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Saturday Night Square Dance - Jim Boyd, 1949

"Saturday Night Square Dance" was released in 1949 as a Soundie; the footage included here is all that we have been able to locate. (We would appreciate information from anyone having a complete copy of the film.)

Featured here are Jim Boyd and His Men of the West. Jom Boyd was the brother of Bill Boyd, well known for western swing music, and…

Jubilee Promenaders 1

The dancers had received national acclaim as the Lake of the Ozarks Dancers in appearances on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour (see Related Item). Their fast tempo, fancy jig steps, and lively performances were a crowd pleaser, and they picked up, renamed as The Jubilee Promeanders, and became regular performers with caller L. D. Keller on the Ozark…

Lancers, 5th figure - Wayside Inn, 1932

This home movie is one of eight reels filmed in the 1930s at the Wayside Inn, Sudbury, MA. (More information about these films is available here.) The Inn at the time was owned by Henry Ford. Ford had encountered dancing master Benjamin Lovett at the Inn and hired him to come to Michigan to teach dancing there to his employees. This is the earliest…

Don Messer - souvenir booklet

The Don Messer Jubilee Show toured extensively, bring Down East music, song, and dance to audiences throughout the US and Canada. Messer was well known thanks to his weekly television show broadcast and three-times-a-week tadio broadcasts.

The short biography below came with his Messer's induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in…

On the Road to Boston - Don Messer

The dances on the Don Messer show were choreographed by Gunter Buchta; he created two new dances each week for the show.

Maple Sugar - Don Messer and His Islanders

No calls, just a choreographed routine from Messer's popular television show; The dances on the Don Messer show were choreographed by Gunter Buchta; he created two new dances each week for the show.

Two related items show other choreography set to the same well-known tune.

McLeod's Reel - 1926

Recorded by Tom Owens and the WLS Barn Dance Trio; this band was featured on the National Barn Dance on WLS radio in Chicago. For a detailed appreciation of this program, see fiddler Paul Tyler's post on his DrDosido blog.

Buffalo Girls - 1927

The recording is [Tommy} Dandurand and his Barn Dance Fiddlers, recorded in 1927, with caller Ed Goodreau. Dandurand was a fixture on the National Barn Dance on WLS radio in Chicago. For a detailed appreciation of this program, see fiddler Paul Tyler's post on his DrDosido blog.The dance follows a familiar pattern: First lady (and others on…

Lazy H - Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer calls a condensed version of Ed Gilmore's "Lazy H" figure.

Just Because - Bob Dalsemer

Caller Bob Dalsemer and "Just Because," recorded 1990 in Oerbygaard, Denmark. This clip includes some of the walkthrough, with the dance itself starting at 00:58. The recording to which he is calling features musicians Steve Hickman, fiddle; Peter Barnes, piano, and Bill Tomczak, clarinet.

Square Dance Lessons - Doc Alumbaugh

A series of photographs with text illustrating basic square dance figures. This set, incomplete at the moment, appeared in a Rochester, New York, newspaper in 1950; Alumbaugh led a series of well-attended square dance classes in southern California in the mid and late 1940s. This geographical spread indicates the burgeoning appeal of square dance…

Texan Whirl - Rickey Holden

Rickey Holden calling the Texan Whirl figure attributed to caller Bob Sumrall, an influential caller starting in the 1930s in Abilene and other West Texas communities. The distinctive part has the women circling left underneath the men's arms making a right hand star, and then each woman rolls back around the gent behind her to reform the circle.…