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Daisy Alamo patter - Robby Robertson

This is a live recording of Robby Robertson teaching a "Daisy Alamo" combination of a Daisy Chain and an Alamo Style progression, followed by calling a dance with those figures. (The dance itself starts at 1:23.) The recording was made by Eric Clamons at the Fifth Annual (1956) Minnesota Square Dance Convention.Robertson was a prominent caller on…

Ends Turn In - Ed Gilmore

Ed Gilmore's composition, Ends Turn In, is one of the most common items found in this website, called by modern square dance callers as well as by those who favor traditional squares. Here's the author himself calling it once through; in this recording, the dance was #7 in a collection aimed at beginners.The directions come from Sets in Order,…

Les Gotcher - two live calls, 1955

From a dance that Les Gotcher called, probably in 1955, we have an example of a very early Hash & Breaks style of calling that was to become his trademark in future years. In those later years Gotcher was known to use singing calls sparingly but that 1955 dance shows him singing "Home in San Antone." The audio clip here starts with some of the…

Your Home Town - Fenton "Jonesy" Jones

A rare live recording of Jonesy calling, this time a singing square.

Ends Turn In - Fenton "Jonesy" Jones

This is a rare live recording of Fenton “Jonesy” Jones from California. In the 1954 tape he says that he prefers to use his guitar for music rather than records even for some of the patter calls. The choreography is the classic Ends Turn In routine created by Ed Gilmore and published in Sets In Order magazine in 1951.

Arkansas Traveler - Eric Clamons

Second in a series of three clips of Minnesota caller Eric Clamons. There are other examples of Arkansas Traveler on this website for comparison.

Forming squares - Eric Clamons

Eric Clamons was a square dance caller in Minnesota in the 1940s and 1950s. A chance conversation with his son in 2013 revealed that Eric had taped numerous recordings of square dances from the early and mid-1950s, some 50 of which were donated to this project. (The collection also included many boxes of printed matter, festival programs,…

1954 National Square Dance program - Dallas

This is the program for the 3rd National Square Dance Convention, held April 8–10, 1954.

Lines About Squares - Western Square Dancing

In this article, part of his long-running column, the author looks at the typical programs of Western square dancing in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He discusses the different kinds of patter, mentioned the predominance of singing calls at this time, and looks in depth at Rickey Holden's "Star By the Right."

Lazy H - Bob Dalsemer

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

Ed Gilmore - Caller's Institute

This is a transcription of a presentation made by Ed Gilmore to a group of callers. He starts by outline his own credentials to be leading such a session, and mentions in passing "that for the last four years I've been a full-time professional. Which means that I am devoting 14-15 hours a day, 7 days a week, to square dance calling and square dance…

Jimmy Morris and Tommy Cavanagh interview

Interview with two British callers, conducted by Mildred Buhler and shared with her dancers back in California. The two men were the co-founders, president and vice-president, of the fledgling British Association of American Square Dance Clubs with which Buhler was involved when she moved to London. During the interview, Morris says, "We really try…

Bruce Johnson interview

This interview with a young Bruce Johnson-- he's 25 at the time-- was conducted by Mildred Buhler as part of her "Calling All Folk Dancers" radio program in 1950-1951. (The illustration is from 20 years later, when he's on the cover of Sets in Order.) Included here is a section near the beginning of the broadcast, which included Johnson calling a…

Santa Monica 1950 - Don Ward comments

The Trad-Dance-Callers listserv in 2008 had a discussion that touched on the Santa Monica dance. Don Ward was a participant in that event and he shared a few memories with the group.

Santa Monica 1950 - interview with Bob Osgood

As part of his extensive series of interviews with notable figures in the square dance world, Bob Brundage conducted a lengthy interview with Bob Osgood. Included here is the part of that discussion that dealt with the Santa Monica event. (It has been slightly reformatted by inserting paragraph breaks to improve readibility.) Brundage's…

Santa Monica 1950 - interview with Dan Allen

"Calling All Folk Dancers" was a weekly radio show created by California caller Mildred Buhler. The next show after the Santa Monica dance included an interview with Dan Allen; this is a transcription of that portion of the show. It's valuable as a first-hand account from immediately after the event.

Santa Monica 1950 - Sets in Order

Bob Osgood was editor and publisher of Sets in Order; he was also one of the prime organizers of the Santa Monica event. Here is his magazine's story about the dance.

Santa Monica 1950 - program

The program was announced ahead of time in Sets in Order magazine, and it's an excellent list of common dances and prominent callers of that era. At the dance itself, a round dance was inserted after every three squares.

Santa Monica 1950 - World's Largest Square Dance

At the time, it was the world's largest square dance event. Santa Monica, California, was celebrating its Diamond Jubilee in square dance style. Lloyd Shaw was invited to be the Grand Marshall of the the parade and he acted as MC for the dance, along with Bob Osgood, on July 13, 1950. Dancing lasted for four hours, and some 30,000 people watched as…

Servel Square Dance Club

The Servel Square Dance Club of Evansville, Indiana was formed by employees of the Servel plant, which made refrigerators before and after World War II. In this photo are square dancers, caller Clarence Haller, and the four-piece square dance band. This picture was taken at the Evansville Coliseum in 1950 or 1951.