the area's annual square dance festival that started in 1949. The article can also be found here on the web. Excerpts from the beginning of the history: In the early 1940s, there were two small square dance…

Oldest Square Dance Club?

Pictured above, taken when the Kilowatt Eights danced at the PSC Garage from 1939-1942, (L to R): Andy Anderson-Violin & Bass, Stew Clark-Banjo, Russ Levine-Piano, Jim Cook-Violin, Tom Parfet-Drums, George Boles-Violin, Joe Lang-Caller.American Square Dance magazine conducted a search for the oldest square dance club. This is the article…

Square dance publications

This website contains numerous examples of the many square dance publications — newsletters, journals, magazines— that have been created over the years. (See Items 1033 – 1073 for examples.) There are of course far more than those; the Square Dance Foundation of New England has one large collection; eventually, it is anticipated that these…