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 TOTW (OT) 4 / 21 / 2017 Boogerman

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142 posts
since 4/10/10

04/21/2017 04:04:27 View Mtngoat's MP3 Archive View Mtngoat's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Boogerman TOTW (OT) 4-21-2017

I’ve chosen Boogerman for this installment of TOTW.   The Fiddler’s Companion has this to say:  BOOGERMAN (WILL GET YOU). AKA and see "Whip the Devil Around the Stump." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, "Most common in North Carolina," but known throughout the Appalachians.  The Boogerman is a mythical creature used by adults to frighten children into good behavior.  

The tune has a modest internet presence. 

A 1924 recording by the North Carolina duet of fiddler J.D. Harris (1868 - 1933) and banjoist Ernest Helton (1892 – 1979) under the alternate title of Whip the Devil Round the Stump is here:

Fiddlin' Bill Hensley (1873 – 1960) of Madison County North Carolina recorded this version as Old Boogerman circa 1940:

Here’s a 1978 Tennessee home recording of Loyd Payne and Richard Blaustein on fiddle, George Payne on banjo, and  Bill Gosnell on guitar playing  Whup The Devil Round The Stump:

Here’s a tight little group:

Here’s a full stringband:

BHO member blanham posted this banjo solo:

And here’s something a bit different.   wherein Ray Stevens evokes the innocence of childhood with the line “I know he’s real, I’ll tell you the reason why. Cause my momma told me about him and my momma wouldn’t lie”.

Since the Boogerman character serves a useful child rearing purpose it has variants in many different cultures.  Wikipedia has an informative article here:

My Kentucky grandmother was fond of invoking the Boogerman when dealing with me and my cousins.  My wife, on the other hand, was always warned about bears; a real possibility within the experience of children reared in the mountains of western North Carolina where her family lived.

A tab is located here:

And a video lesson is posted here:

Readers are encouraged to post facts, observations, opinions, performances and tabs contributing to this thread.

Edited by - Mtngoat on 04/21/2017 14:30:19

banjukeboxPlayers Union Member

United States
259 posts since 2/6/11

04/21/2017 07:40:28View banjukebox's MP3 Archive View banjukebox's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Great Tune! Seriously, one that I had never heard before.

I don't know which title I like better - sounds like an easy one to learn, though.

Here's a slow banjo version I found on youtube:

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United States
2613 posts since 8/7/08

04/21/2017 19:40:31View RG's MP3 Archive View RG's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

One of my favorite tunes, I'm fond of the Mike Rogers version on FRC and also Bruce Greene fiddles a mean version of this tune...I believe that there's also a tab version in the Miles Krassen book...

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JanetBPlayers Union Member

5654 posts since 6/27/09

04/21/2017 22:03:29View JanetB's MP3 Archive View JanetB's Photo Albums View JanetB's Blog Reply with Quote

You so often pick a tune I've not heard of, Mtngoat.  In fact, the boogie man wasn't a part of the lore of my childhood....

I chose Bill Hensley's version to listen to and arrange for clawhammer, finding it also on the Slippery Hill site.  In the Miller/Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes one reads about Mr. Hensley's unique, colored background.  "He acquired a fiddle when his father swapped 20 acres of land for a hog rifle and a fiddle that had gone through the Civil War; Fought in the Spanish American War...Fiddled at the White House during a visit of King George VI; At age 75 he got into a drunken gun battle with 24 year old Clarence Harwood; Harwood was killed and Hensley served 3 years in prison."

Hensley plays it incredibly fast, which, upon listening, fits in better with the alternate title, Whip the Devil Around the Stump.

Boogerman (TOTW)

Boogerman (CH) tab

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United States
1565 posts since 1/24/07

04/22/2017 15:46:05View RWJonesy's MP3 Archive View RWJonesy's Photo Albums View RWJonesy's Blog Reply with Quote

I always pass this one by in my Miles Krassen Clawhammer Banjo book. I'm going to learn it now, thanks. Here is a cool version I stumbled across.




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142 posts since 4/10/10

04/23/2017 07:14:45View Mtngoat's MP3 Archive View Mtngoat's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Re: " Hensley served 3 years in prison.".  You don't have to dig very deep to find an interesting story in Old Time music.

A big Thank You to all who have contributed!

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atlesonPlayers Union Member

United States
225 posts since 3/22/05

04/23/2017 08:58:13View atleson's MP3 Archive View atleson's Classified Ads View atleson's Photo Albums View atleson's Blog Reply with Quote

Mtngoat,   thanks for posting the video.  That's Mark Olitsky on banjo---one of my all time favorites.  Terrific player and, unfortunately, very under-recorded.

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