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Sight Calling - Les Gotcher

Les Gotcher's detailed description offer a look into how he created various sight-calling techniques. He includes a section early on that describes the process he went through to create this method. Subsequent sections discuss equivalents and Sequence ("Not enough can be said, or written about Sequence. Sequence determines everything that is going…

Sally Goodin variations

Sally Goodin is a square dance based on picturesque names for the other dancers in your set. (See Carl Herzog diagram). The active dance turns other dancers in a particular sequence, occasionally following a hand turn with another dancers by turning your partner. In general, when the callers say to "swing" someone else, they are expecting dancers…

Chaney scrapbook & photo album

Duane and Shirley Chaney (Council Bluffs, Iowa) were enthusiastic square dancers in the early 1950s. They attended Square Dance Institutes with Les Gotcher at Kirkwood Lodge (Osage Beach, Missouri) in 1953, 1954, and 1955. Shirley collected photographs and documents from their square dance events and assembled a scrapbook and photo album, including…

Merry-Go-Round Square Dance - Les Gotcher

See comments on Choo Choo Square Dance for more information.

Choo Choo Square Dance - Les Gotcher

Les Gotcher is often remember today as the Hashmaster, known for his flamboyant outfits, his energetic calls, and his often challenging choreographic sequences. However, like other performers, he was trying to tap into all aspects of the square dance boom. This example comes from his "Square Dances for Young Folks" record, a conscious attempt to…

Double Tea-Cup Chain - Les Gotcher

This is Les Gotcher calling, recorded live at Kirkwood Lodge (Osage Beach, Missouri) at the second annual Les Gotcher Square Dance Institute. We hear Gotcher start with two regular squares doing a teacup chain, and then the Gents #1 in each star do a left hand star promenade to begin the process of moving the two squares into one double square.…

False Hearted Girl - Les Gotcher

This is a short clip from a dance called by Les Gotcher in the mid 1959 at the Newton Pavilion in Newton, New Hampshire. The record is probably Kalox #1004

Patter - Les Gotcher

This is a short clip of patter calling from a dance called by Les Gotcher in 1959. The dance was held at the Newton Pavillion in Newton, NH

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…

Square Dance Articles - Buddy Weaver resources page

Buddy Weaver has collected on his website a series of transcriptions and printed essays by numerous well-respected square dance callers. On this site, you'll find pieces by Doc Alumbaugh, Ed Gilmore, Les Gotcher, Lee Helsel, Ernie Kinney, Ralph Maxhimer, Jay & Helen Orem, and Bob Ruff.

Les Gotcher - patter, 1961

Enjoy the fast-paced opener of this one! This clip is also interesting because of the way Gotcher sets up two lines of three facing five.

Catalogs

This collection of seven catalogs from the 1950s and early 1960s illustrates the range of materials offered to participants in the early square dance boom years, from recordings to clothing to badges and caller PA equipment.

Square Dance camp brochures

A small collection of brochures illustrating various dance camps and square dance travel. Just as different callers developed their own magazines and newsletters, so did they find additional opportunities to connect with an ever-growing number of square dance enthusiasts in the 1950s and 1960s.

Forward Eight and Chain Around (clip) - Les Gotcher

The main figure of this dance involves ladies chaining across and along a line, mixed in with grand chains. Unlike the visiting couple pattern of I'll Swing Yours, for example, in which just one couple initiates the action, here Les Gotcher has both head couples and then both side couples moving at the same time. The opening and middle break is the…

Les Gotcher - record albums

Record album covers; click to listen to I'll Swing Yours from this recording or Forward Eight and Chain Across.

I'll Swing Yours, You Swing Mine (clip) - Les Gotcher

In his prime as a modern square dance caller, Les Gotcher was known as the Hash Master. (For an example of Gotcher in full hash mode, listen to this live recording from 1958.) Here, in an earlier recording, he shows his comfort with traditional square dance figures, calling a visiting couple figure. Traditional callers may note that his calls are…

Les Gotcher - caller talk, 1962

Talk given by Les Gotcher to Tri-State Callers Association (New England) in March of 1962. Les emphasizes the importance of callers understanding the action of each call and describes early forms of diagramming. He also talks about tempo, timing and ends (beginning at about 14:22, three quarters of the way through) with a discussion of the call…

Les Gotcher - callers' class

This recording comes from the collection of Stig Malmo. It has some gaps, which you may notice when the audio jumps from one thing to another, but as the contributor notes, this gives you a good glimpse into the mind of one inflential caller.Gotcher and Ed Gilmore represented two very different approaches to square dance calling, dancing, and…

Les Gotcher recordings

A selection of record labels and a record jacket, samples of Les Gotcher's prolific output