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Half Way Round - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes, caller, recorded at the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, January 12, 2007. The dance was called frequently by Ralph Page, and it's possible that Page got the figures from Connecticut caller Al Brundage.

The musicians are a reunion group of the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra, and include Dudley Laufman (violin/ accordion),…

Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Tony Parkes

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."

Tony Parkes, caller. Don Armstrong is credited with setting the dance figures (by Ralph Page) to this tune. "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" is the title of a…

Marianne - Tony Parkes

Recorded at the Greenfield, MA, Grange Hall on June 27, 2010. The event was sponsored by Country Dance and Song Society to celebrate the publication of "On the Beat with Ralph Sweet."In his introduction, caller Tony Parkes mentioned that this dance, created by the great New England caller Dick Leger, was "the surprise hit" of the 1957 National…

Patter Calling - origins

Patter calling is a style of square dance calling in which the caller speaks the words or chants them on a musical pitch, hopefully in harmony with the tune. The classic form of patter is rhyming couplets. Typically the caller supplements the dance directions with extra words to make the call lines fit the four-beat musical phrases; these words can…

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…

Singing Calls - a short history

History of Singing Squaresby Tony ParkesThe earliest description of a singing square I've found so far (in fairly shallow digging) appears in the first edition (1925) of Good Morning, prepared by Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lovett for Henry Ford. It is Plain Quadrille No. 13, Figure 4, page 65, "Girl I Left Behind Me." It is first described in the same…

Box the Gnat - a short history

Box the Gnat - a short historyby Tony ParkesNobody seems to know when "box the gnat" took on the standardized meaning it has today inrecreational square and contra dancing. In Instant Hash (1962), Rickey Holden (who is passionate about square dance history) doesn't include it on a list of terms whose originator and date of introduction are known.…

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"…

Swing Two Ladies (includes walkthrough) - Tony Parkes

Tony Parkes leads the walkthrough and calls the dance 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 "Mulvihill's Jig" (aka "Burke's Jig").Tony found this dance in the Fall…