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Square dance - Ary, KY - 1963 (big set)

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Square dance - Ary, KY - 1963 (big set)


The caller is Corbett Grigsby, with music provided by fiddler Marion Sumner and guitarists Martin Young and Roscoe Holcomb. Grigsby introduces the figure as "around behind, lady in the lead."

This footage was recorded by filmmaker George Pickow at the Home Place Community Center in Ary, Kentucky, a small town in south central Kentucky. (Ary is about half an hour north of Viper, KY, the birthplace of Jean Ritchie, who was George Pickow's wife.) These sequences were was used in the "Lyrics and Legends" series that aired on National Educational Television (later, PBS) in 1963; the series was hosted by folklorist Tristram Coffin. This episode includes Edna Ritchie (Jean's sister) setting the scene at the dance; other segments of the edited program include Coffin and Jean Ritchie in studio discussing square dance.

The original film is now in the collection of materials donated by Pickow and his wife, Jean Ritchie; it is housed in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Information about the acquisition of that collection can be found starting on page 20 of this document.

Permission to use this historically significant footage on the SDHP website was granted by Peter Pickow and Jon Pickow, sons of George and Jean; we thank them for their willingness to make these moving images available.



George Pickow film

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16mm film

Item Relations

This Item is related to Item: Square Dance - Ary, KY - 1963 (4 cpl square)
Item: Kentucky Set Running - 1914 firsthand account is related to This Item